Data is intangible but irreplaceable and, in 2008, a survey found that a single incident of data loss translated into a $10 000 cost to the business involved, says data and information storage giant Western Digital emerging markets, Middle East and Africa public relations head Daniel Mauehofer.
“Not properly backing up your data can result in data loss that can have a detrimental impact on business, leading to damage to your brand, loss of customer trust, possible civil or criminal penalties and shareholder lawsuits, beside others.
“Data is probably the single most valua-ble asset of your business,” he emphasises.
The question, then, is whether you can get your data back and how fast, he elaborates.
“The question is not if you will lose your data, but when you lose it. “Every computer component fails over time and having an effective data backup system in place is crucial to enable easy recovery from accidental deletion, intentional vandalism or cyber attacks,” notes Mauehofer.
Backup software should be used and external drives used to back up data locally.
“Use backup software to automate your backup. It is easy to make mistakes or omit something important when you are backing up manually. “A backup program creates a back-up copy of your data reliably and auto-matically, keeps logs and notifies you if any problems occur,” he explains.
He encourages businesses not to wait until data has been lost, but to ensure that an effective system is in place that auto-matically backs up the company’s data.
“There are a lot of affordable products out there for small office storage solu-tions for small, medium-sized and micro-enterprises. “Important is the security, remote access and centralised backup of all employees’ computers, easy administration and decent customer support,” he advises.
Further, companies should keep a number of copies in different locations, especially for critical data.
“Make sure that you have at least two copies of your most important files. Several backups on different devices and in different locations reduce your risk of complete data loss,” emphasises Mauehofer.
“Remember that moving important files from your computer to a hard drive is not backup but storage, so your files are still at risk of loss if things take a turn for the worse,” he warns.
Meanwhile, Mauehofer advises com-panies to test their backup systems by checking that the automatic backup soft-ware stores everything that is important and that such programs will log any problems they have in saving files.