What about disaster recovery and ease of management? Everyone seems to be talking about bits and bytes. What amount of time does your staff or you yourself invest in backing up your information?
Backups are great start, but what is most important is the ability to efficiently restore lost or corrupted information. When was the last time you tested a restore? What solution process and/or disaster recovery options have you tested? If your server failed today, could you get replacement parts?
Perhaps the better place to begin is to figure out if you need to back up anything at all and the consequences of not doing anything. What happens when your information is all gone? How will your business operate? What happens when what you used to use breaks and is not available any longer?
Small and medium sized businesses are positioned for the perfect data storm; more data, at more value, with more risk and the least amount of budget to address the risk. Businesses are creating more data (information) than ever. The value of their data is increasing and at the same time there are greater risks of losing the data.
Small offices either at home or professional building are at particular risk. The least amount of resources and the greatest risk associated with loss.
Just because you utilize a Cloud provider does not mean that you can ignore data backups. Who owns the data? How much history and for how long will it be kept? What are their responsibilities and what are yours? What regulations are you responsible for? Is the cloud provider compliant to your industry? What audits do they undergo? Does the government have the right to inspect your data anytime they want? Do you understand the risks?
There is a significant difference between backups and online storage. Backups give you time window archives with the ability to go back in time to recover information. Online or Cloud storage is an offsite storage location. Unless specifically enabled or done manually only the current copy is available.
If you utilize a hosted or cloud solution, do you have redundant ways to access it? Do you know where it is physically located? Is it in your country or someplace else? Who else has access? Is it encrypted?
Which of these criteria apply and are most important to your data protection plan?
How secure are your workstations? Are they all at the same operating system and application level? How responsive are they and how productive are your employees? Are you concerned about your information leaving the building, remote users and who has access to your information? How easily could you upgrade all of your workstations? Are the workstations backed up and protected? How quickly could you prepare a workstation for a new employee or temporary personnel? Do you have a way to test system changes without impacting your running operations?