Most businesses have entered the online world. They’ve seen its potential and taken their services online. It’s also opened up a new category of threats. Cyber-attacks from a reasonably skilled hacker can wipe out a business in a matter of hours. It’s essential you protect yourself against the worst case scenario.
According to Internet security awareness training firm KnowBe4, the losses attributable to cybercrime total US $113 billion. Take a moment to let that astounding number sink in.
For a small business, they need a way to go back to the past. They need data backups to restore anything that goes missing.
What are Data Backups?
A data backup is essentially a copy made of your entire database of information. It’s usually kept on an external hard-drive offline. Should anything go wrong, the business can simply take this hard-drive and re-upload everything. It’s a time-consuming measure, but it means they haven’t lost anything.
Where Do they Come From?
Anyone can make a data backup if they want to. All it requires is an external device to copy the data onto. It’s then a matter of taking your database and copying everything over to that device.
You can even store data backups on a computer in an offline capacity. We wouldn’t recommend this, though. If a hacker manages to break into your private network your backups will be under threat.
Many web hosts offer free backups for their clients’ websites. Users have a choice of automatically backing up their data. Some hosts will even create a separate backup every few hours.
Is it Expensive?
Backing up data is perhaps one of the cheapest IT expenses you’ll have. As already mentioned, many web hosts will backup online data free of charge. The only expense involved with storing data in an offline capacity is the cost of whatever device you intend on storing your information on.
The cloud is another low-cost option for storing data. It’s slightly more vulnerable due to the fact you’re still storing your data online, but many businesses prefer to use it as an extra layer of protection.
In short, the consequences are shocking. According to Forbes, 60% of small businesses that suffer a major cyber-attack won’t reopen their doors within six months. Most of them will simply disappear and not return again.
If you are able to get back on your feet, expect the road to be long and hard. You now have to perform a security audit to find out where things went wrong. After that, you have to reassure, and sometimes compensate, customers for losing any of their data. You also have to try to recover financial data for the time when you have to think about filing taxes.
Any responsible business will consider an online backup a matter of priority.