How to Back Up your Data

How can you protect company data and ensure that it doesn’t leak, get stolen or accidentally lost or damaged? How can you store, archive and back up your data?

Your company data is one of your most valuable business assets. You need to take specific measures to make sure that you both protect this asset and keep it accessible at all times. This involves setting up robust storage and backup security measures.

Storage and backup checklist

All kinds of accidental and non-accidental things can happen to data. Theft or leaks, for example, can see your data fall into the wrong hands and viruses can render it useless. Accidental problems such as a system failure or a simple file deletion can result in data loss. Emergencies such as a fire or a flood can destroy your data or cut off your access to it. Let’s look at the storage and backup solutions that might help:

Backup options

  • Memory sticks.

    This storage medium can be a suitable solution for very small backups where the data to be backed up is not large, complex or important.

  • CDs/DVDs.

    If you have a CD or DVD drive then you can use standard rewritable CDs or DVDs to record your data. This solution can handle larger individual backups but may not suit company-wide or business-critical backups.

  • External hard drives.

    External hard disks can store large quantities of data and they are small, lightweight and portable making them easy transport offsite. They connect to your PC using a USB cable.

  • Tape drives.

    If you have a lot of data to back up then you may need to invest in a tape drive. It is easy to store tapes offsite and to maintain a backup rotation. Tape drives offer the most robust solution as your business grows.

  • Online backups.

    It is also possible to use an online backup service. In this case, your data is backed up over the internet and stored offsite on the company’s servers.

Backup checklist

  • Choose professional equipment.

    The more valuable the data, the more important it is to use a professional and reliable backup system and do backups regularly.

  • Prioritise.

    Think about the data that you cannot afford to lose. Try to keep all your data in the same place to keep things simple. When you add a file server to your network, make sure that everybody stores their data on it rather than on their local hard disks.

  • Schedule.

    Decide how often you need to back up. Some businesses will back up data every day. Others will only run a full backup at the beginning week and only back up files that have changed during the rest of the week. This can speed up the process.

  • Run.

    Check your operating system to see if it allows you set automatic backups. Most systems will have a program in place that you can also set to run on a manual basis if this is necessary. Try a test run to check how the system works and then test the backup that you created to make sure that you can restore data.

  • Security.

    Avoid leaks and theft issues by ensuring that your backups are password protected and encrypted. If they fall into the wrong hands, the data will not be accessible without the password.

  • Copies.

    Decide how many backup copies you will store at any given time. Think about keeping a few generations of backup media. For example, you might keep four weeks’ worth of backups. This means that you can go back and restore older versions if required and it provides a degree of redundancy.

  • Archive.

    Think about periodically running an additional full backup to keep as an archive.

  • Storage.

    Do not keep your backups in the same place as the PC that they were taken from. Ideally, do not keep them in the same building, but store them offsite.

HP recommends

Designed for the small- and medium-sized business, the HP StorageWorks DAT 72 SCSI Tape Drive combines dependability with affordable cost. This backup solution perfectly meets the needs of small business users with its 72GB capacity and an impressive transfer rate of 23GB per hour, making every backup effective, quick and simple.

For larger data storage needs, the HP StorageWorks DAT 160 SAS Tape Drive can allow you to back up 160GB of data at a speed of 50GB an hour. If your business needs to back up high volumes of data or complex files such as videos, this could be the fastest and most cost-effective solution for your needs.

For more information

This business advice article published in association with HP. Find out more about HP Laptops, Tablets, Desktops, Printers & Servers

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