Have you heard of the Rule of Threes? The data you really can’t lose is called mission critical data, usually client or tax data, and ideally it should be in three places, not just the cloud.
If the cloud loses your data by accidentally deleting it or intentionally deleting it because an employee breached their terms of service or actively wiped the data, you can find yourself in a serious bind.
If you’ve recently catastrophically lost data in your business, you’re not alone. Nearly 3 out of 4 surveyed companies in the article above suffered such irrecoverable data loss. The same survey found 20% of the companies surveyed lost between $50,000 and $5 million dollars in lost downtime.
Employees spend a great deal of time trying to find, generate, and fix data in the event its lost, especially if it’s tax season and that data is immediately worth money. In an average case, small businesses could lose $47,616 in the time spent recovering data. Keep in mind the failure rate of conventional hard-drives is 100% in that all of them fail eventually.
One of the top reasons small businesses lose money is bad accounting or record keeping. Creating organized data is like producing good books: it takes a little up front time and money but pays for itself many fold. Many small businesses forget to think of data like records and as such don’t have up to date back-ups, which can lead to permanent loss of records (and money and paid time trying to cobble something together for tax season).
Below are some solutions, and don’t forget: Infinite Tech Solutions offers fully managed backup solutions, so if you need any help with it, you can always ask us to take a look.
Onsite NAS/SAS + Backup Software
While not the entire solution, an on-site NAS can provide one point of backup and with good software, it can version your backups to help prevent accidental deletion or corruption.
Problems can come up as a fire or theft can easily wipe out both the original data on the computer and all of your back-ups on the NAS or SAS sitting next to it.
It might also be vulnerable to Ransomware, a kind of malware that encrypts your hard-drive and makes you pay them money to unlock your own data. This may only infect your computer, or potentially it could infect both your computer and your NAS/SAS.
Free cloud storage offers no guarantee and may not even offer versioning depending on the service. Some of the best free cloud services have the most expensive paid services as well, so going with what has worked in the past isn’t necessarily the best call. We’re happy to help you pick a service and migrate your data if you find yourself on a cloud that isn’t well reviewed or feels like a dead end.
As only one of your three places, cloud storage is a great solution as it offers inexpensive, off-site storage that, while vulnerable to certain kinds of situations, is vulnerable to very different different situations than local storage.
One key reason cloud storage is popular is that it often comes with software that synchronizes local data with cloud data. Any duplication or triplication of data should be built with synchronization and scheduling in mind. Are you backing up once a week? Every hour? Up to and including live changes? How do you distinguish between versions and restore exactly the data you want in the event of a loss?
A real-world network administrator working for an international company mentioned they lost 2 out of their 3 copies during the Calgary floods when two separate locations in Calgary had their data destroyed. Fortunately, a third office had redundancy in another major city in Canada.
Who has access to wipe your data right now if they temporarily stopped making good decisions?
Do you have a backup that they don’t have access to?
I’d be remiss not to mention the importance of managing and controlling employee access, especially in large companies. Within your rule of three, it’s important to make sure one disgruntled employee doesn’t have the ability to easily destroy all current data and all historic data with one password.
What about employees taking sensitive data with them? Were they on a BYOD policy on their own device or did you own their phone, laptop, etc?
As always, Infinite Tech Solutions strives to understand your unique I.T. challenges and think through the problems with you, bringing up these blind spots and helping you build a rock solid foundation to power your business.
We’re Here to Help!
Always follow the rule of three with any data you can’t reasonably do without. If an international corporation can lose two data centers at the same time, anyone purchasing cloud storage from such a corporation can be affected too.
It’s free to call us and get a consult, and probably less expensive than you think to have us come out and install some software and minimal hardware and can save you time, money, and stress when that inevitable data loss event happens.
No matter how you choose to do it, please take the time to step back and backup.