Have you protected your business' most valuable asset?

Ask many business owners to nominate their most important asset and chances are they won’t say buildings, equipment or stock – it will be data. We explain the importance of secure backups so that you can stay afloat, even if the unthinkable happens.

While offices, factories and vehicles can be insured and replaced, the loss of vital data can really hurt your business. With everything from customer records and accounting details to brochures and business plans now being stored in electronic form, ensuring this information is protected has never been more important.

The case for backup

There’s a saying in the technology industry that data is not truly safe unless it exists in more than one place. This is also true in business. Having a single copy of your vital information creates a sole point of failure. It just takes a hard drive crash, a stolen computer or a natural disaster and your critical data could be lost forever.

Despite this fact, an alarming number of businesses don’t perform regular data backups. Critical information is often stored on a single computer which is vulnerable to anything froma power surge to a spilled cup of coffee.

To make matters worse, individual staff members often store everything from PowerPoint presentations to customer information on their notebook computers. Without a backup, if these are lost or damaged, the data is gone. Setting up an all-inclusive and regular backup regime is as important as serving customers and paying suppliers.

Data security checklist

Desktops: Review all desktop PCs and make a list of all important files stored on each. Consider backing them up to an external hard drive or, via a network, to a centralised storage device.

Servers: As the workhorses of many businesses, computer servers become repositories for large volumes of data. Review each server in your business to determine what critical information they are storing. Consider installing extra hard drives to allow data to be “mirrored” (in other words, an exact copy). Then, if one drive fails, it can be replaced without data loss.

Notebooks: The ever-increasing size of notebook hard drives means they can store huge amounts of information. The trouble is many users don’t keep a copy of this information anywhere else. Check each laptop and ensure its user is regularly backing up its contents to either an external drive or to network storage.

Portable devices: With smartphones and tablets becoming increasingly popular among businesspeople, the tendency to store important data on them is also on the rise. Many phones have gigabytes of storage, so assessing what they contain is very important. Initiate a regular backup pattern for all users, so if their portable devices are then left in a taxi or dropped on the floor, that data won’t be lost.

Back up data automatically

Human nature being what it is, if a task can be put off... it usually is.

A solution is to automate the entire backup process, ensuring it happens at pre-set intervals with no need for any human intervention.

Most standard external hard drives come with automated backup software installed. It’s then simply a matter of telling the device which files on your computer you want it to back up and how often. Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices can automatically copy files from multiple devices across an office network, ensuring there’s always an extra copy safe in a central location if you need it.

Mobile devices can also be covered in this way. Software tools can be set to ensure they back up the device’s files each time it connects to the office network. That way the data is safe.

Help from T-Suite and MozyPro

Despite your best intentions,it’s easy to forget to back up important business files. One solution is to make use of an automatic backup service such as MozyPro®, available through Telstra’s Software as a Service (SaaS) offering, T-Suite.

MozyPro backs up data on PCs or servers over the internet to MozyPro’s secure data centre. There it is stored on enterprise-grade servers where it can be downloaded should the original files be lost or damaged.

Using MozyPro is simple. You just install a small piece of software on each device and then select the files you want backed up. You tell MozyPro how often you want these files backed up and when you want the backup to happen (for example, overnight or after a PC has been inactive for a set period of time).

Once this has been done, the software constantly scans for new files or any changes to existing files, adding them to the backup copies on the MozyPro secure servers. If needed, stored files can then be accessed and downloaded using a web browser.

Various pricing plans are available, allowing backup of PCs and servers from 5GB to 1TB of data.

Visit the Telstra website to see how MozyPro from T-Suite can help keep your business safe from data loss or call 1800 TSUITE (1800 878 483).

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