Where a small business uses a USB drive as a backup, in the majority of cases, the following methodology is used
The Information to be “backed up” is copied to the USB Drive daily. This results in the previous days “backup” being overwritten. This has the following negative implications
- The previous good data can be overwritten by data that has corruption or virus’s in it.
- The copy becomes a manual daily process which can get “skipped” if the “wheels fall off” in the office
- A “daily commitment” to manually backup becomes a “weekly commitment” and then a “monthly commitment”
What are the Risks of using USB drive for backups
USB drives get lost, stolen or reused
- The Backup USB disk is normally transported home, in the same Laptop bag as the Laptop being backed up. The Laptop bag gets stolen and both the Laptop, its information and its backup is lost.
- The consequence of this is that critical company information is now in a third party’s hands
- What is the implication from a POPI point of view.
The USB Drive get damaged / backups overwritten due to daily mishandling – We have seen the following
- USB Drive is dropped and damaged – Backups Lost
- The kids at home format it and write games / movies on it. – Backups Lost
- The USB Drive gets used to move data between machines and gets infected with virus’s – Backups Corrupted
- The USB Drive does not return to the office – No Backup today
- The USB Drive gets misplaced / reused over the annual holiday period – Backups Lost
In summary, if not part of a secure “point in time” backup systems, USB drives are a “false sense of security” when it comes to backups
The Correct way to use USB Drives or backups
A USB drive can certainly be used as part of a properly configured backup system and strategy, were the backup data is also written offsite and has “Point in Time” Restore capability. The GPBackups system has this capability which gives you the following advantage
- The Latest Backup can be restored from the USB Drive at LAN Speed. Data is stored in a compressed and encrypted state on the USB drive.
- Point in Time restores can be restored from Offsite across the internet. The Data is stored on the offsite backup servers in a compressed and encrypted state
Talk to us if you are currently backing up your system in a backup copy mode.
The vast majority of small businesses in South Africa, use a USB stick to back up their data. Invariably this memory stick is kept in the same bag as their Laptop. When the Laptop bag is stolen, all copies of your data is now lost. This can be a very traumatic experiences as you battle to recover the following types of data
- Your previous quotes issued in excel or word
- What your debtors owe you
- How much you still owe suppliers
- Agreements and email saved on the machine
- Works Schedules, employee information and salaries.
Over half of the small businesses who lose data, never fully manage to recover from it, suffering financial losses or going out of business.
If you have a backup copy in another location or are using a traditional backup program, you would recover your data once the Laptop is replaced.
To replace a Laptop may take up to 2 weeks from insurance company approval to replacement and the resetup of all the applications.
However, what happens when you are travelling and your laptop gets stolen. You are a long way from home with no IT Support or access to your office. This situation compounds the trauma of losing your Laptop and all the data on it.
The GPBackups Cloud backup service has a very interesting feature. You are able to logon (with the appropriate username and password) to the Cloud backup portal from any other workstation on the Internet, and download files from your latest backup to continue working on them using any other machine.
The GPBackups Cloud Backup Server enable you to restore to a point in time. In other words, you can restore from your last backup, last week’s backup or last month’s backup and any date in between.
Data is the lifeblood of a business and the negative effect of the loss of data is normally only appreciated by small business when data is actually lost.
The following are some of the reasons for backing up your companies data.
There are legal requirements on the length of time that data must be kept and to be able to be produced as required
South Africa Revenue Service.
SARS requires that financial records be kept for a minimum defined period and be available for inspection if required for tax audits etc. This includes your electronic and physical paper records. In the case of paper records that fade over time, for example till slips, a best practice is to scan the records to PDF documents.
There are specific legal requirements on the length of time that medical records are required to be kept, and be available to be reproduced as required by legal authorities.
In the case where a debtor has been handed over, your financial records in relation to the debtor will be required by debt collection agencies and the courts as part of the records to justify the debt recovery.
Where you have a loss of data due to a computer crash, data corruption or even the loss of your office, your ability to reproduce records as required above will be compromised, which may result in financial loss including possible legal action against yourself.
Where you use IT systems in the generation of your income, the loss of operational data, customer and suppliers data files will result in increased inefficiencies and the loss of Business Opportunities
Web, Graphic and Architectural Design Services etc
Designers utilise computer systems to create their clients products. In the case of a data loss, all data will have to be recreated which costs time, where reprints or reuse of previous designs are required.
General Business Management
The loss of Spreadsheets and Word Documents will have a negative effect on a company as previously agreed customer proposals and other data will not be available. This can result in the loss of business and inefficiencies
The Electronic Communication Act of 2002 treats an email as an electronic contract. The loss of emails will result in a loss of essential business communications between Customers, Suppliers and staff.
If you want to ensure that your important data is protected, get in touch with GPBackups today. We will design a specific package around your requirements, and ensure the best possible price and service! – Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org