Whether a small business is preparing for natural disasters, or system shutdowns and malfunctions, protecting data is essential.
Not only do companies need to purchase small business insurance, completing the necessary steps to protect data is an important aspect of preparing for disasters.
1. Back up data using multiple methods – One of the best ways to protect small business data is using multiple backup options, including:
- External hard drives – Backing up data to an external device can help ensure that it isn’t damaged in the event of a disaster. Oftentimes, scheduled backups can be completed using external hard drives, which makes it easier to use than something that has to be done manually.
- Back up on the web – Another popular backup method that has been utilized is cloud-based storage. These can be used independently or in addition to external hard drives. Cloud databases allow a business to backup data offsite, which can be beneficial if their company network is targeted by hackers or damaged in a storm.
2. Automate backups – As previously stated, backing up small business data is essential when preparing for disasters, but if these backups aren’t automated, there is a chance all data won’t be backed up when a disaster hits. Automated backups can be completed on site using servers or external hard drives, but using a third party service is recommended, especially if a business is in a high-risk area for flooding, as these disasters can affect all on-site systems, even if they are backed up.
3. Virtualize servers – Many small businesses rely on servers to handle large amounts of data, but these are susceptible to damages in certain disasters such as floods. With that said, owners of these business might want to consider complete virtualization. While this doesn’t completely protect a company’s data, it can help in natural disasters. Further steps will need to be taken to prevent cyberattacks.
4. Protect mobile devices – With the emerging bring your own device trend, small businesses need to be proactive and protect mobile devices. Smartphones and other devices are handling an increasing amount of small business data, and without proper protections, this information could be lost or compromised. Small businesses should have their IT departments outline a specific security plan for mobile devices, so employees don’t complete and activities that could put data at risk. For the most part, these devices wont be at risk from natural disasters, but hackers are increasingly targeting smartphones and tablets.