Anyone that has ever lost data as a result of a lost or malfunctioning computer understands the importance of remote backups. The same applies to businesses. Unfortunately, people and businesses often do not fully grasp the importance of remote backups until they have experienced a catastrophic loss of data. Untrained, they do not recognize the signs that indicate a device, system, or network on the verge of a crash. Neither do they appreciate the value of their data until it has been wiped out for good. If they have taken extensive measures to secure their network, they may also mistake security with stability and view remote backups as a superfluous protection. A system costs x amount of money, they reason; so a backup system will mean that they have to pay 2x, doubling their costs for dubious and unguaranteed benefits.
For shortsighted and unambitious organizations these may seem like good reasons to avoid backing up their files. But for responsible businesses that think in the long-term, backing up files can seem like both a necessity and a smart investment. The benefits of a remote backup of an entire organization’s data goes beyond the simple advantage of never losing or unintentionally deleting information. 1) With most backup systems these days, the process of replicating data occurs automatically. The backup transpires without interrupting your normal business operations and cancels out any potential delays from manual backups and absentminded or irresponsible employees. Most backup systems can also prioritize bandwidth and computing resources, making sure that the backup process does not supersede or interfere with your normal processes and tasks. 2) A backup system allows an organization to retain documents and records for a long time. This makes it possible to be consistent as a business; to serve long-lasting customers; to identify long term trends; and to fix problems that have developed or become apparent over an extended period. 3) On a related note, today’s data compilation and analysis tools allow organizations to process huge amounts of archived information. So-called Big-Data tools can make on-the-fly calculations and projections based on information as old as thirty-year-old record and as new as a two-second-old draft document. 4) Backing up and archiving your data reinforces to your customers and to yourself that you have long-term ambitions.
Some businesses have already had the choice of backing up or not backing up their information made on their behalf. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requires healthcare organizations to maintain secure backups or patient records for lengthy periods of time; the Sarbanes-Oxley Act demands that financial companies do the same. Many other industries have similar data backup requirements in place or in the works.
The severity of the consequences of the permanent loss of data also compels organizations to remotely back up their data. Data loss can result in financial penalties, decreased productivity, and loss of customers. In some cases the losses can be severe enough to destroy a business. Here are a few high profile incidents of data loss:
-The archives and data of the Credit Lyonnais bank in France were destroyed in a fire. The bank had no off-site backup storage.
-Hundreds of thousands of email accounts of an ISP in Norway were affected when the company’s email server crashed. The ISP had not backed up the data of the email accounts for the last 2-3 weeks.
-A software bug deleted the accounts of a small percentage (.02%) of Gmail users. Google eventually succeeded in restoring those accounts using data from its backup archives, however.
IronOrbit provides full-scale backups and business continuity and disaster recovery planning for all its IT solutions and services. We staff our geographically-separated data facilities with backup management and disaster recovery experts. For each solution and system we perform daily off-site backups and weekly server snapshots. IronOrbit has 15 years’ experience building custom HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley-compliant IT infrastructures for clients in the health, financial, and other industries. Best of all, we package backup systems and services with our IT solutions for no extra charge. For a low, flat monthly fee, IronOrbit can assure you of the long-term safety and security of your data.