Talking with my clients makes me think of my mother. Why? Well, my mother was a good cook. Actually, a GREAT cook! She made all sorts of wonderful foods when I was a child that I loved to eat. Among my favorites were beef stroganoff and pierogi (pastry filled with potatoes and meat). What I didn’t like, though, were the vegetables. Whether it was cabbage or turnips, veggies just weren’t my thing. So why do my clients make me think of my mom? It happens every time I talk with them about why the importance of backing up your data.
They often don’t want to talk about backups. In fact, they seem as allergic to backups as I was of vegetables (at least, that’s what I told my mother). It didn’t work with her and it doesn’t work with me.
It’s just not a fun or glamorous topic. But making sure you have a bullet-proof backup strategy might be the single most important topic for us to discuss.
Why You Need To Backup Your Data
Imagine for a moment that…
- Your bookkeeper’s computer fails while she was updating invoices. Now the accounting data is corrupted and you can’t bill your clients. Or...
- Your most trusted employee accidentally lets a virus onto your network through her own mobile phone. Now your entire network server is encrypted and held for ransom with one of the hundreds of Ransomware viruses. Or...
- A disgruntled employee decides to harm you on his last day of work and intentionally deletes his own workstation’s hard drive. You need his data so you can continue to service your clients. Or…
- A small fire breaks out in your office. Only a small part of the office is affected, but it’s at the corner where your sales manager sites, and she has the big sales presentation for a huge client on her computer that no one else has.
In all of these cases, a part or all of your business stops in its tracks until you can get the data back. Whether it’s no money coming in, or no work going out, your business will be harmed.
If you don’t have a backup, you’ll need to recreate or rebuild the data somehow. That could mean manual work re-entering hundreds of transactions. It could mean re-building the work product you were already paid for. It could mean paying tens of thousands of dollars in ransom to the hacker who is holding you hostage.
Four Critical Parts of Any Backup Strategy
Whatever the case, it can all be avoided by backing up your data.
And just like vegetables, there is more than one kind...and you need a variety to be healthy and secure. Whatever the right backup products and strategies are for you, here are some guidelines for what you need:
- Have multiple backups of the same data. Many people think having backup stored on disks or tape in your office is good enough. But it isn’t. In the case of a fire, flood, earthquake or other natural disaster, those backups can be damaged. You need on-site backups, off-site backups and cloud-based backups.
- Your backups, like your actual data, need to be encrypted. Many modern day viruses not only look to damage your data, they also look to damage your backups. If your backups are on-line and unencrypted, there is a very good change they will be deleted or held hostage, too. (Also, if you store personally identifiable information, or personal health information for your patients or clients, HIPAA, FINRA or PCI regulations will require that your backups be encrypted.)
- Test your backups. Knowing that your data is backed up is one thing. Actually having gone through the process of recovering your data and making sure that the data is restored 100% is another. There is no other way to know that your data is safe, and that your business’s future is preserved in the event of a disaster.
- Back up often. In the past, monthly or weekly backups were thought to be good enough. But today, hourly backups and even continual backups are very common. That’s because you might be doing more business than ever before. Imagine for a moment that your medical office handles 50 patients in a day, and each one is worth $500 to you in co-pays and insurance reimbursements. If you’re only backing up your data each night, and disaster strikes at the end of the work day, you could lose up to $25,000.
Of course, no one backup plan is good for every business in just the same way that no two bodies need exactly the same nutritional help. But what is common among every business is that you need a backup strategy that will ensure that your business can continue with minimal or no interruption when disaster strikes.
Notice that I did not say “if” disaster strikes. Statistics show that every business is likely to lose data at some point. Sometimes the loss is small, and sometimes it’s catastrophic and ends the business.
So do what you mother has always told you to do. Eat your vegetables...and backup your data.
As you might imagine, we at Digital Uppercut are experts at designing backup plans to meet any business situation. Let’s talk so we can figure out a way to help you sleep better at night by knowing that your data -- and your business -- are secure. Contact us today or call us at 818-913-1335.
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