If they haven’t done so already, most organisations are looking at moving applications to the cloud. This has many advantages in terms of flexibility and cost. Google has become one of the big players in the cloud market thanks to its G Suite of office applications.
G Suite offers cloud access to email, storage, and a wide choice of applications for handling documents, spreadsheets and more. Of course, storing data in Google’s cloud means you can access it from other systems as and when needed. You may think that this does away with the need for a conventional backup, but to properly protect your data it’s important to have an active backup for G Suite as well.
It’s often said that there is no such thing as the cloud; there are only other people’s computers. Google is a big company and isn’t likely to disappear any time soon, but even so, you have to ask yourself how much you trust it with your data. You also have to look at how effective G Suite’s built-in facilities are. How easy would it be to get back a file that has been accidentally deleted for example?
At the end of the day the data is yours and it’s vital to your business, so it’s important to put your own backup arrangements in place to make sure you are protected and have the ability you need to get back files that have been deleted, damaged by ransomware and so on.
So, what should you be looking for in a backup solution? Just because data is in the cloud doesn’t mean that the things you need from a backup should be any different from if it was held locally. A key factor is that you should look to automate the process so that there is no possibility of backups being skipped due to human error.
You should aim for at least a daily backup; however, if you are generating large volumes of data, then saving them more often will ensure that you boost your chances of a quick recovery in the event of a problem.
A key part of any backup program is how good the recovery options are. You should make sure that it’s equally easy to get back whole systems or individual files. A good system will allow you the option of going back to different versions of the save so that you can get back to a version of a file before it was corrupted, for example.
As well as protecting your data, backups are also useful when you are migrating between systems. If you’ve only just started to use G Suite and are transferring you data across, you should start backing it up straight away. This ensures you can recover, should the migration process go awry without putting your data at risk.
Have you started to consider active backup for Office 365 in order to protect your data? More and more businesses are moving their systems to the cloud. It’s easy to understand the motivations for this - controlling costs is easier and you have the flexibility of being able to access your systems from anywhere there’s an internet connection.
However, one thing that often gets overlooked in the rush towards the cloud is the need for backups. Yes, of course, the cloud provider backs up its own systems, but this tends to be in its own interests rather than yours. So, for example, you may not be able to recover from an accidental error like deleting a file or from the actions of a rogue employee.
Reasons to backup
Data is an essential commodity for all businesses and protecting it is essential. Having an additional active backup for Office 365 means that you get added security and flexibility over and above the in-built features that Microsoft provides.
People inevitably make mistakes and it’s therefore important that you have the ability to get back files or emails that may have been accidentally deleted or overwritten. With an additional backup, you can be sure that your data is saved to a separate cloud location where it can be accessed by authorised staff if it needs to be.
Of course, you also need to guard against malicious activity, whether it’s from hackers or disgruntled employees. Again, the ability to have a separate, secure backup can be a lifesaver for the business.
A separate backup can also help when employees leave. If you deactivate their account, you will lose the ability to access any old emails from Microsoft’s system after 30 days. A separate backup solution ensures that you can keep archive data for as long as you want, meaning you can access it as needed.
Features to look for
What do you now need to look for when choosing an Office 365 backup solution? Firstly, you should ensure that your backup data is saved to a secure, private cloud. Your backup data should be encrypted so that it can’t be accessed if the data should fall into the wrong hands.
Secondly, you need to ensure that you can control the retention policy. Flexibility here is essential, as you may need to keep some data or messages for longer than others. In some industries, you may need to retain information for a fixed period for regulatory requirements, for example.
No one wants to think about having to restore from a backup, but it’s important that you do so. Make certain that you will be able to restore information directly back into Office 365. Also ensure that you have the ability to restore back to a particular point in time - this is important in recovering from a failure such as a ransomware attack.
Finally, make sure you understand the pricing structure and exactly what you’ll be paying for.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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.
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:
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.
The advantages of cloud data storage and cloud applications are increasingly appreciated, even by smaller companies; in fact, smaller companies often reap the greatest advantages because it enables them to pay for software only when they use it and storage space only when they need it.
What's more, it relieves businesses of some substantial risks and overheads. Keeping up with the burdens imposed by constantly evolving cyber-threats and constantly updating operating systems and software requires trained IT staff dedicated to housekeeping tasks. This either means paying for new manpower or diverting your existing talent.
Sadly, management often fails to appreciate the risks of overstretching its own IT resources. The wake-up call can be; a damaging cyber-exploit, a network crash, a data protection prosecution, document control chaos, or serious data loss. Losing your entire accounts and customer database because of hard disk failure or data corruption is probably the most fatal.
According to the Breach Level Index, forty-three percent of data loss is due to hardware failure, human error makes up 30%, software corruption is 12%, malware and theft is 12% and the remaining 3% is from unspecified causes.
We don’t need to tell you to backup
If the last time you did a backup was onto a floppy disk, you have a problem. Not only is it a miracle that you are still in business, but also it means that you won’t appreciate how hard it has become to create adequate backups that can be restored when the need arises.
This is not merely because the information you depend on has increased in quantity but also because all your office staff, field staff and business partners are constantly busy producing, sharing and amending it.
Cloud to cloud backup
Maintaining in-house data integrity is challenging, backing up can be taxing, but disaster recovery can be a nightmare. Keeping your key data resources in the cloud solves a lot of document control problems, but these problems increase exponentially if you can’t restore swiftly. Employees turn to local copies and post-it notes to keep things rolling and everyone working with the same client or on the same project soon has their own version.
Private cloud providers are specialists; they make cloud to cloud backups and cloud to cloud restores fast and simple. Data is secured by features you may not have access to in-house, such as 256-bit encryption. You will be able to specify your precise retention policies, easily comply with DPA and GDPR requirements, and integrate the service with your choice of resource sharing platforms, such as Dropbox, OneDrive, Amazon’s S3, Azure, Rackspace and OpenStack.
However you and your business work, storing and protecting information in the cloud is almost certainly cheaper than the cost of buying your own hardware and operating it safely.
Here at Safe Data Storage we are delighted to have been ranked as one of the best cloud storage providers in the UK for 2017 by a recent guide on a leading industry website.
Cloudwards released their ‘Best Online Backup UK Services for 2017′ guide earlier this month, and we are very proud to have been included in their top five recommendations for cloud backup services providers in the country.
The guide aims to inform readers about the best cloud storage options on the market in order to help them choose a service provider that best meets their needs.
Among the parts of our cloud backup services that Cloudwards praised were the fact that we offer a free trial, with no credit card details required, the speed with which information can be recovered, and how our backup software allows you to set what time is best for you for backups to occur.
They were also impressed with our excellent security protocols which allow us to provide secure data storage and put our customers’ minds at rest, and the fact that our software means backups can happen when your computer is not being actively used.
In addition, Cloudwards’ reviewers liked that our software can be used to provide secure data protection both for individual computers and full server systems.
We pride ourselves on offering the best cloud storage around, so it’s great to hear amazing reviews confirming this. Get in touch today to see how our online cloud backup can help your business protect its data, or take our free trial to experience our high-quality service for yourself.
Headquartered in Orpington, Greater London, Safe Data Storage have been providing secure cloud backups for businesses, educational institutions and charities since 2004. We have ISO 27001-accredited servers in London and Bournemouth and provide extensive, entirely UK-based technical support.
With Halloween just around the corner, we thought it was time for scariest type of surprise there is… data loss horror stories! We asked around the internet, in forums and on social media, for your worst data losses. Here’s what we found. Lock your doors and read on…
We all know that data losses can have just a particularly devastating effect on businesses as the amount of data involved is often much larger than with individuals’ data losses. For small, local businesses, a huge data loss can even threaten their entire business’ survival.
“Data loss was responsible for the first time I saw a grown man cry,” Twitter user Jon told us. “I was a service engineer and had to tell a small business owner that his hard drive was dead.
“He lost all his accounts data going back forever.”
“I’ve seen a business owner refuse to spend any money at all on a backup solution and lose 10+ years of data,” an IT professional and tech forum moderator told us. “And I see at least one post like that a week, if not more.”
Another user on a tech forum described a ‘sphincter-tightening experience’ in which he thought he had lost years’ worth of a client’s sales data after a computer malfunction. Luckily he had a backup, and was able to restore almost all of the data, only having to manually re-enter the last few months’ worth.
Many businesses have commercially sensitive data, such as information about their customers, products, or processes, that if lost and not backed up could have devastating effects for both company and customer. A significant data loss can set a business back by several years in its development.
“I had a 1TB external hard drive full of all my photos and other irreplaceable stuff and it got corrupted,” a Reddit user confessed to us. “I couldn’t recover everything so I lost all of my files.”
Your personal data can contain priceless memories that don’t exist anywhere else – meaning that without a backup, once they’re gone they’re gone forever. Is it worth taking that risk?
So, what can we learn from these horror stories? One thing is clear: ensuring you have a reliable backup of your data is absolutely essential in order to avoid risking your business’ survival or your school project. No wonder that, according to a recent survey by Advanced, a software company, four out of five business owners are considering using cloud backup data storage.
Make sure you don’t join the list of victims this Halloween…get in touch today to get your data safely backed up.