Protecting Your Small Business From Data Loss
Do you think your data is completely safe from data loss event? Wouldn’t you hate to see all your hard work go to waste all because the right backup solutions were not in place? No business is impervious to data loss. With the increasing sophistication of hackers, malware, and data breaches it’s imperative that you ensure to protect your data – the most vital part of your business.
Firstly, ensure that you have antivirus software installed on all machines running on your network to prevent any nasty malware from tampering with your data.
Secondly, ensure there is a firewall monitoring any traffic that traverses through your network.
Finally, ensure that the security measures you have taken are in line with the requirements set out for the data you handle. Certain data such personal health information are subject to industry compliance requirements and you may need to follow the requirements set out by provincial privacy laws.
Understand your data backup solution
The leading cause of incidents and outages is hardware failure and server room failures. Next is environmental disasters, and last is miscellaneous outages (The 2015 Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity Survey). What does all this mean to you?
- Your backups need to remain up to date and intact. Ensure you have someone performing a data backup test regularly to be sure your backup solution is functioning correctly and that all your data is current.
- In the event of an environmental disaster, you want to able to keep your data safe – that’s why creating offsite backups is important. Local only backups should certainly not be ignored and should remain a part of your business continuity plan. However, offsite backups are a smart contingency plan and added layer of data protection. Using something like a USB drive will not suffice. The device can be easily lost and is also prone to failures such as corruption. A USB drive also requires you to manually backup information very frequently which is more inconvenient than business class automated backup solutions.
- Don’t wait until you’re in a data loss situation to react. Be proactive and have your document / data disaster recovery plan in place so you know just what to do to get your business back up and running should your drive die or your office be by hit by water damage or fire.
- Establishing things like tolerance for downtime will help to tailor your backup solution so it can meet your requirements. Some businesses can go a day or two and function. Others can’t go a few hours without access to data. Determine and communicate your tolerance for downtime. If necessary, create backup paper systems you can use in a pinch, should your digital systems go down for a few days.
- Testing is something that should also be done regularly to ensure that your plan is still viable (maybe Cindy moved the Quickbooks file off the NAS and on to her computer for faster access, but her computer is not backed up) and that everyone involved with the plan knows their duties (who calls IT, who pulls up paper copies of pertinent log in information, who handles incoming client inquiries while access to data is down and what tools do they use). Mock data loss scenarios will help reinforce your recovery plan so you and your team know you’re ready for the real deal.
55% of those who experienced a downtime event in their business report making changes to their DR plans after the event occurred. It’s even greater (65%) for those experiencing outages greater than 8 hours.
TUCU is tech u can use. We help small business teams with IT planning and IT Support, Managed IT Services and Managed Backup Solutions.
If you would like help reviewing your technology needs, please contact us today for a free 20 minute telephone consultation, or to learn more about how an IT Audit can best serve you.
Call 416-292-3300 or send us an email.