Friday, May 24, 2024

Why SMBs Need Data Backups

Every modern business deals with digital information. The only difference is to what extent. That’s why keeping critical data safe is vital for everyone. Big companies can afford specialized information security teams to keep corporate data safe. But what about SMBs? The choice of data security and protection measures isn’t as wide.

Even small companies have a set of reliable practices to address their data security concerns. Backup is among those practices. But what is a backup, and why should you care about it? Let’s find out.

Main Reason to Back Up Your Data

Backup is a copy of your data, used to recover it in case of an incident. Backup is a great way to prevent data loss no matter why it happened. Here are some of the most important things backups do.

Reducing the Negative Impact of User Error

Research shows that user error is the most common reason your data is lost―60% of data breaches experienced by businesses are related to user behavior. Carelessness can result in your data being overwritten, deleted, or leaked.

Apart from compromising important information directly, users can unknowingly cause a cyber attack by visiting unsafe websites, clicking phishing links, or installing dangerous apps.

Having regular backups will help you to restore your files that were lost during an incident.

Protection Against Ransomware

Ransomware is a virus that hackers use to lock your data to demand money. This type of malware is a significant threat for small businesses and big organizations alike. Ransomware is more common than you might have thought. New attacks happen every 11 seconds on average. Ransomware can be spread using phishing emails, corrupted SaaS applications, or through exploiting system vulnerabilities.

So why backup is a reliable way to protect your information? Without a backup, your files are encrypted by ransomware, and it’s extremely hard to decrypt them without paying hackers. But if your data is backed up, you can easily restore the pre-attack version of your files.

Addressing Compliance Needs

Laws and regulations like GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, and many others demand that the privacy of customer information is protected appropriately. To avoid fines and penalties, businesses must comply with these regulations. Data backup and recovery are often mentioned among other safeguards aimed at protecting sensitive data from loss or corruption.

Risky SaaS Apps

Risky apps are all SaaS apps that pose certain risks to data security, privacy, and business continuity. Potentially, any app can be risky because of bugs and vulnerabilities.

It’s critical to distinguish risky apps and fake apps. Risky apps are legitimate yet potentially dangerous. Fake apps are designed by cybercriminals to steal your data, so they definitely are hazardous. Both types can harm your company, so it’s reasonable to pay attention to app risk assessment.

What are the risks related to apps? Unsafe apps can expose your data to unauthorized users and, therefore, cause a compliance violation. Apart from that, there is a chance that hackers will use an app to infect your system with ransomware. To effectively face such risks, it is necessary to combine backup with app security practices like whitelisting.

Avoiding Limitations of Native SaaS Functionality

G Suite and Microsoft Office 365, collaboration and management environments often used by SMBs, are designed with high attention to data safety and availability. However, data loss still happens especially during complex tasks such as Tenant to Tenant Migration and SharePoint on Azure Migration. As mentioned above, user error is to blame.

Backup is a great way to reinforce G Suite/Office 365. Even if users accidentally cause data loss, having a backup will help you to restore your information to its original form.

Of course, backup is not a guarantee that users inside your organization won’t make mistakes. But backup will decreases the negative impact of user mistakes by adding another layer of protection to your data.

How to Choose a Backup?

There are two major approaches to data backup. Firstly, you can choose to store your data on-premise. In other words, using your own hardware to store your data. Basically, having an on-premise backup means that you copy your data to your hard drive or other computers within your local network. This approach will give you advanced customizability and autonomy.

However, managing an on-premise backup infrastructure may be costly if your dataflow is intense. Needless to say, that SMBs often don’t have sufficient resources (both financial and human) to manage on-premise backups.

Secondly, you can choose to back up your data to the cloud. A ready-to-use cloud backup infrastructure is much easier to set up and operate. This is especially important for businesses without an IT team. However, cloud backups may be somewhat slow as they depend on the quality of your Internet connection.

Overall, relying on cloud backup may be a better solution for SMBs, as cloud services are easiest to use. Here you can read about the best cloud backup solutions for small business environments. Long story short, while choosing a cloud backup you can look into native tools in G Suite/Microsoft 365 or consider a professional third-party software.

There are several options available for Microsoft Office 365 users to preserve their critical data. These options include:

  • Export/Import Wizard that will allow you to download files in PST format
  • Third-party cloud backup tools (for example, SpinBackup Microsoft 365 solution or Backupify’s Office 365 Backup & Recovery)
  • Archiving with eDiscovery
  • Using OneDrive for Business as a backup (though, technically, it’s not a backup)

G Suite users can use:

  • Google Vault, an eDiscovery and email archiving service within G Suite
  • Google Takeout
  • Third-party backup solutions for G Suite (SpinBackup, Acronis, Spanning)
  • Google Drive as a backup (though Google Drive is not a backup as well)

While choosing your backup, don’t forget to pay attention to such features and configurations as data retention, pricing, the ability to transfer data between user accounts, and anything else you’ll need to fit in your own unique workflow.

Teodora Torrendo
Teodora Torrendo
Teodora Torrendo is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.

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