Reasons why your business needs professional data backup from TNTMAX: IT Consulting New Jersey
Losing digital data is like a rite of passage everyone experiences at some point. Whether it’s an essay stored on a USB that becomes corrupted the night before submission, or busy toddler fingers deleting your vacation photos from your phone.
The moment you realize your data is lost forever, you feel everything from frustration to fury, while hearing “You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone…” on repeat in your mind.
A simple data backup would ensure that an accidental loss is simply a momentary inconvenience, rather than a major problem.
Sure, the Cloud auto-synch feature for your iPhone photos takes care of that for you, but what about your business data?
For businesses, the consequences of data loss can be severe. A 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report by Verizon stated that an organization could incur a cost over $18,000 from losing fewer than 100 files.
There’s good news for Garden State businesses. If your business is in New Jersey, you can get professional data backup services from TNTMAX: IT Consulting New Jersey.
What is your business data worth?
Over the years, an organization accumulates data that represents its business activities, such as employee data, a customer database, financial records, manufacturing data, business plans, contracts, and so much more. If your data goes back a few years (as it should), assembling your database meant manual entry and a serious expenditure of time and resources.
We identified 3 questions business stakeholders should ask to qualify the value of their data from a Gartner 2012 IT budget report:
- How much would it cost to replace?
- How much does it contribute to your organization’s bottom line?
- Could you earn revenue by renting or selling it?
For instance, a recorded purchase by a customer means a lot more when viewed in terms of the anticipated revenue that customer might bring into the business in the future. Having such information should affect the way a thriving business interacts with the customer. Consider the value of:
- Production data: can be used to diagnose an incident, identify product quality issues, pinpoint bottlenecks or where errors occur.
- Employee data: can speed up the identification of the best candidates for a role when viewed through the lens of performance review histories.
- Financial data: assist with planning, budgeting, and forecasting. Also, expenditure and procurement decisions can be optimized to serve the company best when historical trends are analyzed. Mergers or company acquisitions rely on such information.
- Sales and demographic data: provide insights into buying patterns and customer demands that help decide on product positioning and expansion into new product lines.
Imagine all this intelligence lost due to a data loss disaster – data that can give a business its competitive advantage when the value is extracted. The fact that 98% of businesses still do not back up their data daily likely means stakeholders are unclear about what constitutes a comprehensive backup strategy and not because they hate making a profit.
Furthermore, many industries are regulated with requirements to retain data for extended periods, e.g., healthcare. Losing that data may put you in a legal bind, not just an economic one.
How a business can lose its data
- Human error
Confirming the removal of a file from a system might only require a click. If it is the wrong file, however, that simple action effectively wipes out critical data and renders hours of work to zero. Call it stress or distraction, it happens. Another typical scenario is when a team member attempts to reformat a hard drive or adjust a computer’s settings and misunderstands the error messages and prompts. Reformats are best left to professionals, such as those from TNTMAX. Utilizing professionals who are experienced in IT consulting, New Jersey businesses can rest assured that before any changes are made, a sound backup of the database is made.
Despite efforts educating people about the risks of drinking beverages close to computer systems, it is hard for some to say no to a cup of coffee while they work. It’s convenient, it perks the drinker up until an accidental shove spills it and destroys a laptop. So much for multitasking.
Human negligence and workplace accidents happen. Just ask the folks who never thought to clear out dust and lint from behind their tower, sparking a fire that destroyed their work station.
There is always a risk of theft of laptops, storage devices, and other hardware. The resulting loss is two-fold, the expensive electronics and the valuable data. Sometimes, the data’s value is more expensive. Computers can be replaced, but hours of labor are hard to forget.
- Physical damage
Hard drives and flash memory sticks do fail eventually, even when used with the utmost care. They are electronics, after all. Throw in a mechanical error, or a data writing error to the mix and these storage devices remind us that they are not fail-safe.
- Malware and ransomware
Many employees still fall victim to phishing emails and will click on a link that opens the door for viruses that can wipe away your data. Ransomware encrypts data, locking down entire networks until a ransom is paid to hackers who are close to impossible to trace. (Learn more about these types of data breaches and how to avoid them here.)
- Malicious insiders
With the right amount of access, an unauthorized person can delete data maliciously. Inventory records, financial data, even employee data can be tampered with to paint an untrue picture with incorrect information. The negative repercussions are numerous. Don’t put it past a disgruntled employee to seek revenge by fiddling with your data entry.
- Natural disaster/physical emergency
While grand scale earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis are undesirable events to hope against, they still happen. What about emergency situations like regional fire outbreaks or massive flooding after rains? They too are beyond your control. These events can destroy brick and mortar structures together with the entire physical IT infrastructure of a company.
After the devastation, when people try to move forward and rebuild, starting from scratch without the necessary data can become an insurmountable obstacle for businesses without a backup. Although data recovery from damaged drives is possible, it can be expensive. Even so, there’s no guarantee that all data, down to the last detail will be recovered. More than 40% of businesses never recover from a disaster – part of that is largely due to the overwhelming expense of re-generating data and systems that weren’t backed up and stored safely.
TNTMAX prevents clients from joining this statistic by creating an in-depth disaster recovery plan. Listening to your specific IT needs, we devise a detailed disaster blueprint that allows you to relax—even during temporary system failures. From running routine data recovery tests to creating an effective data backup system, we give you proactive recovery solutions. If your New Jersey business is in need of IT management and data backup services, TNTMAX IT consulting NJ has you covered.
What type of data backup do you need?
Your business has unique needs, and you will need to decide whether to backup only critical data or save everything possible. To help your decision, your answer to this hypothetical question should give you the first clue: if all your infrastructure is destroyed and all your data is lost, what would you need to start your business going immediately?
There are two levels of backup protection: file level and image level.
Backing up data on a file-by-file basis is simple and straightforward. However, data recovery can be a painful and time-consuming process for data-rich businesses during which you readjust, recreate and reconfigure various settings to match what they were before the data loss.
With disk imaging, everything on server hard drives and important desktops is backed up. When disaster strikes, recovery involves restoring the backup image on the hard drive/computer and obtaining all previous settings and configurations.
Let TNTMAX help you decide on what level of protection best suits your needs and outcomes. We provide this type of IT consulting for New Jersey businesses.
Data backup parameters
How often you need to backup generated data and the ease of retrieving it when needed are important decisions defined by the following parameters:
Recovery Point objective, RPO:
This is the longest duration of time that will pass between backups. Any data generated after the most recent backup and before this duration is over will not be retrievable if a data loss incident occurs in that time. Simply put, a shorter RPO means more backups in a given period and less data loss potential. However, it translates to a more substantial storage capacity requirement. An RPO of 24 h can be more than sufficient for small-scale businesses that are not data intensive.
Recovery time objective, RTO:
This defines how fast you can recover backed up data to return the business to normal operation after a data loss event. A shorter RTO requires quick storage access, correct indexing of files and fast connectivity, which is generally a more expensive feature compared to longer RTOs. A few hours to half a day are common.
A comprehensive data backup strategy
A widely adopted industry guideline is the 3-2-1 backup strategy. You are advised to have three complete backup copies of your business data, store your data in at least two different formats (e.g., hard drives and cloud) and to ensure at least one copy is in a different location entirely from where your business (IT infrastructure) is physically located. This way, a statewide disaster like flooding from our regular hurricanes will not destroy both your onsite backups and your offsite one.
Local and network backups
Local backups are an essential defense against data loss because the data can be retrieved quickly. Simply store copies of critical files on hard drives, external drives, and other storage devices. You can acquire more storage space as your data increases.
Secure copies of your business data remotely in offsite servers through an internet connection and access your information when needed. If you employ the services of a reputable service provider, cloud backup provides an added layer of security against theft, vandalism, physical disasters, (assuming the remote location is unharmed), and cyber-attacks.
Talk to TNTMAX about the security of your cloud backup service.
Difference between cloud backup and online file storage (sync storage)
It’s important to address a common misconception that online file storage equates to having cloud backup. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox are examples of online storage. They offer convenience in their ability to sync files between multiple devices and providing access wherever and whenever needed. Indeed, backup copies of your files are made, they are not true backup services. A limited number of file versions are created, and backup schedules cannot be automated (RTO). It is possible to overwrite a file with incorrect information and be unable to revert to the correct version because synchronization happened across all devices while you worked.
A disadvantage of cloud backup systems is the need for an internet connection (problematic after large scale physical disasters), and depending on speed, recovery could become a time-consuming process. Unlimited data storage for your expanding data needs is available, you’ll just have to pay for it.
Encryption of in-transit data
An effective backup strategy ensures that your data is encrypted so it cannot be intercepted while in transit.
How disastrous would it be to rely on backed up data only to discover failed file transfers and corrupt data when you need to recover it? The integrity of your backup systems should be tested by performing the actual recovery process to alternate servers or devices and identify any possible or existing issues.
Why use a professional data backup service?
Providing a comprehensive data backup for your business requires the attention of a devoted IT staff to ensure your data is safe and your business’s competitive advantage is preserved.
TNTMAX offers most customized IT consulting services for clients of different business sizes to help them solve their unique data protection needs. We assess your current setup, provide up-to-date industry advice, and, from there, create a backup strategy paired with an effective data recovery plan. At the end of the workday, lock up the office knowing that your data is safe and secure. So if you’re doing business in NJ or the NYC area, contact TNTMAX IT consulting New Jersey for a comprehensive IT strategy to protect your data and keep your business running smoothly.