Every computer expert will tell you to backup early and often. However, sometimes there is insufficient space to backup and store all the data. Accidents happen and one loses data in a hard drive crash, which can be catastrophic when one is in the middle of a vital assignment. Sometimes your computer is stolen or the office burns down. We never really know what life has got in store for us, which is why data storage is crucial.
Cloud backup is the name for data and information being stored in a secure data centre via internet. These data centres could be in any remote location in the world. Cloud storage takes away some of the stress about storage away from the individual who no longer needs to overprotect the device in which the data is stored. With cloud backups, the data is protected from accidental or intentional damage. Several issues come into play when considering the use of cloud backups. It is important to know how the service works, its limitation and its effects on the running of your enterprise.
Protect Against Leaks:
Among the major concerns for most organisations is data security. Data protection is absolutely paramount for individuals and, in the case of businesses, data leaks can have very serious repercussions indeed. For example, leaked customer contacts from a database could spammed with unnecessary mails or credit information used for other forms of cyber crimes. Files should be heavily encrypted before leaving the onsite storage. Encryption should be at least 256 bit or higher. Always ensure the service provider states their security policy before you begin to consider engaging their services in storing your data.
Know Your Limits:
Most of the service providers limit the sizes of data they can store by price; so your storage allowance depends on how much you pay. When deciding your cloud backup plan, take into consideration the size of your data and the quantity that is generated at a particular period of time. Check whether your provider can increase the available space if needed and at what cost. Some providers will limit the size of individual files, so be wary of such restrictions especially if you store large files such as videos.
A few service providers will limit the amount of data that can be uploaded or downloaded at any given time. Most of them will not. However, it is vital to know their policy so as to avoid the risk of being unable to access your information as quickly as possible in cases of damage to onsite storage. Initial uploads sometimes take quite some time. This is partly due to bandwidth limitation and partly due to the size of uploading files.
Access All Areas?
Consider whether the service provider allows you to access your files from other computers other than your basic computer. Web enabled access is convenient as one can access their files from any internet enabled device by logging into the providers website. You could download that bill, spreadsheet or statement way from office or home. If you would like to have automatic file upgrades, check whether the provider has software that monitors file changes. Otherwise, you would be forced to manually back up your files.
Where none catastrophic data losses are involved, it is often easier to restore data from a local storage in comparison to a cloud backup, so it is worth remembering this when assessing your cloud backup requirement. Another thing to bear in mind, especially if you pay per gigabyte or monthly, is reduplication services. Reduplication minimises the amount of data being stored because where similar files exist, it indicates the specific location of the data, rather than performing a double backup of your data. Overall it is clear that, wherever possible, it is prudent to have an online backup solution in place. It might cost more but in the long term it could save your business.
This article on cloud backups was written on behalf of Securstore who offer many online backup solutions for businesses and individuals.