With half of 2020 behind us, I think it is fair to say that 2020 has turned out to be a pretty sucky year for everyone. Business owners are now concerned about how they are spending, and different means to avoid procedural interruptions. One issue that all businesses should be aware of—and act to mitigate—is the loss of data that can cause these interruptions.
There are many ways that data loss can take place. Malware can permanently delete your data, and ransomware can do the same (we aren’t even entertaining the notion that paying the ransom will return your data to you). Accidentally or intentionally, your end users could be the cause of data loss through deletion or overwriting data. Physical devices can be damaged and fail. When all is said and done, if your data is only stored in one place you will eventually lose it to some degree.
At any scale, data loss can negatively impact your business and its operations. Consider what could happen if just one sales proposal was lost. If the salesperson who was working on it had no means of restoring it, they would have to go back and do it again. As a result, that’s time that could be spent on sales calls or even making more progress on the sale in question (lest you miss a deadline and lose the sale in its entirety).
Now, what if it was more than just an individual file, what if it was an entire server hard drive? That could mean the loss of an entire database, years of client records and data, or months of planning and preparation for the future. In other words, your entire company would feel the impact of this one event. Going further, some data loss events (based on how much data was lost and what kind of data it was) legally require you to officially report them. This is particularly the case when a data breach is involved, but even that can lead to your data being damaged in some way. Any devices that are lost or stolen also need to be treated as data loss, with your business working to minimize the damage and make all the proper notifications.
By now, it should be obvious that data loss is something to avoid, as its ramifications are thoroughly negative. The nice thing is, preventing data loss isn’t all that complicated—and, when compared to the alternative, far less costly. All it takes is a secure and reliable backup.
To accomplish this, every bit and byte of data you have needs to be stored in a minimum of three places. One copy is the original, the one saved on your workstation or for extra credit, on your network server. Technically, even this “one” copy of data should be duplicated across multiple server drives in a configuration known as a RAID array, which can lead to improved performance and security.
The second copy of your data (again, all of it) should be on another network device, whether that’s another full server, a NAS or Network Attached Storage device, or a dedicated backup device that takes an ongoing record and duplicates it to an offsite location.
This offsite location is where your third comprehensive copy of your data should be kept, ideally in the cloud. This copy serves as your insurance policy should some event create wide-spread data loss within your business and will enable some level of functionality to continue in the face of a disaster.
For our business, we handle all these steps with the help of a device known as a BDR, short for Backup and Disaster Recovery. By replicating our data as we add to it, encrypting it, and storing it offsite, the BDR serves as our insurance. Whether we need a quick data restoration or a substitute server if one fails, our BDR helps keep us in business in the short and long-term. Our clients also love how protected they are with a BDR by their side, as we confirm it works with regular tests. The BDR can even support your team’s data needs as the original issue is resolved.
Make no mistake: data loss is a bad thing. Fortunately, it can be somewhat simple to avoid with the right preparations and resources. To learn how MERIT Solutions can help you avoid data loss in your own operations, reach out to us at (757) 420-5150 today.