Backups: why are they important?

Remember that time you lost your homework or that important university assignment because your laptop crashed the night before the hand-in date?

Come on, we’ve all done it. The frustration that you didn’t save it, or get it done earlier so you could’ve printed it off and handed it in early.

Don’t let the same mistake happen to your business. The consequences will be huge for you and your customers – it won’t just be an angry stare from your teacher and a lunchtime detention this time around. The results of losing your files will only become more and more costly as your business grows.

Some stunning statistics, collated in this fantastic article from Backblaze, really hit home about the importance of backing up your files.

  • Disk drives over a year old have a one in 10 chance of failure
  • 637,000 laptops are lost at airports alone across America each year
  • Viruses cause 4-7% of all data loss

Crazy, right? If over half-a-million laptops are lost in airports alone, imagine how many are stolen from taxis, coffee shops, homes and offices. We can’t stress how important enough to make sure you have backups. That’s already becoming a common theme of this article, but we really do mean it.

The team over at Comparitech have some salt to rub into your metaphorical wounds.

  • 22% of folders have no protection
  • 28% of data breaches involve malware
  • Over 1% of hard drivers failed in Q1 of 2020
  • 97% of data is recovered after a ransomware attack
  • 93% of small businesses store data or backups in the cloud

This is why it’s so crucial to have backups. Protect your crucial files, limit the damage and cost to your business. You’d get insurance on your office space and company car, so why not protect the stuff on your computer system too?

Create backups to the cloud. Back up everything. Do it now. Please.

If your computer system, or your office itself, does come under attack: you’re protected. Creating backups to the Cloud is great, but it’s not the only precaution you should be taking with backups.

It is best to be even safer and send them to physical off-site locations, such as separate hard drives or servers stored at your home or in another secure place. Creating and storing hard copies of important documents is also a great idea. It might be old fashioned, sure, but any thieves are far more likely to grab your laptop or hard drive than a stash of boring paperwork in your bottom drawer.

Do this on a regular basis, too. It may seem like a lot of effort before you do it – especially if you’re busy and are spinning 15 different plates at once – but it’s nothing compared to the potential harm that could be caused to your business and to your reputation.

Great, so you’ve made all your backups, taken all the security precautions, but these things can still happen. Be sure to make yourself a recovery plan. Make sure your senior colleagues are trained in how to deal with the situation if your computer systems are hacked.

Build your trusted team, invest in training for them and conduct regular practice drills. It may sound a bit extreme while you’re reading this, but don’t underestimate how much a well-prepared team could save your business in a crisis.

Whenever we hear stories of things going wrong, we always think ‘it won’t happen to me’. But believe me, it can happen to anybody. Invest the time into protecting yourself and your company

The good news is that plenty of web hosts offer automatic backups of your website on a regular basis. This is huge in taking the pressure of you. It saves time and resources, especially as backups need to be done regularly in order to be effective.

Our friends over at Berkaweb have produced a handy guide in which they rank web hosts that provide free backups and free restorations right now. Check that out here.

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