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The Importance of Backups (and How Managed IT Helps)

managed ITTake a moment to think. When was the last time you backed up your server? If your computer died this minute, what would you lose? If you’re suddenly realizing that the last time you backed up your server was sometime last year or, even worse, you’re realizing that your entire business is on one never-been-backed-up hard drive, you need this article.

Backups protect your business and your livelihood from a range of problems. From cyberattacks to human error, frequent backups can get you out of some pretty scary situations. Managed IT services provide you with the opportunity for frequent backups, using a variety of different methods and a worry-free process. Combined, managed IT and backups can keep your business running through situations that would have otherwise left you high and dry.

Protect Yourself from Ransomware

At this point in the year, you’re almost guaranteed to have heard about a ransomware attack on the news. From our own Baltimore City to Texas, ransomware attacks have been shutting down organizations worldwide. In the event of a ransomware attack, your data will have been encrypted and inaccessible. All of your hard work, business records, financial data, and anything of value will be gone.

Without a backup copy, the only way to get your data back is to pay the ransom demanded. These fines average $13,000 with some costs going well up into the millions of dollars.  That’s not the only cost of a ransomware attack. The average length of an attack is 7.3 days. If you’re hit, you’re losing a week of business on top of that $13,000 fine. For example, the Baltimore City council had to approve $10 million in funds to help the stricken city recover from the ransomware attack.

Let’s look at the same scenario, but you have a very recent backup of your data. You’re hit with a ransomware attack. Your data is encrypted and inaccessible. The attackers are demanding $10,000 to get your data back. But, in this case, you get to say no. With the help of your managed IT provider, you wipe the infected hard drive, clear the infection, install the backup, and you’re back to business as usual.

The two scenarios come with two very different consequences—all just depending on whether or not you have your data backed up.

Secure Your Data from Human Error

The ransomware scenario is often considered when discussing backups and cyberattacks. But there’s another scenario that may not be quite so obvious as first. We’re all human. We all make mistakes. But spilling some milk at the dinner table has quite different consequences than accidentally deleting a file that contained months of work.

For example, you and your coworker are working on a proposal for a client. It’s a 6-month contract and you’ve just passed the halfway point. You’re using one file with all of the data that you need to create a successful project. You’ve just finished your work for the week with the data file and you send it back to your coworker. The next morning you come in and see an ominous email from your coworker.

“We need to talk.”

He had almost completed his work on the file when his computer glitched and shut down, wiping the hard drive and permanently deleting all of your hard work. You’re left without a backup and you’re forced to explain to the client why you need an extension on the contract. If you had only worked with your managed IT provider and duplicated your work onto a backup, you would be able to move forward with no issue.

Over the past decades, human error has cost business millions of dollars. It’s not a cheap mistake to make. When you work with your managed IT provider to establish frequent automatic backups, you’re protecting your business from mistakes and hardware glitches.

Managed IT Provides You with Backup Options

Every business is unique. What may work as a backup option for one company may not work for yours. When you work with a great managed IT provider, you can integrate customized backup options into your IT strategy. Backups come in many forms. Some are automated, some are not. What you need depends on your goals and the team you work with.

One extremely simple backup option is the USB drive. A flash drive is very easy to use and requires very little expertise or management. However, it does come with some downsides. Most USBs are not very secure and can be easily lost. They also require organizational skills, and files can be easily corrupted when the flash drive is inserted and ejected between different computers.

A more modern method is to back your server up to the cloud. While this is far less likely to be lost and is easily accessed from anywhere, there are still some security concerns. It’s a good idea to use the cloud as a duplicate backup, on top of another solution. Cloud storage does allow you to easily manage your data.

Remote backup solutions are often championed by managed IT providers. Each remote backup solution can vary greatly; Xecunet’s remote backup solution provides our customers with peace of mind. Complete with 2048-bit SSL management channel encryption and AES-256 data encryption in transit and at rest, you can rest assured that your data is safe and secure. IBAX Remote Backup services include bare-metal recovery to any platform, physical system backups, application support for Windows, Mac, Linux, and more.

If you’ve realized that your backup solution just isn’t cutting it, learn more about Xecunet’s remote backup service. We can provide you with the peace of mind that you deserve.