The quick guidefor SMB's

looking to backup

We realise that, as an IT company, we can begin to sound like an overbearing parent when we continue to reiterate the importance of backing up your business data!

Overbearing or not, if you read our previous article on the main reasons small businesses end up closing their doors – you’ll understand the huge impact IT data loss can have – with 60% of small businesses unable to recover when a tech-disaster strikes.

Instead of sitting you down for a well-meaning lecture, we’ll give a quick overview of why backups are important and what to look out for when you’re choosing a backup provider.

Backups are more important than ever

It might sound like an exaggeration, but even boiled down to hard statistics – there have never been as many cyber threats that could impact your business and its data. During 2017:

  • 60% of small businesses will report a cyber-security breach
  • 1,000,000+ ‘malware’ emails will target UK businesses daily
  • 75% of cyber-attacks will purposefully target vulnerable small businesses

The criminals are targeting small businesses because, generally speaking, smaller businesses don’t consider themselves as an inviting prospect for criminals as larger, wealthier companies. In reality, it is this attitude that makes a lot of SMB’s drop their guard – making light work for fraudsters and hackers.

It’s not just criminals that make backups essential; human error causes files and records to be lost, overwritten or deleted, hardware failures are an unforeseen that can have devastating implications – as are other incidents like floods, fires or criminal damage.

What to look for

As you can see, there’s a host of reasons you should be putting data backups at the top of your priority list – but what should you be looking for in a backup service or product?

  • Comprehensiveness

Backing up is just part of the wider solution around keeping your data safe. If you’re going to backup, you also need to be able to recover lost information – as well as ensure the IT infrastructure keeps running as you do.
As most small businesses rely on just one or two people to look after IT, you need to be absolutely certain that you’ve got a system that keeps your lights on with the expertise you’ve got in house – or with your IT partner.

  • Ease of use

For the average small business IT department, nearly 90% of their time is taken up just keeping on top of the systems, applications and day-to-day running of your IT. It doesn’t make business sense to use up the precious little that is left with a complex backup system.
Keep it intuitive and effective – by doing so you’ll also be buying a product that a good managed service provider can step in and support with at any time.

  • Recoverability

If, like most SMB’s, cash flow means that closing your doors for a few weeks would making opening them again financially difficult – then being able to get back up on your feet quickly after IT problems is vitally important.
The best backup services get you operating quickly whatever has happened – whether that’s an instant recovery of lost data – all the way through to entirely replicated systems in the case of fire, flooding or any other catastrophe. It might sound extreme, but for most SMBs there’s a lot riding on keeping trading.

  • Performance and reliability

The best backup is one that is frequent and doesn’t impact the end user. If you’ve got a system that backs everything up once a week, it’ll be a long, slow process with thousands of files – if instead you opt for a service that backs up around the clock – adding only files that have changed since the previous backup, then you’re maintaining data security and your end-user experience.
Not all backup solutions are created equal – so ensuring this appropriate performance and reliability is key.

  • Cost

Finding a product that’s the right price for your business is tricky, it needs to fit the financial bill now – but also perform if disaster strikes. For many SMBs it’s tempting to go for a low cost option (or, like 24% of small businesses, nothing at all) – but this can be far more costly in the long run.
It can be useful to work with an experienced IT partner that will get to know your business needs – and advocate a solution that is affordably – but still delivers on features and benefits.

  • Scalability

There’s every chance that your small business will someday become a medium or even large scale enterprise. That rarely, if ever, happens overnight, so having a backup solution that grows with you is important. Working with a managed service provider can be invaluable with scaling up in mind – they will often have a wide customer base and as such can anticipate your needs well before you get there, suggesting a suitable product from early on.

Want to talk backups?

If you’re unsure about any element of backing up, we’d be delighted to talk to you. At VectorCloud we’ve got 20 years of experience in protecting the data of many Scottish small businesses. Don’t hope for the best when it comes to your data – backing up is the only way you can be sure your doors will stay open.

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