Chances are, a majority of your small business’ vital information is maintained in an electronic format; stored, delivered, and managed entirely by information technologies. Because so much of this data is mission critical to a business’ success, can you afford not to have a backup solution in place?
Considering today's volatile Internet security threat landscape, you can never be too careful when it comes to protecting your business data. Without a backup of that data, you could lose valuable time and profit, if not your entire business. Many times, it is difficult for small businesses to recover from data loss. In fact, a statistic revealed by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that 93% of all companies that experience "significant data loss" are out of business within five years.
According to Michael Parker, Group Product Marketing Manager, Symantec, "data protection is a business need," and there are four important reasons for small businesses to implement a backup solution. These are:
- Protection of intellectual property: from accidental or deliberate destruction
- Legal issues: timely access to evidence such as emails and other documents if you need to protect or defend your business
- Compliance: to deal with regulatory issues such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA
- Time: including associated cost for recovery and lost productivity
New regulatory developments, such as Section 409 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, require businesses to disclose certain changes to financial information to the public in a timely manner. In addition, laws to deal with identity theft have been increasing. Based on information from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), ID theft cost American businesses approximately $48 billion in 2005.
In response to the growing criminal problem of identity theft, new legislation has been created. The Data Accountability and Trust Act approved by the House Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce requires “any entity that experiences a breach of security to notify all those in the United States whose information was acquired by an unauthorized person as a result of the breach.” In order to deal with these changes as well as to protect the business itself, you will need to implement an effective backup solution.
Traditionally, backups have been written to magnetic tape. This traditional method is not the most efficient method, and could lead to issues with:
- Backup windows: the amount of time it takes to do a backup. Using traditional backup methods, this could mean that data could not be accessed for hours as it was backed up to tape.
- Recovery time or restore time: the amount of time it takes to retrieve data from where it is backed up.
- File recovery: involves reconstructing or recovering files that have been damaged or deleted.
However, a newer technology known as disk-based backup is becoming increasingly popular. Disk-based backup is the copying of data to a technology known as ATA-based disk arrays, allowing for faster backups and restoration of lost data in comparison to the traditional tape backup method. Disk-based backup provides the benefit of continuous data protection (CDP). CDP increases reliability, eliminates backup windows, and faster restoring capabilities. Additionally, a backup system such as Symantec’s Backup Exec offers web-based file retrieval, offering a simple, easy-to-use solution for small businesses.
These features translate into significant benefits for many businesses. According to Jason Watson of Microsoft Corporation, “The Central Admin Server Option of Backup Exec 10 allows us to back up over 5,000 servers worldwide.” This backup solution also resulted in Microsoft reducing the number of tape drives by 75 percent, saving over $2 million.
Protecting your business’ information is important. Disk-based backup is a faster and easier option than older backup solutions. At a time when information is critical not only to your everyday business operations, but also to stay compliant with changes in the regulatory environment, it is advisable to take advantage of the latest backup technology available to small businesses.