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Fail to prepare, prepare to fail - Cloud backups Protect. Prepare. Recover
Would you know what to do if all of your business’ data disappeared overnight?
If the answer’s anything less than executing your carefully prepared data recovery plan, your business could be exposed to significant risk.
Data backups are the key to pre-empting the nightmare scenario of data loss, rendering your business more resilient in the face of cyberattacks or technical failures. In this article, we’ll look at seven different types of data backup and what they could mean for your business.
In the digital era, we rely heavily on technology to store and manage critical data. In fact, businesses can’t run without this data: it acts as the lifeblood of every organisation, encompassing everything from customer information and financial records to proprietary software and intellectual property.
Without a comprehensive backup strategy, UK businesses face significant risks that can have dire consequences for their operations, reputation, and bottom line.
One of the primary reasons why data backups are essential for businesses is the ever present threat of data loss. Whether it be due to hardware failures, software glitches, human error, or malicious activities such as cyberattacks and ransomware, the risk of data loss looms over every business. Without a backup solution in place, a single catastrophic event could lead to the permanent loss of vital information, disrupting business continuity and jeopardising the ability to serve clients and customers effectively.
Moreover, regulatory compliance and data protection laws are becoming increasingly stringent. Failure to implement adequate backup measures not only puts sensitive information at risk, but can expose your business to wide-ranging damages. A compliant, well-structured backup strategy that can recover data swiftly can be the only thing standing between your business and severe legal consequences and financial penalties.
Of course, a costly legal battle isn’t just disastrous for your bottom line: it can eradicate customer trust in your business and cause PR nightmares. Whether it's due to a security breach or the inability to provide uninterrupted services, a lack of data backup can damage your company's reputation irreparably. By contrast, businesses that prioritise data protection and recovery demonstrate a commitment to reliability and security, fostering trust among stakeholders and gaining a competitive edge over those that neglect it.
Now that we’ve covered why implementing a robust data backup solution isn’t just a prudent IT practice but a fundamental business necessity, it’s time to look at the different types of backups your organisation should consider.
Cloud backups are a game-changing solution when it comes to data loss. They ensure data resilience, accessibility, and scalability in a way that traditional data recovery could only dream of, and as a result, dramatically minimise the impact of unforeseen events.
Cloud backups involve the storage of data on remote servers accessible via the internet, as opposed to traditional on-premises methods. This means that instead of relying on physical hardware within the confines of an organisation, data is securely stored in offsite, redundant servers managed by cloud service providers.
Cloud backups typically encompass a wide array of data types crucial to business operations. From critical documents and databases to multimedia files and system configurations, a comprehensive cloud backup solution ensures that all essential information is securely stored offsite. Additionally, cloud backup services often offer features such as automatic backups, versioning, and the ability to schedule backups at convenient times, providing businesses with flexibility and ease of use.
The key benefits of a cloud backup are pretty clear. They offer businesses unparalleled flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and peace of mind. With the ability to seamlessly scale storage resources based on evolving needs, coupled with automated processes that simplify backup management, cloud backups empower organisations to focus on core operations rather than worrying about data protection.
As a bonus, the remote accessibility of cloud backups ensures that critical information is readily available from any location, promoting collaboration and facilitating business continuity.
There’s no real downside to backing up any of your data. However, you should be aware that cloud backups rely on internet connectivity for data transfer. If your business is in an area with unreliable or slow internet connections, you may face challenges with timely backups and restores.
By contrast, an on-premise backup represents a very distinct approach to safeguarding and storing data. On-premise backups involve storing data within an organisation's physical infrastructure, providing direct control, immediate accessibility, and customization options tailored to specific needs. This approach is independent of external internet connectivity and offers a contingency plan against potential cloud service risks. In contrast, cloud backups store data on remote servers managed by third-party providers, offering scalability, remote accessibility, and managed services like automatic backups.
If you need advice on whether to opt for an on-premise, cloud, or hybrid back up approach, we can recommend a solution tailored to your business.
OneDrive and SharePoint are integral components of Microsoft's cloud-based productivity suite, offering businesses sophisticated tools for file storage, collaboration, and document management. OneDrive focuses on individual user storage, providing a personal cloud space for files, while SharePoint is designed for team collaboration, offering a centralised platform for document sharing, version control, and team workflows.
It’s true that OneDrive and SharePoint do offer some level of data redundancy and protection. However, these aren’t sufficient to provide comprehensive backup solutions on their own.
Microsoft's infrastructure ensures availability and reliability of services, but it doesn't guarantee protection against all forms of data loss. Accidental deletions, malicious activities, or extensive data corruption may still pose risks. What’s more, Microsoft's retention policies and versioning features are not designed as complete backup solutions with long-term recovery options.
Sort of. Even if you’ve got a comprehensive cloud backup solution in place, investing in specific backups for OneDrive and SharePoint remains crucial for several reasons.
While traditional cloud backups ensure the overall protection of an organisation's data, OneDrive and SharePoint backups offer a more granular approach, safeguarding against the potential loss of critical documents, collaborative projects, and team-specific content. As these platforms often serve as repositories for essential business files and collaborative efforts, dedicated backups provide an added layer of security, ensuring the swift recovery of individual files or entire libraries in the event of accidental deletions, data corruption, or other unforeseen incidents.
We know what you’re thinking: if my business has moved to the cloud, do I still need to invest in computer backups?
Potentially not. But even in the age of cloud computing, where data often finds its home in remote servers, many employees still store important documents on their local drive. And as we mentioned earlier, cloud backups only work when there’s internet connectivity, which can leave your business vulnerable in certain wifi-less scenarios.
Local computer backups act as a vital redundancy measure, offering swift and direct access to critical data in situations where internet connectivity may be compromised, or when the need for rapid data recovery arises. This local redundancy not only enhances the overall resilience of a data protection strategy but ensures that businesses have a failsafe in place for immediate, on-premises access to essential information when the unexpected occurs.
Of course, you might think this is a risk worth taking. If that’s the case, we strongly recommend that you implement employee training to ensure that all colleagues understand the importance of saving to their OneDrive, and not in any hidden local spots!
Azure, the comprehensive cloud computing platform by Microsoft, offers a suite of services spanning computing, analytics, storage, and networking, providing businesses with the agility to innovate and scale. On the other hand, Exchange, a core component of Microsoft 365, is a robust email and collaboration platform, serving as the backbone for seamless communication and productivity.
It might seem like an extra headache, but backing up Azure and Exchange is crucial for safeguarding the unique aspects of these applications that transcend conventional data protection.
Azure, as the backbone of cloud-hosted innovations, houses bespoke applications and intellectual property critical to an organisation's digital footprint. Ensuring the backup of Azure resources goes beyond data security, preserving the investments made in custom solutions and proprietary code.
On the other hand, Exchange serves as the heartbeat of communication within Microsoft 365, hosting mission-critical emails, collaborative documents, and shared calendars. Backing up Exchange mailboxes is not just about preserving emails; it's a strategic move to guarantee uninterrupted workflows and preserve vital communication artefacts.
Moreover, both Azure and Exchange backups play a pivotal role in compliance, providing audit trails and supporting data governance efforts. As organisations navigate the complex landscape of cyber threats, these backups become a proactive defence mechanism, enabling swift recovery from security incidents and ensuring the resilience of business operations in the face of unforeseen events.
With high stakes and such a diverse range of back ups on offer, it can be difficult to know where or how to start when it comes to implementing a comprehensive data recovery strategy.
Whether you’re looking to make sure everything’s covered on site with on-premise backups or embracing the cloud with Azure and Exchange backups, we’re here to help implement the right combination for your digital peace of mind. At Proxar, we’re committed to safeguarding your data, so if the worst happens, your business is protected.
Get in contact today to learn more!