We use a lot of data.
Currently, the world’s daily data output reaches about 2.5 quintillion bytes—with the U.S. accounting for 2,657,700 gigabytes every minute.
In just 60 seconds, there are 3,607,080 Google searches, 456,000 tweets sent, and Amazon rakes in $258,751.90 in sales, however not only is an unfathomably large amount of data produced and consumed every day, the percentage of digital data usage is continuously on the rise as well.
For businesses, data is the difference between thriving and fading away. Without it, companies can’t understand customer insights, determine their effectiveness, make budgetary decisions, correctly pay their employees, or perform day-to-day tasks.
Considering how critical data is to a business’s success, data loss can also lead to much more significant consequences such as operational shut downs and huge losses in revenue.
The Impact of Digital Data on Businesses
In the past data was stored on physical paperwork—but compared to digital files, paper records are slow and cumbersome.
Today most of our data is in a digital format and online, and this presents huge opportunities. Online data is easy to share, easy to clean up and organize, and it can be accessed from anywhere.
Unfortunately, keeping the majority of our data in a digital format means that we also become vulnerable to large-scale data loss, which can be crippling, and even life threatening for a company depending on the scale of the loss.
Data stored online is vulnerable to hackers looking to steal data or hold it for ransom—and once they enter a system and have access to the information stored within it, they can take everything quickly and quietly.
Data Loss: A (Preventable) Disaster
Since companies rely so heavily on their data and they store most of that data digitally or online in the cloud, it’s extremely important that a backup plan is in place in case of data corruption. Data stored electronically faces these threats:
How Your Data Can Be Compromised
- Mechanical malfunctions
- Physical damage (water damage, normal wear and tear, etc.)
- Device theft
- Accidental deletion
- Power Failure
- Natural Disasters (fires, floods, etc.)
While a few of these seem unlikely, some of these issues, like mechanical malfunctions, normal wear and tear, and accidental deletion, are quite common.
If you only have one copy of your data, you risk losing parts or all of it, leaving your company to scramble to find small and large-scale solutions that most likely won’t be able to sustain the company over time.
What Happens If Your Data Is Compromised
Losing data leads to many problems. From an operations standpoint it leads to loss of productivity. From a historical standpoint it means data that has been collected, analyzed, and perfected for years (possibly even decades) can be permanently gone.
Data you risk losing by not backing up your information regularly:
- Customer data
- Employee records
- General business data
- Historical records
- Legal documents
- Contracts and partner information
- Accounting information
How data loss affects company operations:
- Lost productivity and effectiveness
- Lost revenue
- Lost respect/reputation
- Lost customer service/support
- Lost partnerships
In addition to losing core business data, a lot of the data handled by companies contains sensitive information. Every company has to keep records on employees and has databases of customer information.
If this type of personal information gets compromised, companies face insurmountably large consequences.
Losing private data can lead to:
- Fines and penalties
- Class action lawsuits
- A tarnished reputation
How can you avoid these disastrous consequences? A thorough, comprehensive, and possibly even automated backup plan.
How to Properly Back Up Your Data
To avoid the crippling consequences of data loss, it is imperative that every company, no matter the size or scope, has some form of data backup.
Whether you need to only back up the most important parts of your company data, use a rotational backup service, or instead keep digital and paper backups—there are a million ways to back up data, and you can tailor your solution to your needs.
Data Backup Methods
- Physical Off-Site Storage: If your company mostly deals with paper files and records, physical storage would work best. To ensure your backups stay safe, store them at an off-site facility designed to safely store company records. These facilities have temperatures controls, security cameras, and possibly even 24-hour guards protecting your files.
- Cloud-Based Storage: If your data is primarily digital, cloud-based storage services will serve you well. These services are affordable, flexible, and secure. You can easily increase or decrease the amount of digital space you need and pay for, and as long as you make an effort with encryption, two-factor authentication, etc., cloud storage can be as safe as any other means of data backup.
- Backup Tapes: Backup tapes were primarily used in the past, but many companies still use this system to back up their information. Why? It’s extremely reliable and cost effective. Many tape storage facilities offer reliable tape vaulting and rotation services that allow you to easily stay up to date with your backups.
A few tips when backing up your data include:
- Always Store Backups Off Site: If your location experiences a fire or a break in and your backups are right next to your original data—they’re both toast. Storing backed up data off site ensures that it will be available when you need it, therefore serving its purpose.
- Back Up Your Data Regularly: If you only back up your data once a year it’s certainly better than nothing, however you can end up losing an entire year’s worth of work if your files are hacked or corrupted near the end of your backup cycle.
- Use a System That Works for Your Business: All companies are different—they have distinct goals and handle different types of information. Some companies can move large percentages of their files into off-site storage facilities while other organizations need regular access to their entire database. Know what you need, and find the solution that works.
Ready to Ensure the Safety of Your Business Data?
Record Nations partners with a nationwide network of data management professionals. If you need a better way to back up your data, we’ll help you find a local professional who can meet your needs for a fair price.
Call us at (866) 385-3706, fill out the form, or contact us directly using our live chat to get started. We look forward to helping keep your company records safe and organized.