Did you hear the one about the ATO?

Tuesday 08 May 2018 06 am

When it comes to protecting your business from data loss, cloud backup solutions are just one option amongst many. But for a lot of small businesses, backing up may not even be on their radar. So we’re tackling this issue head-on!

In late December 2016, a systems failure caused the Australian Tax Office to lose an embarrassing 1 petabyte of data (for those keeping count, that’s 1 million gigabytes). The fact they were able to recover the data was thanks to the backup systems they had in place, something almost every enterprise-level organisation has in place today.

The ATO aren’t the only big spenders on I.T. infrastructure. At almost $85 billion in 2017, I.T. spending - which includes backup systems - in Australia is big business, and for good reason. A 2014 survey showed Australian organisations had coughed up $65 billion as a result of data loss and downtime. Ouch! Of those companies surveyed, 64% - nearly two thirds - had experienced one of those events prior to the survey.

And yet, that spending is still not enough. To throw another stat into the mix, 58% of small to medium businesses aren’t prepared for a data loss incident.

The big cost from a little saving

Backing up your data will involve some expense. That’s guaranteed.

But not backing up your data could also carry a cost - and potentially a much greater one.

The crippling downtime from a data loss, virus or corruption can hit a business in more forms than just an expensive invoice to repair systems or retrieve your business information. Data incidents can affect you in terms of:

  • Decreased productivity. If data is driving your business, losing it can mean things come to a grinding halt until a fix or recovery is in place.
  • Increased liability. Data loss can drive up costs for businesses, especially businesses sensitive to these kinds of episodes.
  • Reputation loss. Precious records aren’t the only thing that can melt away in a data loss. Your incident may be small potatoes to someone like Pixar (who accidentally deleted Toy Story 2 from their servers while making it), but losing your data can seriously dent your image with your customers.

In today’s data-centric business world, it’s not a matter of whether you should back up, but a matter of how.

More than a portable HDD

Addressing how to back up your data might take many different forms, depending how you view the priority of keeping it safe and sound. Let’s take a look at some of these “strategies”, ranked from least to most concern for data (Note: some degree of hyperbole has been liberally applied).

“She’ll be right, mate”

The trusty office computer with the CRM, invoicing and gigabytes of records hasn’t failed once in the last 5 years. Why would it now? Plus, backing up files seems like a lot of fiddling around.

The “drag to a different drive” technique

Sure, data can go bad every now and then. Everyone knows this. That’s why we copy all our critical records from C drive to D drive every month or two. Problem sorted.

Portable HDD + office drawer = solution!

Keeping records on a single computer? That’s for amateurs. We invest in our technology: that’s why Sue ducked down to Officeworks last week and got one of those portable HDDs. We’ve now got everything backed up on that and if the PC blows up, we’ll be sitting pretty.

A professional approach

Technology expenditure may not be the most exciting thing, but you understand it’s a critical component of your business. So you’ve allocated the funds to put a solid backup system in place, complete with off-site storage or cloud backup.

Now, these might seem a little glib, and most business owners don’t treat their data that lightly. But the actions around protecting your data (or lack thereof) can be a timebomb waiting to explode.

The cloud: no silver bullet

If you’re using Microsoft 365, you’re using software-as-a-service in the cloud. Dropbox is another example - and a place you might be storing backups too. The trouble is, while they’re both handy applications a lot of business rely on, cloud apps and storage may be part of the problem instead of solution.

Why’s that? SaaS and cloud apps are great to use while everything’s up and running. But when something happens - like a data centre fault or a rogue staff member on a “delete all the files” spree, you find out that, just like local apps, cloud data needs to be backed up too.

This trend to the cloud and SaaS is something we’ve seen more and more business jump on. Luckily, there are cloud backup apps that specialise in keeping your cloudified data safe and sound. For example, one product we recommend as a cloud backup solution is Datto’s SaaS Protection. It brings your data back under your control, meaning you won’t be vulnerable to an attack on that app, an operational error, a systems failure, or some other unlucky incident wiping your data and costing you big time.

If your business is using SaaS or is “in the cloud”, you need a cloud backup solution in whatever form it might take. As you can see, there are products out there tailored for it, but even just starting to think about how to protect your data in case of its loss could be a big step forward for your business.

Looking for a backup system that a) actually backs up your data properly and b) doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? We can manage your business backups from as little as $16.50 a month, so give us a shout!