Depending on the size of your business, the cost of lost data could total in the millions. A 2015 Ponemon Institute Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis found among 350 companies in 11 countries, the average cost per lost or stolen record is $154. The average complete data breach cost is $3.79 million, while unexpected damage caused by natural disasters, physical hardware theft and lost hardware or employee error are other factors that make small business digital data so vulnerable to threats. Off-site backup options that use cloud storage technology and encryption security help ensure data protection and peace of mind when dealing with sensitive company material.
Besides the high cost of permanent loss of data, temporary data loss can be debilitating. The Data Center Journal reported in 2013, the average cost per minute of unplanned downtime was nearly $8,000, which was an increase of more than 40 percent compared to 2010. The average reported outage length was nearly an hour-and-a-half in 2013, which would cost a business nearly $700,000. For e-commerce sites, downtime not only results in loss of sales, but negative sentiment and loss of trust in a company, as breaches against companies like Target have shown. The company has agreed to reimburse financial institutions more than $100 million for a 2013 breach, according to The Wall Street Journal. Cloud backup is constantly monitored against breaches and provides uptime guarantees, while keeping data safe, secure and easily recoverable.
What is cloud backup?
Cloud backup is simply data storage located on an external server away from the business, with security functions in place to make sure the data stays safe, and with immediate backup that allows data to instantly be recovered should something negative happen to the physical servers. It also helps alleviate in-house IT needs, since data is backed up and accessible with user permissions from any device, from anywhere.
Research and advisory firm Gartner reported an increase of nearly 5 percent in worldwide spending on information security in 2015 over 2014, to reach more than $75.5 billion. As hackers become more sophisticated, and businesses need to protect customers’ personal information, data protection is of increasing importance to both large and small business enterprises. The Ponemon Institute report states a 23 percent increase in total cost of data breach since 2013, while the Breach Level Index reports more than 3.7 billion records lost since 2013 as of March 2016. As data protection becomes more affordable, and breaches do more damage, return on investment for off-site backup makes sense.
What to look for in off-site backup data protection
When considering backup options for your small business, consider the following qualities:
• Automatic backup protections. With automatic cloud backup, you won’t have to worry about remembering to backup your data — the off-site backup does the work for you. Services that offer the option to time backups throughout the day give your small business continuous protection and safeguard your data.
• Multi-device capabilities. In today’s mobile age where increasing numbers of employees conduct business activities on mobile and tablet devices, and more employers allow a bring-your-own-device landscape, backup from devices beyond desktops is essential. ZDNet reports 74 percent of organizations currently use or plan to allow employees to bring their own devices to work, so it’s vital to look for a data protection provider that works on any device.
• Instant restoration. To decrease the amount of downtime your business might experience, cloud backup should offer one-click data restoration to keep you moving.
• Industry grade security. Besides guaranteeing 99 percent uptime for data, a data protection service should offer the same security standards that are used by institutions such as the military and banks to give a business the highest quality security available. Multi-encryption standards make sure data is protected from breaches.
Security issues can happen at any time, which is why 24/7 customer support is also a critical consideration. There are backup options to fit any business budget, and when you weigh the costs of data loss, investing in off-site backup makes financial sense for your business and your customers.