Do You Have a Sound Data Backup Strategy in Place?

Atlantic IT Backup

As Target continues to deal with fallout from a massive security breach that compromised the data of 40 million credit and debit cardholders, consumers are becoming more and more sensitive to how organizations secure their data. A critical component of security is data backup.

A study from AVG Technologies revealed that most small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) are dangerously lax about data backup, despite the fact that 30 percent consider the majority of their data to be sensitive. In fact, 54 percent of U.S. SMBs haven’t enforced a backup policy. Although 68 percent use an automated system, 24 percent don’t even back up their data on a weekly basis.

Then there’s the mobile factor to consider: 47 percent of SMBs have dealt with the loss of a mobile device, but only 41 percent place the highest priority on preventing data from being viewed by outside parties. One-third aren’t confident that they stop data loss when an employee leaves.

Data Backup Challenges for SMBs

Although enterprise-level data backup solutions have become more accessible to SMBs, most simply don’t have the in-house IT resources and expertise to properly implement and monitor these solutions. For example, data de-duplication can reduce storage requirements by 90 percent, but most SMBs lack the knowledge and training to take full advantage of this feature.

They also lack visibility into their IT infrastructure, which can lead to inefficiencies and performance issues. Because most SMBs don’t have a dedicated IT staff, they struggle to restore data from backup should problems arise, which can make any outage extremely costly.

Data Backup Options

Tape. Tape provides a low-cost, reliable option and is most commonly used for archiving of data that is rarely accessed or retained for regulatory compliance purposes. Despite its reputation for being something of a dinosaur, newer tape solutions have brought increased longevity, capacity and transfer rates. Tape is easy to move offsite to keep data secure, but retrieving this data can be a slow process.

Disk. Transferring data to and restoring data from disk-based backup are fast, efficient and reliable, and data de-duplication has made disk-based data backup a viable option for SMBs. On the other hand, continuing to purchase disk storage can become expensive, and disk storage can increase power and cooling costs in the data center. Offsite redundancy is needed to protect data from a site disaster.

Network-attached storage (NAS) appliances. This is an appealing option for SMBs because of its relatively low cost and high storage capacity. NAS allows for real-time backups and you don’t have to deal with licensing costs. However, NAS appliances can’t be detached from the data center and moved to remote location for safekeeping. One option is to back up data onto a NAS appliance and then replicate that data to tape each day.

Cloud/hybrid. Service providers enable SMBs to move data backup to the cloud, which provides virtually limitless storage capacity. Utilizing the cloud eliminates capital expenses for hardware and makes data backup an operational cost. Because cloud-based data backup is susceptible to performance issues, many organizations will implement a hybrid solution, backing up data to onsite on disks or NAS appliances and then replicating that data to the cloud.

Determining the Best Path Forward, your outsourced IT department, offers both traditional and cloud-based data backup solutions to protect your organization against data loss. Let us assess your business processes and the risk of disruption to your business operations so we can recommend a data backup strategy that ensures access to critical data in the event of a disaster.