Looking For Offsite Backup Services? You Need To Read This First
If you don’t know by now that you should be backing up your data, then you’ve been living under a rock on the moon somewhere.
But here’s the deal.
There are a lot of offsite backup services options out there.
Entire lists are updated each year of the changes that current vendors have made to their cloud backup systems as well as updates for the new vendors that are coming on the scene.
Everyone wants a piece of the online backup business.
Because it has an attractive monthly recurring revenue model.
That, and once people put a large amount of data into an offsite backup service, they are reluctant to change services. So the customer retention rates are relatively high.
#1 – Backing Up Your Data Is Protecting Your Data
This should be self-explanatory, but there are a lot of people who don’t understand that data backup is part of a solid, overall cybersecurity strategy. It used to be that you backed up your data because there was a chance that your computers or your server could crash and you would lose all of that information. While that is still a very real possibility, the cybersecurity breach angle is much more likely today. Do you remember the stories on the news a while ago that talked about a global epidemic of ransomware? Ransomware is still a very serious concern. Every day businesses are targeted by criminals wanting to lock away the company’s data and demand a ransom for its safe return. If your business is a victim of ransomware, your backups are your best hope of recovery without paying the criminals and financing even worse criminal activity.
#2 Understand The Process
While there are major differences in process between the developers of hosted data backup, some basics remain pretty much standard.
- You choose some or all the data on your computers or servers to back up.
- Backed-up data is stored either on a local device and in the cloud or is sent directly to the cloud.
- Data is encrypted before transit to ensure security.
- Data is stored on a remote server.
- Data is duplicated and sent to another server in a different geographic area in case of a localized disaster in the primary server’s location.
- Data can be accessed on the server from nearly anywhere and from nearly any device.
#3 –The Difference Between a Business-Class Offsite Backup Service and Consumer-Level Cloud Data Backup.
Consumer-level cloud storage and file sharing options are out there by the dozen. Generally, they are intended for individuals to store and share files on the internet. However, they don’t have the business-class security, encryption, and complexity needed to perform well within a mid-size business environment. OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box are examples of cloud data store and share systems that have consumer-grade options. Usually, these options are free or very cheap to draw the consumer into a monthly payment situation.
Businesses, however, need more than just a place to store files in the cloud and an option to share those files with a friend via email or to upload them to social media. Businesses need file storage options that meet industry standards and depending on the business, legislative compliance. In addition, business-class online backup systems are configured to accept image-based backups that take in everything from the operating system in use and personal OS settings, to the applications and updates to those applications on each device. With this level of backup, an entire system can be restored instead of the individual data files.
#4 – Pricing Plans
All offsite backup options work on a monthly subscription format. Some give you the option of paying yearly – and getting a slight discount for doing so. Maybe the most important thing to consider when looking at price is not the price you will be paying today but the price that you will be paying when your data begins to grow within their backup solution. The truth is that we are using more and more data each day. That means that the average company’s data backup is going to continue to grow. What are their backup packages as your business scales? Do they get dramatically more expensive as you use up more and more room on their servers? Check now BEFORE you get in the situation of having so much data on their system that you get stuck paying high data backup prices.
#5 – What to Back Up
Not everything needs to be backed up. After all, you don’t want to be paying data storage fees for stuff that isn’t needed or wanted. So choosing an online backup service that doesn’t have granular controls may not be the best thing for your company – or your wallet. It’s important to partner with an IT services firm that provides IT consulting on data backup. An IT support professional can help you determine what needs to be backed up, how long it needs to be kept, and how often the backups need to occur.
#6 – Security
Security and privacy need to be high on the list. But be careful about promises that aren’t backed up by facts. Simply saying, “we’re the most secure” on a website doesn’t make the service secure. That brings us to the obvious question. How do you know whether an online backup option has the right level of security for your company? In truth, you don’t. That’s the scary part. Cybersecurity and data storage security are changing at an exponential rate. The technology that was secure five years ago is now woefully out of date. You need a cybersecurity advisor on your side to help you make these critical decisions for your business.
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