Onsite, Continuous, and Cloud Backup. What’s the Difference?

As a small business owner, you understand the importance of backing up data. The problem is, you might be confused by all the terms floating around the Internet in relation to backing up data or simply not  take the time to back up your data. You also may have a few misconceptions about how difficult the task of backing up data can be. This should clear up some of the mysteries surrounding data backups.

Onsite Backup

Onsite backup is generally a process involving backing up data onto a physical hard copy. Some businesses use external hard drives while others use hard disks for the task. In order to be effective, you must perform these backups routinely–daily or more frequently if possible.

The major benefit of this type of onsite backup is that it’s inexpensive — especially when compared to other available options. However, there are a few negatives to consider as well. The major downside being that you have one copy of the backup. If it’s destroyed by wind, rain, fire, or flood, then all the data is lost.

Additionally, onsite backups of vulnerable to viruses since you’re backing up all the data — including the virus. Security is another major issue to consider with onsite backups. Not only is this information vulnerable to the elements but also to sticky fingers. Someone can easily backup a copy and take that copy, along with valuable customer and financial information, with them.

Continuous Backup

This is the most thorough type of backup available. It logs every change made to the data. More importantly, it keeps a copy of the current file as well as previous files. This means you can make mistakes and it can restore the data to a time period before the mistake is made.

Viruses, accidental deletions, and other issues are not nearly the same serious problems for businesses that have continuous backup as they are for those that do not. You can choose between continuous onsite backup or continuous cloud-based backup.

Cloud Backup

The huge benefit of cloud-based backups is the fact that the data is stored elsewhere. This means if your business burns to the ground, your information is safe and secure elsewhere. It means that if there is a massive hurricane headed your way, you can still access files remotely to keep your business going. It also means that employees, with the proper identifying login credentials, can easily gain access to information they need to work remotely on snow days, when they have sick children at home, or are traveling out of state to visit a client.

Virus protection is another big benefit to consider with cloud-based backups. The software detects viruses, flags the files, and does not copy them to the backup servers. More importantly, it notifies designated representatives of your business about the virus so you can deal with it on your end. The downside is the cost — especially when compared to the cost of onsite backups. Most services require a monthly or annual fee so keep this in mind as you compare your options.

No matter which backup method you choose, you need insurance to protect your organization. Business insurance can help protect your business if equipment is damaged, income is lost, or liability issues arise as a result of exposed data. Cyber liability insurance is an important protection for most businesses today that house or store information electronically.