Was I having a nightmare? Was I just watching too many reruns of The Twilight Zone? Had I eaten a big meal before bed? No – it simply occurred to me that you might be relying on cheap, online backups for your data!
And if that data was erased, corrupted or destroyed, you might not ever get it back! The thought of that happening scared me half to death!
You see, your business network creates a lot of important data every day, which means you need regular backups to ensure that you always have access to this information. Many cloud storage services offer remote backup for low prices, but the promise of cheap backups is often too good to be true. Instead of getting the reliable storage you need to protect your business data, you may run into frustrating pitfalls. And THAT is what had me up in the middle of the night.
Here are a few nightmares you might run into in real life, if you’re using one of those cheap cloud backups:
Some cloud services claim to have unlimited storage. However, there’s always a limit to what a server can hold. Most cheap backup services don’t have the space that businesses need. This makes it impossible to secure all of your data. Getting more space incurs extra fees, and this could be a problem for small businesses with tight budgets.
Business networks can be extensive. Many cloud backup services only cover the data stored on one machine. This might work for companies that store all necessary data on a central server, but others may require a more extensive backup solution that covers multiple machines and handles larger amounts of information.
Running a backup can take a long time when you have a lot of files to copy. A cheap cloud service can’t offer the resources necessary to speed up this process. Many of them put a cap on the amount of bandwidth you get. This could lead to incomplete backups, especially for businesses that need to copy several dozen gigabytes of data every day.
Lack of Syncing and Versioning
One benefit of cloud storage and backup is the ability to sync the latest versions of files across all of your company’s devices. This service can be a lifesaver for businesses whose employees do a lot of remote work using smartphones or tablets. However, cheaper backup options don’t usually include syncing. They also don’t back up multiple versions of files. Versioning is necessary in the event that a current file becomes corrupted and an earlier version needs to be recovered.
Although data stored in the cloud can be accessed from anywhere, it’s written to physical servers that belong to the company that handles the backups. All hardware is subject to failure at some point. If this happens, you could lose all the data that you thought was safe. That’s why every backup plan needs to have a fail-safe. You should plan to have at least one storage option in addition to the cloud.
Business data includes sensitive information that requires encryption before being transmitted. This is true no matter what type of backup you use. Not every cheap cloud solution provides this level of security. Anyone can access information sent without initial encryption. This means that customer data and business transactions could be hacked during a routine backup. Data also needs to be encrypted once it’s on the server to prevent intrusion by hackers. Even then, there’s a chance that employees of the cloud service have access to the key that’s meant to provide this protection on the server end.
With all of these potential drawbacks to consider, cheap cloud service isn’t likely to be the best choice for your business backup needs. Fortunately, there are many other options that can be set up onsite to give you control over what happens to your data.
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