Have a quick look at this quiz to see whether your business data is safe:
How often do you back up your critical data?
A. I seldom or never back up my data
B. I back up my data once every month
C. I back up my data weekly
D. I back up my data daily or even more often
How do you back up your data?
A. I don't back up my data
B. I back up to a USB device, a CD, a DVD, an external hard drive or another computer
C. I back up to an external cloud storage service like Dropbox
D. I back up to a reputable, reliable, fully supported, off-site, online cloud backup service
How secure is your backed up data?
A. What do you mean?
B. It's on my USB or hard drive and I look after it carefully
C. It's stored at a cloud storage service provider, but I cannot encrypt it
D. It's stored, compressed and encrypted and only I know the key to decrypt it
Can you get any help or support with regards to your backups?
A. I don't use backups, it's not necessary
B. I bought the device (USB, hard drive or CD) myself and no one can help me if something goes wrong
C. My cloud storage service provider is based in the USA (I think), and I can call them in their time zone or I can send a support request via email. I am sure they will respond as soon as they can.
D. I can call or submit an email ticket to a local online backup service provider or work with the dealer who provided me with the backup service and get quick, professional, instant service, even to the point where they will do a full health check on my backups for free.
How easy is it for you to restore your data when you really need it?
A. I don't have a backup so I will not be able to get my data back if I lose it
B. I will restore or will attempt to restore from my USB or external hard drive backup
C. I can restore it from my cloud storage, but it uses international bandwidth and takes forever and I get no support
D. I can restore it easily with the assistance of a fully trained support technician
Ok, so I guess you get the picture here:
If you scored mostly A's
You need to seriously think about your nonexistent backup strategy. Regardless of your data type, there will be time when you need to restore your data. If you are a business it is imperative that you back up your data to ensure business continuity when disaster strikes.
If you scored mostly B's and C's
At least you're backing up you data. However, the safety of your data is still at risk. Hard drives, flash drives and CDs are in theory great backup tools, but can break, get stolen or destroyed.
If you scored mostly C's and D's
You're backing up your data to an off-site location, which is critical and a great start.
If you scored mostly D's
You're a seriously well-organised business with a proper business continuity plan and you really understand the value of your business critical data.
In order to be sure that your data is securely backed up, it's important to understand the differences between cloud storage and cloud backup:
Cloud backup has one purpose and one purpose only: to back up data in whatever form - be it databases, documents or spreadsheets - that is critical to the ongoing function of a business or individual and to store that information on cloud-based servers with incremental backups occurring at least every day. The data is typically stored in an encrypted and compressed state and only the data owner knows the key to decompress and decrypt the data when restored. This is 100% safe, secure backup technology that no one can view without the owner's consent.
Cloud storage is where a person uses the storage facility in a cloud storage service provider to keep certain files. It could be many files and can be a large store, typically for accessing from multiple devices and for sharing of information with other connected people. With cloud storage a person will place files, for example Excel spreadsheets, from their PC or Mac in an online folder and grant another person or people access to this folder. It can also enable the owner of the file to view the file from their iPad or similar tablet. The files transferred to cloud storage are typically not encrypted by the owner and may or may not be stored in an encrypted and compressed state. These files are susceptible to being hacked and their privacy is not guaranteed.