Backup Your Electronic Business Data

The rise in technology has seen businesses embrace computerization like never before.  Matters that businesses traditionally handled in paper form, from timeclocks to employee records to their actual products, are now often handled in purely electronic form.  While computers have greatly increased efficiency for many businesses, that reliance upon computers means that data loss can be devastating for a business.

Data loss can happen in many ways

Data loss can occur due to a variety of natural and human-caused events.  Some examples:

  • Power outage/power surge
  • Computer failure
  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Accidental deletion
  • Corruption
  • Intentional deletion (e.g. a malicious employee or hacker)
  • Theft of computer equipment

The solution is a redundant backup strategy

The solution is to ensure data is backed up, ideally using multiple independent methods that are unlikely to simultaneously fail.  For example, manually creating a backup DVD of vital data and storing that data in a safe a home can be one prong of a backup strategy.  Another prong could be an automated backup system that securely saves backups online (such as the SpiderOak service).  Still a third prong could involve an external hard drive connected to the computer that is to be backed up.

With that backup strategy in place, a fire a the office would destroy the computer and the external hard drive.  However, the backup at home would be safe, as would the online backup.  In the event of a regional disaster that destroyed both the home backup and the office, the online backup would still be safe.

The level of redundancy used for backups should match the importance of losing the data.  If the data loss would cause the destruction of the business, then perhaps there should be 4 or 5 separate backups made (since spending an extra $100 per year is a small price to pay to avoid such a disaster).  On the other hand if the data loss would be a mild inconvenience, then perhaps so much redundancy isn’t needed.

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