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Online backup for a small business

cloud backup solutions for small business

What are the main advantages of online backups for a small business?

Extra safe

Having an online backup for a small business mitigates the damage that could be caused by fires, floods, computer viruses, theft, etc. These incidents could ruin more traditional devices. If your computer is destroyed in a fire or flood, an online backup means that you will still be able to recover your data and won’t lose your valuable files.

Recovery is easier

The best online backup solutions are able to provide full data recovery whenever it is needed and in a very short time. This means that there will not be a significant disruption to your workflow if things go wrong.

Multiple versions

Manual data backups are generally unable to deal with versioning. This is because they tend to be taken at ‘absolute’ points, such as at midnight. However with online data backups, sequential copies of your data can be saved and catalogued, meaning that you can go back to specific previous versions if needed - even if they have only been minimally changed. This is particularly useful when working on data that is being changed or updated on a regular basis.

Sync your data on different devices

This means that the latest version of your file is always available, regardless of whether you are accessing it via your tablet or via your desktop computer. This boosts productivity and means no longer having to save different versions of the same file on each different device and being unsure which is the most up to date.

Saves money and time

Buying physical backup media can require significant initial outlay. These devices also need maintenance, upgrading, checking etc, which will take up valuable time.

Peace of mind

Knowing that your data is safe, backed up and easily retrievable removes a great deal of worry and pressure. It is hard to put a value on this peace of mind; however, for most people, it is worth a significant amount.

Any downsides?

This all sounds fantastic, so what’s the catch? Well, there are a couple of potential downsides: 

Initial backup/seeding data - this first full backup can be time-consuming and potentially disruptive to the workplace, as it will tend to need at least some downtime.

Size limitations - bandwidth can be an issue for some larger organisations, as full backups on an hourly basis require significant capacity. This is not much of an issue for smaller businesses.

Discontinuation of service - this is a potential issue if opting for smaller, lesser-known providers, as you need to be aware that they could pull the plug with little warning. This is not going to happen with the larger providers.
 

Cloud Storage for Charities - What are the Options?

cloud storage for charities

What do we mean by online cloud storage?

It is important that as service users, we understand what happens to our data when it is uploaded to the ‘cloud’. Cloud storage really means the usage of any company or organisation’s servers via the Internet. Companies such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and BT all offer data storage facilities either for free or for a small fee. Cloud storage can be used by individuals, organisations and anyone else with Internet access for that matter. What is important about cloud storage for charities, however, is that it must strike the balance between being cheap and yet also highly secure. So how do you strike that balance as a charity?

How do I know that my data is secure?

The main consideration for any charity is knowing where the data is being stored and how to access it at any given moment. Cloud storage for charitable organisations and any companies for that matter absolutely must be secure and rely heavily on the Internet. Do you have a reliable Internet connection? Can you access it from anywhere? How much access do you want to give your trustees and employees? Do you understand the GDPR regulations and know how to comply with them?

What are the other possible options?

As an organisation, it is important that you really think about how you want your data to be stored? What happens when your database gets bigger or you want a more sophisticated website or communication channel with your customers? You can choose one of the cheap and freely available tools but bear these considerations in mind. You can also choose to use a company who will provide their own hosting solutions for you; these third party companies will have to abide by security rules, must offer disaster recovery and backup options and must abide by GDPR data protection regulations. As you are a charity, many companies will be willing to offer these services at a reduced rate, and you would be paying for them to store your data in one place with technical expertise at hand. This also reduces the chances of your data being accessed insecurely by one of your trustees or employees.

What would you recommend?

Really, this all depends on the size of your charitable organisation and your levels of in-house expertise. If your data is not too sophisticated, then any of the offerings by Google, Microsoft, Amazon and so on are sufficient. The only downside to these is that you won’t have ready access to technical help and assistance if you run into problems. If you are looking to radically increase your market and interest in your charity, then you may wish to consider the use of a specialist cloud data storage company for peace of mind.
 

Safe Data Storage passes Cyber Essentials Plus !

 

As Safe Data Storage continues to grow, we like to keep up our reputation as being the safe and secure backup and recovery service that our customers know and love. That means we have to make sure our network is protected at all times from any potential threats that may arise. In that regard and as you may be aware, we acquired the Cyber Essentials certification.

By acquiring the Cyber Essentials certification, Safe Data Storage was able to show that we have all the required security controls in place to keep our systems protected. However, this certification only goes by our word and external scan. Whilst great to have, we wanted to be able to prove that we have all these controls in place and show our clients that we have secure systems for their data.

Therefore, we are proud to announce that we have acquired the Cyber Essentials PLUS certification! This certification has all the same requirements as the standard Cyber Essentials scheme, but the critical difference, is that we were required to have an independent assessment by a CREST approved auditor to make sure we have the five security controls in place. This assessment involved a vulnerability scan of our internal network, to check we had everything in place, which we are proud to say we have passed.

Cyber Essentials PLUS

The Cyber Essentials scheme is a cyber security standard, launched on 5th June 2014, which organisations can be assessed and certified against. There are two levels to this certification: Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus.

The scheme identifies the security controls that an organisation must have in place within their IT infrastructure in order to have confidence that they are addressing cyber security effectively and that their systems are protected from external and internal threats.

Since 1st October 2014, all suppliers must be compliant with the specified security controls and certified with Cyber Essentials if they’re considering bidding for government contracts which involve the handling of sensitive and personal information.

The scheme has five main technical security controls:

  • Boundary Firewalls and Internet Gateways
  • Secure Configuration
  • Access Control
  • Malware Protection
  • Patch Management

It provides organisations with the knowledge of how to implement these measures in their cyber security efforts, whilst also learning how they can improve their current systems if they are found not to be adequate.

 

Why Small Businesses Need Cloud Backup Solutions?

Backup for small business

There are lots of reasons why every small business owner should prioritise the use of cloud backup solutions to ensure their data is safe and secure.

As a small business owner, you will probably have many tasks vying for your attention. While data backup to the cloud might not be high on your agenda, it is probably one of the most crucial decisions you should make at the start of your business.

Why data security matters?

Surveys have found that almost half of small businesses in the UK do not have any robustly regulated security plans in place for their data, which puts them at risk of losing it in cases of theft, fraud or natural disaster. In light of the new regulations regarding data protection, all businesses now need to comply with ensuring their data is safe and secure.

Small businesses are vulnerable at the best of times with their limited budgets and resources. Many young enterprises fold in the first year of trading, so it makes sense that small businesses should do everything within their power to prevent this from happening. If data loss does occur, it is estimated that businesses spend around three per cent of their revenue attempting to deal with it, which can be fatal for many small companies.

Thinking about cloud backup solutions for small business operations should therefore be the priority for every owner.

Mobile devices

Many small businesses do not have the resources to have large in-house teams or even an IT department. The owner often manages most of the operations, with any staff perhaps working remotely or on the move. Many small businesses frequently use their mobile devices for storing company data, with almost one in four members of staff using at least one of their personal mobile devices to store business information.

Managing this is not easy. Staff might not have adequate or up-to-date security software in place on their mobile devices, or the devices could easily get lost, damaged or accessed by other people. For this reason, it is essential that small businesses that use mobile devices for their work backup their data in the cloud.

When you choose cloud backup solutions for small business services, having it backed up in the cloud can be a godsend if any data on a mobile device is lost, stolen or deleted. A service provider can also remotely delete the data on the device so that it does not fall into the wrong hands. In some cases, the device can even be tracked.

Using a mobile device can be advantageous for a small business owner. Where staff work remotely using such devices, having data stored and backed up in the cloud allows for synchronisation. This enables staff to access the most current version of the data.

No matter how small your business, it makes sense to use safe and secure cloud backup solutions for peace of mind if you handle any kind of data and to safeguard the survival and reputation of your business.

Hack of Disney’s Video Streaming Service Shows Need for Security

Keen to get into the video streaming market and take on incumbents like Netflix and Amazon, Disney launched its own high-profile solution earlier this month. However, a cyber attack which exposed personal details of users has highlighted the need for more stringent security and image backup services for popular platforms like this.

Ripe for the Picking

Known as Disney+, the service quickly gained traction with a large audience, gaining 10 million users in under a day following its arrival.

Such a grand launch was always going to be hit with some complications, if only due to the sheer volume of people who would be putting serious strain on the server infrastructure. Voices were raised about technical hiccups of this type quite quickly, but it took a little longer for a small but significant portion of subscribers to reveal that they had apparently been locked out of their accounts by malicious third parties.

Complaints that crooks were stealing log-in details, changing passwords and taking over legitimate accounts from innocent users were made public on social media. Furthermore, this issue was exacerbated because Disney+ did not have adequate customer service resources to deal with the flood of consternation.

Sold to the Highest Bidder

It seems that the attackers were able to exploit the confusion surrounding the launch of Disney+ to grab user information and then sell this to others.

There were claims that the affected customers had been targeted because they were using passwords for their new Disney+ account which had already been compromised in another context, although plenty of the users said that they had entered an entirely original password and still been hit.

Evidence from the forums frequented by hackers detailed by ZDNet in an investigation shows that the sale of private information allowing access to thousands of Disney+ accounts went live in under 24 hours following the launch.

Learning from Mistakes

Such data breaches should serve as an example to any other organisations which are looking to launch a new digital service and want to avoid the pitfalls that have been overlooked by other brands.

It is not merely a case of ensuring that customer information is properly protected but also taking steps to prevent other types of disruption, such as data loss, from impacting upon the functionality of fledgling platforms.

Image backup services can assist in the latter case, allowing for entire OS ecosystems to be securely stored in the cloud. When disaster strikes, restoring mission-critical data is a breeze.

It will be interesting to see how the hack of Disney+ was facilitated, because of course the entertainment titan will want to reassure customers that they can trust it with their private information. Even if one of its partner firms is to blame, it will still take some of the reputational damage. This should also be a lesson for businesses and individuals.

The ideal platform to secure your Business Data

The Ideal Platform To Secure Your Business Data

Data is increasingly the lifeblood of businesses, and the amount each business generates increases almost every day. Keeping this data safe and secure is essential and part of doing this is making sure it gets backed up properly.

In the past, this meant tapes or external discs. This was a chore and often got neglected; however, with the introduction of the cloud, life has become much easier. Safe Data Storage offers cloud backup for business that enables you to save data from all your desktop PCs, servers, virtual machines and more to your own private cloud.

Backup plan

Which ever solution you use, it is important to plan how your backups are going to work for you. Using the cloud means you can have a continuous backup regime whereby a file is updated in the cloud as soon as it is modified locally; nonetheless, you still need to identify your most critical systems to ensure they are protected.

These systems will be increasingly running in the cloud, so you need a solution that can cope. Safe Data Storage offers modules for popular platforms, including VMWare and Office 365, so that you can save your data wherever it originates. It also lets you backup from multiple machines, and to manage all this information in a dedicated portal. If you are struggling with a slow internet connection, there is a seeding service that enables you to start your backup with a local save. This is then transferred to the cloud.

Of course, you also need a recovery plan - a backup is useless if you can’t easily retrieve information when it is needed. You therefore need to have procedures in place to restore data; whether this is an entire server following a disc failure, or a single accidentally deleted file.

Safe and secure

Any cloud backup for business needs to be secure. If you have personal data, whether relating to your customers or your staff, you have a duty of care to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. Using a cloud provider for backup means you need to be confident that your data will be held safely.

In most cases, this means encryption, both at rest in the backup cloud and while in transmission. Safe Data Storage backup uses strong 448 Blowfish encryption. The data is sent over secure SSL connections, so it can’t be intercepted in transit.

You also need to think about how long you need to keep your data. There may be compliance requirements that compel you to keep data for a specific length of time, while other data may only be short-term. A good backup solution will enable you to determine how long the data is kept in each backup and to set different 
 

Moving from Mozy ?

moving-from-mozy

Back in March 2018, Carbonite acquired Mozy from DELL for $145m but despite the promises.....


“Carbonite is committed to supporting existing Mozy customers and partners. Therefore, Carbonite’s plan is to: 

  • Protect the data of existing Mozy customers and partners
  • Secure the investment that employees, customers and partners have made in Mozy
  • Enhance and expand the data protection capabilities of Mozy customers and partners through the Carbonite Data Protection Platform”

Source: Business Insider


A year later, partners and end users started to learn that the only upgrade path was to move to the Carbonite platform, re-upload all their data and to face uncertain costs after the first year’s initial term.  The reason for this is because the Mozy platform is to be switched off! So, with your backup program and data retention going EOL, what do you do? You can either move to the Carbonite service or take this opportunity to review the market and bring your data back to the UK.  

With the latter, you’d expect to have double the costs as you’d need to ensure that you had your 30, 60 or 90 days retention covered?  and if you’re a Reseller or an MSP using Mozy, then the financial impact of such a move or migration to another service could be monumental.


Safe Data Storage are offering 90 days free backups with as much storage as you need to manage your migration to us. You can then choose to pay monthly, quarterly or annually (where you get 2 months free). No obligation, no contracts, no payment information is required for the first 90 days, you can then choose to continue to use our services.


If you are worried about the first large uploads for the initial data backup, then take advantage of our free seeding service. We will send you a USB drive or NAS that will be large enough for your first backup, you then ship that to us and we will upload it directly to our UK storage for you. Once complete, the next backup will be a relatively small incremental. You can then start building your 90 days retention for free.


We include our UK “only” support throughout your free trial so that you have all of the help that you need to migrate smoothly.

Give us a call on 0800 029 7000, email hello@safedatastorage.co.uk or use the Contact Form

The Importance of Backing Up Your NAS

new-portal

There is a common misconception that if you have your business data stored on a NAS (Network Storage Device) instead of a PC then it’s safe and doesn’t need to be backed up. This is incorrect.

NAS’s are great devices for storing all of your information in one place and sharing it. Sometimes, they come with some hardware fault tolerance included due to the additional hard disks or software resilience in the device. However, they are still at risk of malicious internal or external attacks, users accidently or intentionally deleting data, device theft and acts of god such as flooding.

The reality is that you need to protect your corporate data from these risks, as the time and effort to recover the information can be costly. If you then factor in the lost business hours and the reputational damage that a system outage or data leak causes, the overall effect can be catastrophic.

This sharing or central data repository is generally the most common use of a NAS device and it is a very sensible way of managing data but it is imperative that you back it up to another off-site location. It is also important to have multiple versions or rollback points for your backups, this is caused retention. Retention policies differ depending on your business, you might only need to keep 30 days or retention or, if in the financial sector, you might have a regulatory requirement to keep up to 10 years of data.

Some businesses use a NAS to hold backups of their data as they think this is safe? This is also incorrect. 

NAS devices are a good way of sharing data and collaborating but should not be used for the 'only' backups that the company relies on. If you are using your NAS for your live data AND your backups, this is probably about the worst thing that you can do as a business and is very high risk.

 It’s recommended that the following guidelines are adhered to:

  1. Your data is backed up to at least three places
  2. You should have at least 30 days of retention (check your businesses obligation)
  3. Your live data and backup data should not be on the same device
  4. The only backup copy should not be on physical storage, as moving parts and can fail
  5. Your backup data location should be physically secure

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use a NAS, it just means that you should be careful about what you use this for. If you are going to use it for live data then you need to consider an off site backup solution and if you are going to use it for backups then you need to keep copies of this backup data off-site. We offer the ability to do both.

                                           

The recent insurgence of ransomware and crypolocker has meant that backups are now more important than ever and should be taken seriously. We have solutions that you can install directly onto your NAS* or you can install onto PC/Server that has access to it.

* Currently only QNAP and Synology

                                            

If you would like a chat about your current backup strategy, then call in on 01689 661030 or use the contact form and we will be pleased to help you.
 

Introducing our new Reseller Portal

new-portal

It’s here and ready to be used!

We have taken onboard all of your feedback over the years and have worked behind the scenes to upgrade our systems for you, we’ve re-developed our backend services and added a fresh new user interface. We are proud to present a fully encompassing, quick and detailed portal where you can keep track of tasks, in real time. Immerse yourself into a world of statistics, graphs and simple yet effective additions right at your finger tips.

Concerned with speed? We understand that time is a vital asset to your business and it shouldn’t be wasted through loading pages. Find what you need, when you need it, as often as you like. We’ve ensured a tight process, creating a seamless transition and so that it drastically reduces your management time. We’ve created complete unity through our multi-tiered portal, allowing the sole administrator the ability to create a matrix of resellers for both reseller and client accounts. Each of which will gain a custom panel to service their customers or for you to service yours and all of the statistics you need will be right in front you.

Each set of statistics are neatly summarised into graphical representations for your entire client base, at a glance, you’ll be up to date with a real time status report that is there to ensure your smooth operation. We’ve provided a few video tutorials, available on our YouTube Channel in its own dedicated series. They’ll run through the key aspects of the panel and the ability to filter such statistics like, error type, successful completion and overall number of running backups. 

Unlike before, there’s a quick search function…and we mean quick! This is coupled with a significant addition of a save search function, allowing you track your recent queries and monitor your progress through a particular task. Aiding task efficiency, permitting a direct find of what you’re looking for within a matter of minutes. 

                     

We’ve also given you the capability to directly edit the backup sets from within the portal with the exact same modification settings as you’re used to seeing on the client machines. Whether you’re on the go or simply switching between machines, you’re able to modify the set without a need to be there locally or via a streamed session. If you’d prefer a visual representation, click here

Another useful feature for keeping on top of problem backups sets through the personalisation of your own watchlist. Unsure if a particular backup set will be completed successfully? Want to provide a personalised service for a new customer? Add them to the watchlist and keep a close eye on them at a glance. The watchlist can be expanded into a more detailed list with specific reports. This can be viewed within our YouTube panel series here.

Prioritise such backup sets for each customer depending on the data importance and relevance to a successful completion. An accounts department may require a daily alert if a backup has incurred an error or become unsuccessful, as the potential loss could result in a failure to comply with relevant audits. Alternatively, certain machines might not be on and cause multiple reoccurring failures that are not to be concerned with. These priorities are expanded upon further on screen here. You now have the ability to remotely start a backup from the panel like you would from the local machine or you can create an entire backup set, selecting the specific data files and backing them up.

Finally, we’ve simplified the summary reports for those occasions where you may not have enough time to read through the attached log. It can become time consuming, so the simplified report summarises the key aspects of your larger attachment and will allow you to highlight any areas and cross reference these if necessary.

These are just a few of the many enhancements to our service, there are many more. If you’d like further information or interested in booking a remote walkthrough session with our support team, please contact us on 01689 661030 or support@safedatastorage.co.uk
 

How to Choose a Business Backup Solution Provider?

With more and more businesses recognising the benefits of backing up their data to ensure it is safe and complies with current data protection regulations, knowing which provider to choose for this task is becoming increasingly important. Here are some things to think about when you require a business backup solution in the UK.

Privacy and Security

When choosing a business backup solution in the UK, most people will be looking for a provider that offers robust privacy and security, so that their data is safe at all times. Not all solutions are created equally when it comes to privacy and security, so you need to ask all the right questions related to this. Look for providers who offer a two-step verification process when you login, to give that extra layer of security in case someone tries to access your data. Find out whether a provider offers a secure encryption process, and if your data is compromised by an unauthorised user, can you disable the login to prevent access to your data?

Backup Frequency

Backing up your data keeps it safe and secure, not just from theft but also in situations where you might lose data through fire, system malfunction or human error. In the event that a disaster recovery is required, businesses will want to have the confidence that the provider they use has the most up-to-date information backed up so nothing is lost. Surprisingly, this can vary when choosing a business backup solution in the UK, so make sure that you find a provider that offers automatic backup, preferably where you can customise it to suit your own requirements.

Downtime

It is important that you can access your backed up data when you need it, so choose a provider that offers high levels of accessibility. Inevitably, there is bound to be some downtime that providers need for essential maintenance to their services, but this should be kept to a minimum. Find out what level of downtime you can expect from a provider before you make any decisions.

Cost

There are variations in what you can expect to pay when choosing a backup solution provider, so give careful attention to this aspect. While you might not get the best services, quality and security if you opt for the very cheapest provider, by the same token, it might not be a cost-effective decision choosing the most expensive supplier if this is surplus to your needs. Think about what you want from a backup provider according to your business requirements, taking into consideration any changes to growth that may occur in the future. When choosing a provider, some offer unlimited storage options while others set prices according to gigabytes of storage. Work out which is better for you.

By spending time weighing up your options, this increases your chances of choosing the most appropriate business backup solution provider for you.
 

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