One of the main trends that has emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent UK lockdowns is the increase in the number of online transactions. For many businesses, as well as customers, this is a new commercial landscape, with a new set of risks. From cyber-attacks and data breaches to hackers and viruses, as well as physical disasters, these businesses and their data are facing threats they have never had to face before.
The consequences of not addressing these risks can be catastrophic. Not only do these events compromise vital business data, but a systems hack or a data breach can seriously damage a company’s brand reputation, leading to a loss of customer trust. At the same time, a natural disaster such as a fire or flood can have equally damaging results. If the organisation has no data back-up plan, it could even make recovery virtually impossible.
This is why backing up and protecting data is a vital task at any time – even in the middle of a global pandemic. While some businesses have moved to online and cloud back-up, many organisations are still backing up their data on physical servers, on-site in their own premises. Of course, during a lockdown, this has posed some major challenges.
How effective are physical back-ups?
If a business is backing-up to physical servers, this can be a costly and time-consuming job. It needs human intervention – a fact highlighted during the recent lockdowns, when employees in many organisations needed to go into the business premises to change physical back-ups.
Depending on the amount of data that needs to be backed up, physical back-ups can take hours or even days. This has major implications if an organisation experiences a catastrophic event and needs to rely on the back-ups for business continuity. While systems can be recovered from a disk or a tape, there could be a long delay – days, or even weeks – before the business is up and running normally again.
In addition, many businesses are still keeping their back-up systems on the same premises as their main systems. This is almost self-defeating, as if, for example a catastrophic event such as a flood hit their premises, both systems would be in equal danger. This is why remote back-ups are essential to provide vital protection for the business.
The advantages of online back-ups
Online back-up is a quicker and far more secure way of guaranteeing business continuity in the event of a major breakdown, with little or no interruption to your business.
However, this speed and reliability does comes at a cost, so the potential cost of losing your organisation’s data needs to be balanced against the cost of backing it up to the cloud.
The potential risk of losing all your organisation’s data and having to rely on the back-ups to keep the business going should also be considered. Backing up to a disk or tape can take a long time and restoring the data from them can take just as long. Backing up data online not only has the obvious advantage of storing it away from business premises, but it also makes the whole process a lot quicker. For example, backing up 10TB of data to tape can take up to three weeks, while backing it up online might take around 20 minutes.
So, consistently backing up data to a cloud platform not only allows you to make any changes quickly, but if these back-ups are ever required, the business can be restored in no time.