Data Backups and Off-Site Replication: IT Insurance for Your Business

Posted by Ryan Wroblewski on May 15, 2017 at 10:19 AM

No one likes talking about backups. No one is going to bring up the topic of “off-site replication” at the next bonfire. Small businesses often don’t see the need to spend money to ensure that their vital data is backed up. After all, you just bought new hardware last year. Why would it fail? Sending data off-site? Why would I pay for that when it is perfectly secure here? 

 Unfortunately, bad things sometimes happen to good people. Whenever a fire, flood, user error, hardware failure, crime, or anything else occurs, it can absolutely cripple your day-to-day business functions. It’s the same reason why most of us carry insurance, and investing in a rock-solid backup solution is no different. Having a reliable restoration solution can save you time, money, and Advil when the worst happens.

You might've heard about the most recent Ransomware attack. Not surprisingly, cyber-crime has been continually on the rise since the inception of the Internet. Estimates on the cost of damage done to businesses range from $400-500 billion yearly. Even IBM’s own CEO believes that “cyber-crime is the greatest threat to every company in the world." Even though cyber-crime is increasingly common, human error represents 58% of downtime in the business world, while natural disaster represents 10% of downtime. Beyond that, 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more filed for bankruptcy. Of those, 51% close within two years, and 43% never reopen. The average cost of downtime per hour will vary, but 98% of organizations say a single hour of downtime will cost them over $100,000.

When server hardware fails, it does not take long for people to notice. As soon as the emails stop sending and arriving, panic mode sets in. Thanks to sound backups, we’re able to revive the server; sometimes within an hour. If the server can’t be revived physically, we can use another server to run the (dead) server virtually using the last backup taken. So downtime is kept to a minimum, and the flow of business can continue.

Recently, we've had small businesses reach out to us in need of assistance because of their servers being CryptoLocker’d. Often, they didn’t have a backup solution in place, and unless there’s a publicly available key to remove the lock, there isn’t anything that can be done besides paying the ransom. With a backup solution in place, the server can be restored to an earlier point in time (before it was infected), and business can continue. Viruses can also infect other servers on the network, so the machine it originated from is often not the only machine it infects. This is why off-site replication is very important. If the folder that stores the backups becomes infected, your only hope to restore your server is gone. We send all backups to our secure off-site server, so there are at least two copies of the data. We might have to drive/send the data over to restore, but that’s better than losing everything (or paying through the nose for it, which isn’t even guaranteed to work).

We have used Storagecraft products for years now and have become very comfortable with them. They are fast, reliable, and they offer peace of mind for our customers and us. We have been able to restore lost folders, restore Exchange databases, and restore complete servers at a surprisingly quick pace using Storagecraft’s products. 

Still not sure if you need data backups? Send us a note to learn more about how off-site redundancies can help protect your business from downtime.

Topics: Information Technology, Network Security, Business Technology

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