How to Choose the Right Data Backup and Recovery Services Provider
Whether you are running a small store or a large enterprise, data is at the heart of every business in this increasingly digitized world. According to Unitrends’ 2019 survey, 84% of organizations reported using the cloud to store data or backups, with 8% saying they will start using it in less than a year, and fewer than 10% of respondents saying that they have no plans to use cloud storage and data backup this year.
Data backup and recovery is incredibly important as businesses, both small and big, are facing the increasing threat of cyberattacks. According to Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report, 72% of breaches involved large business victims, while 28% involved small ones. In addition to this, companies have to face unplanned downtime due to technology failures and natural disasters.
To ensure the safety and continuity of your business, you need a reliable data backup and recovery services provider. You will need to take several factors into account when looking for a capable data backup and recovery expert.
Here are four tips that can help.
- Think about Data Security and Privacy First
Data security and privacy are the two most important things you will have to consider when choosing a cloud service provider. Although cloud backups are considerably more secure than conventional data backup methods, you have to look for a service provider with high-end protection and privacy measures.
It is not possible to access cloud-based data without authorization. What you need is a multifactor authentication process. Multifactor or two-factor verification, such as a secret code sent on your email and One-Time Password (OTP) delivered via text, adds an additional layer of security to your data. So, even if cyber criminals get access to or crack your password, they are unable to access your data as they can’t get the code/OTP.
Another important security-related feature is the data encryption. Your business data is for your eyes only. Neither your IT services provider nor any other unauthorized person or enterprise should be able to see it or make changes to it. Strong encryption makes it possible to keep your data safe from prying eyes.
The service provider should also have a contingency plan in place in case of a natural or manmade disaster. Data can get lost due to storms, floods, fires, as well as human errors. If that happens, the service provider should have additional data backups to ensure your business continuity.
As not all service providers will offer the same level of protection, make sure to do a little research of your own. Considering the above factors, you should find someone who offers the highest level of security and privacy.
- Check the Uptime Guarantee
Cloud-based applications and backups allow you to access your business data virtually from anywhere and at any time. However, if your data backup and recovery services keep failing due to the server or any other technical issues frequently, it defeats the very purpose of cloud computing.
Furthermore, unexpected downtime, no matter how short, can have far reaching consequences on your business. As your services and communications are cut off, you can lose your customers, leads, and new business opportunities to your competitors.
You need to make sure your service provider offers the best possible uptime. Uptime is the percentage of time a particular system like server or mainframe remains operational. Ideally, you would want a cloud service with 100% uptime. However, in reality, that’s not possible. Most vendors guarantee anywhere between 99% and 99.999% uptime guarantee.
Usually, high-end service providers, those offering 99.999% uptime guarantee, have pre-emptive features that ensure maximum uptime. For example, they often have state-of-the-art equipment, including servers, hardware, and HVAC systems to ensure 24/7 cloud availability. They also have multiple backups of your data, making it quickly available in case of an unexpected downtime.
Make sure to check these features when choosing your service provider. Of course, high-end IT services will cost you more money. However, if uptime is extremely crucial for your business, investing a few extra hundred dollars is usually worth it. For example, an e-commerce website is better off spending more on cloud backup and recovery as it can’t afford unexpected downtime.
- Do They Understand Regulatory Compliance?
Data privacy isn’t limited to your business alone. Your customers have the right to keep their personal information safe, and businesses are also legally required to keep it safe. Many countries and international organizations have come up with different laws and regulations to ensure strict data privacy.
For example, the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standard requires every enterprise or organization that stores, transmits, and processes credit card information to maintain a secure web environment.
In Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has created new strict regulations to protect customer data. These regulations require enterprises that collect data on citizens in the European Union (EU) to follow the new security and privacy standards, with noncompliance resulting in strict legal action.
You have to make sure your IT services provider complies with the necessary IT and data regulations depending on your business niche, geography, client location, and other factors. If your business data gets leaked or lost, whatever the reasons may be, your business will be hit hard. Many of your customers may not do business with you after a data breach.
- Ensure They Can Scale Quickly
Another important factor most businesses forget about is scalability. When investing in data backup and recovery services, you have to think long term. Your business may be in its infancy right now. However, it is going to grow, requiring you to expand your IT and computer network strategically, swiftly, and quickly.
When expanding your cloud-based applications and systems, you have to consider a variety of factors, such as increased cost, more server space, the number of employees and computers, and the increased volume of data.
Your service provider needs to have the infrastructure and the people who can help you scale up without any delay. It’s a plus if you can find a service provider that can proactively help you scale up your infrastructure as per your changing business needs.
Data makes it easier to increase the efficiency of your business and also grow your market reach. However, the same data is also exposed to a variety of online vulnerabilities including breaches, server failure, and human error. To avoid these issues or at least reduce the damage caused by them, you need to invest in robust and competent data backup and recovery services. Hopefully, these four tips will help you find an IT support provider that fits your business requirements.
Marco is the owner and founder of NetLogix, Inc. a Managed IT Security Services firm that has been helping small businesses by providing an innovative and unique blend of managed IT services throughout New England with expertise in Insurance, Legal, Medical & Professional Services. Learn more about Marco and NetLogix here.