Data is an extremely valuable asset in any industry. It gives organizations the ability to analyze market trends, create financial forecasts, and plan for the future. It’s so crucial to running a successful business that regularly saving their files is something your employees should have ingrained in their day-to-day operations.

Data loss

Disaster can strike any minute. Fires, floods or power outages can cause irreparable damage to servers, employees can accidentally delete or alter files, computers can suddenly crash, and there’s always a possibility that someone could steal data-bearing CPUs, servers, and USB drives.

The increasing volume of cyberattacks and hackers also puts company data at risk. For instance, ransomware locks down computers and holds company data hostage until a ransom is paid in Bitcoins. Other types of malware like Shamoon can even wipe out entire systems and the data they host.

Bottom line: If your data isn’t backed up properly, it would take a massive amount of time and resources to restore it, assuming that files are recoverable in the first place.

Utilize autosave

Every five minutes. That’s how often you should be saving and backing up your work. But unless you have an alarm to remind you to press the save button every five minutes, manually saving can get overlooked.

Fortunately, many offline and cloud-based applications today come equipped with an autosave feature to minimize data loss from system failure. Office 365, for example, will automatically save and record changes to the document, allowing you to go back to previous versions of the file.

Microsoft Office users can enable the autosave feature by clicking Save, selecting Save AutoRecover information every X minutes, and specifying how often you want the application to save.

Back up your business

Apart from frequently saving, keeping backup copies of your most important files in separate locations is key to business continuity. While external hard drives are easy-to-use backup tools, they’re insecure, can get misplaced or stolen, and should be used only as a temporary backup strategy. In a similar vein, traditional tape backups will require manual maintenance and are just as susceptible to localized disasters.

Instead, you should store your applications and data in a safe, professionally-managed off-site server. That’s what you get when you entrust your IT assets to a cloud backup provider, which will replicate your files across multiple data centers so you have redundant backups ready.

Another benefit of cloud backups is that they’re accessible from any internet-enabled device. This means you can retrieve copies of business data within minutes after on-premise workstations fail. Even recovering from ransomware attacks is as straightforward as calling your managed services provider and asking them to restore your files in a separate, non-infected device.

What data should I back up?

Ideally you should back up everything, but make sure to back up and restore sensitive information first. Bring your entire team together to discuss what data is mission-critical, then establish a priority list. As a general rule, prioritize customer data, HR records, and financial transactions, and place unused or outdated documents farther down the list. Once you’ve created your list and moved the necessary documents to the cloud, test and update your backups regularly to ensure your data remains uncompromised.

Data backups can be easily overlooked, especially when it’s hard to measure the immediate value. But consider this: One lost document equates to $170. Losing one or two documents may be tolerable, but what if you lose a hundred or a thousand? Saving and backing up data helps you avoid these crippling costs and increases your business’s chances of survival.

Here at WhiteOwl, we take extensive measures to keep your data secure and your business disaster-proof. Don’t take any chances by leaving your files unsaved — contact us today.