Running a business is an all-inclusive endeavor. As a business owner, you have the task of keeping all of the information of your company stored and organized in such a way that it can be used by you and the company to its advantage.
In the past, this entailed the maintenance of potential rooms worth of files kept in alphabetical and numerical order, maintained through complicated card-based filings systems.
Thankfully, in the modern era of business, we needn’t rent out an entire floor of a building to store our files but instead can keep them all conveniently in our laptop on the kitchen table or our smartphone. Wherever your essential information is stored, it must be protected, both against intrusion and against loss.
Learn more about the value of backup recovery operations for your business, covering what it is, what it entails, and what it can do for your business. To learn about how you can apply backup recovery operations and other IT-based solutions to your business, reach out to Nicolet Tech today to schedule a time to discuss your IT needs and how we can help you grow and support your business with our solutions.
The first question you might be asking when considering how to maintain and protect your data and that of your business is what is backup and recovery in terms of business data? You are likely familiar with the concept of backup and recovery if only from using the program Microsoft Word or some other word processor.
When you create a file and save it, you are essentially backing up the data that is in the file, usually onto a folder on your computer. When you have saved a copy of the file, you will have a backed-up copy in your folder that reflects the file at the time you saved it. Some programs will auto-save future changes, while others may not, meaning you will lose your data if the program is closed or the hardware malfunctions.
A primary data failure is when there is a deletion of data without the intention to do so. Primary data failures can happen due to hardware or software failures, the corruption of the data, or through human-caused events such as malware attacks or simple mistakes and errors that can lead to the destruction of a computer.
Whether a malware hacker or an employee with a coffee cup without a lid, the destruction of a computer can destroy the data that is present on it. If this data has been backed up, saved in some way, whether or not you can recover it will determine how quickly you can bounce back from the primary data failure.
Many individuals back-up data on an external hard drive. This is a great practice and a useful way to maintain a mobile copy of important information. However, an external hard drive is just as prone to equipment failure or destruction as a computer, and if you store it at your office, you will lose it alongside everything else in a fire or other disaster.
Being able to recover your backed-up data in the event of a primary data loss should be your primary concern, and hiring a third-party IT solutions company can help to ensure the independent security of your essential information.
Basic experience with saving and backing up copies of files through the use of basic computer programs equips most business owners with a general understanding of saving information. When you save a file into a folder on your computer, it is known as locally saved, and this means that it is stored physically on your computer’s hard drive or another form of memory. If your computer gets destroyed for whatever reason, whether an accidental drop or coffee spill, any localized data on a destroyed computer is lost forever.
Saving your files onto your computer does not ensure that they are kept safe in the event your computer is broken or has a malfunction. The crashing of a computer the night before a final paper is due is a common story element in movies, with the unfortunate student having to start over from scratch, race against the deadline, and hope that they get a passing grade.
For your business, a crash might not mean the difference between a passing or failing grade on a paper for a class, but it can make the difference between filling your orders and keeping customers happy or losing your data and scrambling to figure out who ordered what, and where it is going.
However perfect your record-keeping processes might be in your business, if they cannot be recalled and used when necessary, they are worthless. If orders are due and your hardware will not function as a result of a software update that you overlooked due to being busy with work, you will not be able to access the data. Orders will be missed, customers will be lost, and you’ll be left wishing that you had looked into additional data recovery options for your business to ensure that if your computer goes offline, your business doesn’t have to.
Clearly, locally stored data is subject to the potential of loss through the damage or destruction of the hardware or software malfunctions that can cause programs to crash before you have had time to save your files. This is an old-school style of data storage that is no longer necessary given the cloud, and as we’ll discuss below, by implementing IT business solutions with your company, you can use technology to your advantage while minimizing the risk that malfunctions here or there will sink your business.
If you are not familiar with it, the cloud refers to data storage on the internet. By establishing server locations and borrowing from the networking power of computers, cloud networks are essentially an independently suspended form of data storage held up by the computing power below and not dependent on any single computer or server location.
The idea of a floating cloud is how the name sounds, and while it may seem like the data is floating on air, hackers can pull and exploit it, or human error or mistake can cause its deletion. Cloud computing is a fine business IT solution but should be adopted carefully to ensure security and dependability.
Data is invisible and intangible to the human eye until someone opens it in a system that can translate it, like a computer or a television screen. However, data is something that you must store, as, without storage, it cannot be presented and is essentially nothing. Data including your customer data, your business finances, and your planning and scheduling must ultimately be stored in hardware, servers, and hard drives that are capable of storing, processing, and transmitting the data as necessary.
The cloud is virtual, but it has anchors in physical servers that power it. If physical servers are damaged or destroyed, the data that they support could likewise be lost. This is why it is important to have a well-planned, funded, and executed IT enterprise strategy that includes the use of a professional third-party data storage company with multiple server sites.
If you are paying Apple for their iCloud service, for example, you can rest assured that your data and the cloud that it resides in does not depend upon a single server in a single location that could be subject to destruction. Apple uses a global network of servers and networks to maintain the cloud and ensure that it rests upon a broad and unshakable foundation.
The concept of identity theft once involved the use of a person’s name and crafting of fake identification using Exacto knives, careful cutting and pasting, and moving to another town where no records existed of that person did not hurt the matter. In the modern world, hackers often accomplish identity theft from across the world, and they might never use your name in the physical world but will use your information to take as much money out of as many accounts as they can find or create.
The risk of cybersecurity threats is continually on the rise in the modern environment, if you are running a business, you must worry not only about the cybersecurity needs of your organization but also of your customers’ data.
To ensure that third parties do not use your data to exploit your business through theft or your customers by stealing their data from your system, you must establish sufficient data security and protection measures. Most people are familiar with the concept of anti-virus software on their computer, which helps to prevent malware from being implanted onto your computer.
Malware is a software program installed without your permission, sometimes by visiting a website or mistakenly clicking on a tab that intends to exploit your system in some way.
Often, malware will target your personal banking information to steal money from you or creating credit cards under your name to then use for the gain of the malware operators. Some of these operations are incredibly sophisticated and run by organizations across the globe, from whom your money often cannot be recovered.
If your consumers’ information gets stolen as a result of a data breach in your company, it may be impossible for them to recover their money from the parties that directly stole it from them, leaving you as their target for recovery of the lost funds. Data security is as important as backing up your data, if not more so, as, without data security, the value you work hard to build can quickly go away.
When data is sent over the internet, it is sent in a form known as packets, which you might compare to envelopes. Hackers can intercept these packets while they are transmitted, open them, and use the data within to steal identities or finances from unsuspecting persons.
If your customers are inputting their credit card information and home addresses into your website to place an order, they reasonably presume that you have sufficient security measures in place to ensure that hackers are not able to open their packets of confidential information to steal their money and identities. This is where encryption comes into play.
When you send a message through an encrypted channel, instead of sending packets that people can open and view, the envelopes and their contents are split into a great many separate files that fit together only in a specific way, which the software on the intended recipient’s end will decrypt. Encrypted data is very complex and science unto itself, so that is as far as we’ll go here, but know that data encryption makes it almost impossible for hackers to steal the important and valuable confidential information of your business and your consumers.
Reach out to Nicolet Tech to book an appointment to discuss how we can help you implement sufficient backup recovery operations and data protection measures so that you can rest assured that the key data your business relies upon to operate and turn a profit will have proper protections.
With businesses of all sizes going digital, the demand for dependable, scalable, and secure data backup and recovery solutions has never been greater. Let our experts recommend a solution that's right for your business.