Data Security-The need for online backup
Ever since computers first revolutionized the business world, the need for data security has been paramount. Businesses invest huge amounts of their resources in creating essential data including such items as plans for the future and their database of current customers and their past orders. The nightmare scenario of many businesses is having that data somehow wiped out. This means that data loss prevention has become a primary concern – one that preoccupies small and medium-sized businesses in particular, since these are the kinds of firms that may lack a comprehensive in-house IT department to take care of back-ups and data recovery.
The local hard drive solution
A common solution in decades past has been to create backups on hard media located on the company’s premises. While this does provide some level of convenience for the business, it also brings with it serious drawbacks that any CIO should carefully consider. When all backups are stored in the same building as the original data, the company is highly vulnerable should a fire or natural disaster occur. Duplicate data, after all, will do the company no good at all if it is destroyed contemporaneously with the sets it is supposed to be protecting.
The traveling hard drive solution
To guard against this, companies with an on-site backup mechanism sometimes take the precaution of sending a hard drive with backed-up files on it to an alternate location. This method still has drawbacks, however. The hard drive in question will be vulnerable to theft – and in a few high-profile cases, a hard drive containing reams of sensitive data was indeed stolen from a parked car. This method also meant that some data remained unprotected; files or database records that changed after the hard drive left the premises would not have an off-site backup until the procedure was repeated again. Some companies actually went through this hassle every day in an effort to protect themselves as fully as possible – yet each morning, vulnerabilities began to crop up again because files and records would be changed as employees pursued their daily workflow.
The online solution
The spread of internet technologies has provided an elegant solution to the need for off-site backups. Using online backup services, businesses can now electronically create duplicates of workflow on a continuous basis if needed. Those duplicates will be located “in the cloud” or on a remote server in an alternate location.
This approach naturally leads to enhanced disaster recovery scenarios, in which a company can completely restore its records and continue workflow from a branch office even if the main office has been rendered completely unusable due to a power disruption, natural disaster, or some other unforeseen set of events.