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Cloud Backup Protects Small Businesses from a Rainy Day

Most small businesses aren’t backed by angel investors or the deep pockets of venture capitalists. They’re financed by their founders, gifts and investments by friends and family, loans from a neighborhood bank, and the owners’ personal credit cards. These companies don’t have the resources to cope with a disruption in their cashflow.

One report found that downtime costs small businesses $55,000 in income every year; that doesn’t even account for the cost of paying employees who can’t work without access to systems or paying them overtime to catch up when systems come back online.

The loss of income associated with an outage can even drive a small company out of business. That’s why it’s important to view data protection as a means of protecting not just your data, but protecting your business.

Even small disasters cause big problems

Natural disasters don’t have to be big enough to draw national news attention to cause big problems for small business. A minor windstorm can down branches and knock out power, shutting you down for a day. A water main break can flood the streets, making it impossible for your employees to get to work.

Either way, without a plan, your data may not be available or your employees may not be able to get to it.

Small businesses are targets of hackers

Your data may also be at risk due to insecure computers at the office. Small businesses aren’t too small to be the targets of hackers. In fact, because small businesses often don’t invest in strong defensive measures, they’re a popular and vulnerable target. One security vendor’s study found that more 40 percent of phishing emails targeted small companies, with trends showing an increasing focus of attacks at small businesses.

A ransomware attack can literally leave you unable to access your data. These attacks encrypt your data, making it unreadable without a key—which the attacker will happily provide, if you pay their ransom. Organizations including hospitals have been forced to pay up to recover their data.

Cloud backup makes data always available

Many small businesses don’t even create data backups, or have never tested restoring from backups, considering it too complicated. It’s simpler to use a cloud storage service like Mozy by Dell, which makes files available from anywhere. With cloud backup, local disasters don’t prevent you from accessing your data. Backups can happen automatically, even throughout the day, and the cloud provider makes sure full security measures are in place to protect your files. If your local data becomes inaccessible, whether because of a natural disaster or ransomware, you can always access a good copy of your files from the cloud.

Viewing the cost of data protection as a cost of doing business is more cost effective than paying for emergency services that cost more and may not be able to recover all your data. With cloud backup, no matter what the weather outside, you’ll always be open for business.

7 Ways of Losing Your Files and 1 Way to Avoid Losing Your Mind Over It

Files are never really lost, not in the sense of being misplaced. If you save a file in the wrong place and have trouble finding it, that problem is easily solved by a disk search. It’s the other ways of losing files that are harder to resolve:

1. Losing your device

Do you work on a laptop? Leave it behind in a coffee shop or cab when you’re in a rush and you haven’t lost just one file; you’ve lost all of them. Worse, if your data is unencrypted and your files contain sensitive information, your accounts and identity are vulnerable to theft.

2. Losing your data

Disk problems don’t start with a full-on crash. There can be small problems that result in data corruption. This may change the data of a file or make it unreadable. You can also corrupt files if an application doesn’t shut down properly.

3. Losing your disk drive

Hard drives don’t last forever. They may provide digital storage, but they operate mechanically, and mechanical devices wear out. Drives’ lifespans vary depending on the manufacturer, but three years is typical.

4. Losing control

All it takes is one misplaced click to load malware onto your computer. Once you’ve done that, you’re no longer in control. Your data can be copied to a remote server and sold to criminals. One kind of malware, called ransomware, holds your files hostage by encrypting them with a secret key. Unless you pay up to get the decryption key, you’re unable to read your own data.

5. Losing power

Electrical outages and natural disasters that mean your computer doesn’t shutdown properly can create problems, even keeping your computer from booting up once the power comes back on. It doesn’t take a widespread regional outage to cause problems; a fire at home can destroy your computer, your hard drive, and all of your backup files.

6. Losing track of what you’re doing

Oops! You just deleted the wrong file. Hopefully, you have a recent backup, you know where it is, you can get to it easily, and you know how to restore it!

7. Losing your grip

Oops again! You dropped your computer. Or you spilled your coffee. Either way, the internal components may not survive the incident.

How not to lose your mind

Making sure you have backups of your data isn’t enough to protect you from all of these kinds of file loss. Backups don’t keep others from reading your files if your device is lost, stolen, or hacked. And sometimes you lose your backups, or at least, don’t know how to find them quickly. Backups stored near your computer are vulnerable to loss or damage along with the PC, but if your backups are at home and you need a file while you’re traveling, knowing where the backup is doesn’t help you.

Cloud data protection from Mozy by Dell is a better solution. All of your data is backed up automatically. And your files are accessible from anywhere and any device, so you’ll always have access wherever you are and whatever device you’re working on. Enterprise-grade encryption makes sure that access is limited to you. And Mozy’s data centers are protected in every way possible, both physically and electronically. You’ll never lose your mind over lost data again.