This past week Amazon AWS, one of the top 3 cloud service providers, had a major outage (read more about it HERE) and a lot of companies thought their data was safe and backed up because it was “in the cloud”. But in reality the cloud is just someone else’s computer whether it’s Amazon, Google, Dropbox, Apple, etc. The cloud is just a server that another company manages and leases out. This is why no matter where your data lies here at Wilson Technology Group we take backups very seriously and recommend them to everyone, however, we do not force our clients to have backups so if you opt out of having any and something happens you’re out of luck. A GOOD backup plan has several key things: Backups occurring regularly, multiple copies of your data, stored in multiple locations (geographically), monitored to make sure the backups are happening, and tested to make sure they can be restored in the event of a disaster.
When meeting with current and prospective clients I like to ask a couple of questions and you should consider these too.
– How important is your data?
– Would your business be able to keep running if you lost some or all of your data, and if so how long?
– How much money would your company lose in time and resources trying to rebuild lost financial data, customer lists, plans, designs, drawings, etc?
These are very important questions that every company needs to consider. 20 years ago companies still had paper copies of records and while they would lose productivity and time by re-entering all that information to rebuild they could at least recover from a computer failure or virus attack. But in this day and age your digital data is a valuable asset and it needs protecting more than ever. Gone are the days when everything on your computer was also stored on paper in a filing cabinet. Critical information that your business uses on a day to day basis is at risk whether it be from hackers, social engineers, ransomware, or even just hard drive or computer failure. And while you can protect yourself against hackers, ransomware, and viruses by utilizing anti-virus software, firewalls and other precautions no security or disaster recovery plan is complete without GOOD BACKUPS.
Some of the answers to the questions I posed earlier are often, “We have our data in the cloud so we don’t need backups. They handle all of that for us, aren’t they?”, “I just copy everything over to an external hard drive.”, or “Backups are just too expensive”. Sometimes having your data in the cloud can protect you from certain things, but if you read the fine print included on those screen where you check a box and accept the agreement, a lot of cloud providers do not guarantee that your data will not be lost. They protect themselves by stating that they only reimburse you for loss of service availability but that if anything happens to your data they are not responsible. And copying files over to an external hard drive is better than nothing, and yes for a small business, sometimes backups can seem expensive, but are you willing to take the chance of losing everything?
So think about your company and what would happen if you were hit with ransomware, a natural disaster, a server or computer failure, or even a freak accident. Would your company survive? How much money would you lose trying to recover instead of paying for good backups? We like to think of backups like insurance, you hope you never have to use it but you NEED to have it just in case. If your company does not have a backup plan, a disaster recovery plan, or a security plan in place give us call (704-249-3950) or shoot us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule an appointment for us to meet with you and go over what you currently have in place and how we can give you piece of mind that your business and it’s data is safe.