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Never have I ever…backed up my data?

by on August 10, 2012

Private individuals don’t backup their data. Studies have shown it, people have admitted to it and still the loss of critical information continues as users keep assuming it just won’t happen to them. Some people have turned to the cloud, as these systems automatically update all the time, but there are constant problems with accessibility, hacking and other ownership concerns.

Businesses are equally guilty of this mentality. Creating disaster recovery plans is supposedly at the top of most corporate lists of things-to-do, but never quite makes it to the done pile.

Own your information

The cloud is tempting to consumers and businesses alike, but in order to use it, you have to lose it. Companies like Google offer free space up to a few gigabytes, and others will charge for large amounts of space, but these online providers then get to claim a portion of ownership in anything you create there. What’s more, you never know exactly where your information is being stored, which can make eDiscovery a bit sticky.

The New Jersey State League of Municipalities warns local businesses to be wary of cloud vendors for that very reason. It put out a list of guidelines and questions for companies to consider before partnering with a data storage provider, including subjects like whether the vendor uses backup tape or some other hosting for data, if files stored with them will be deleted after the contract ends and who actually owns what portion of these documents.

Start preparing now

Companies that carry the mentality that a disaster will never strike them are sadly mistaken. The likelihood of something going wrong, be it a malware attack, a natural disaster or some other disruption, is never outside the realm of possibility. Business Continuity Disaster Planning wrote that one-fifth of small businesses will have some sort of major disaster if they are in operation for five years or more.

What’s more, natural disasters happen all the time and everywhere in the world. Fires destroyed major data centers in India and Canada, Data Center Dynamics reported, causing outages and loss of business. Data Knowledge Center also pointed out that hurricanes have taken a toll on American businesses for the last couple of years, and with more tropical storms forming in the Gulf Coast, businesses in coastal regions should have plans in place to protect continuity. A sound disaster recovery plan would have crucial files stored offsite in more than one location, in case such an incident were to ruin one copy of corporate files.

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