Still, it’s a good idea to have a backup for your backup. “Even though cloud backup is automated, that doesn’t mean that you should completely stop paying attention to it,” says Jason Albus, systems engineer with Point-of-Rental. “You should be getting reports from your cloud backup vendor which means you’ll still need to read the reports and make sure things are running correctly and being backed up as they should.”
Daniel Ruiz, IT manager at Point-of-Rental adds, “You don’t want to only have one backup. The cloud is great but it’s based on the internet and internet connections sometimes fail. The safest route to go is to have another backup along with the cloud - the more backups you have, the better. Point-of-Rental has been signing people up for the cloud for three to four years. However, we also have a full encrypted internal backup on the store’s server for extra insurance.”
2 No worries about natural (and unnatural) disasters
Storing your data in a cloud-based backup also offers the benefit of protecting it in the event of disaster. Whether it’s a hurricane, tornado, flood or even a fire, your data is safe because it’s not housed on site. Even if every piece of computer equipment at your location is destroyed, the data is protected when it’s stored in the cloud.
Knoepke notes it’s important to beware of unnatural disasters as well. Those can include vandalism and theft, which are for some a more likely threat than natural disasters.
“When it comes to disasters, it’s best to kill two birds with one stone by having offsite backup in addition to the cloud,” Ruiz adds. “With offsite backup, you have a system keeping a log of historical backups. Offsite backups really help against disaster.”
“Point-of-Rental once had a store that lost everything in a fire,” Ruiz recalls. “The store called us to see if there was anything we could do and sure enough, because they had cloud backup, we were able to help. Point-of-Rental was able to get all of their critical Point-of-Rental data back to them with insurance paying for the cost of their servers. In some rare cases like this, you can temporarily get by as soon as the data gets there.”
3 Protection in the event of a crash
Besides the human factor, the most common cause of data loss without a fire, theft or natural disaster is system crashes. It’s a simple fact of life in the technology age that we live in that hard drives fail, including those in external backup devices. When this happens, sometimes the data can be recovered, but with total crashes, all is lost. The odds of both your computer and external hard drive failing simultaneously are about nil, but if you haven’t been maintaining a near-perfect backup routine then you might still lose days or weeks worth of client activity. This wouldn’t necessarily result in a total failure of your business, but the time spent recreating that data would put incredible stress on your staff and operations.
“Murphy’s Law applies. Disasters and failures can and do happen, often at the most inconvenient time,” Knoepke says. “One slip-up in a local backup routine can cause huge problems if a failure occurs at the wrong time.”
Cloud-based backup of data ensures that all of your data is safe even if your computer suffers a fatal crash.
4 Redundancy reinforces security
When it comes to security, online systems also stand above local solutions such as external hard drives or discs, and for several reasons. To start with, they automatically encrypt all data before it is uploaded and the data remains encrypted while it is stored at the backup service provider. Additionally, most advanced systems don’t just back up your data to one location, but to at least two or more locations in geographically diverse areas of the country.
With no backup or with backup in your office, the data is at risk from fire, flood, tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, theft, computer crashes and countless other disasters. With the redundancy and geographic separation of web-based backup, however, it is virtually impossible for the data to be lost because of one or more of these events. In addition to government-level encryption, all of the major data backup providers also have strong physical security at their locations, including armed guards, biometric technologies and many have security audits and testing, including meeting the requirements of the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) No. 16, which replaced SAS 70 as the new attestation standard for service organizations.