Businesses today take a big risk with remote backup services when they lack knowledge in what to look for. Some organizations go through a horrible experience when their data wasn’t actually backed up properly, leaving their business operations high and dry when they needed it most.
With growing threats your business data is getting more vulnerable to internal and external dangers, while backup methods of the past – tape, disk, and NAS device backups are no longer effective.
With backup services being so common, how can this happen? There are a plethora of companies offering backup. But as in any business, not all service providers are created equal. Many see it as an easy way to make a quick buck. When looking for a backup vendor, you definitely want to make sure you select a solid, reputable provider you can rely on. You do not want to be burned with hidden fees, unexpected price increases, or have a backup failure and put your business at risk.
Here are the 7 critical qualities you must expect from a remote backup service provider
1 Military-grade security, data transfer and storage.
This is pretty obvious; you want to make sure the organization taking care of your data is actually secure. You trust them with your client data, personal and financial information, and sensitive details about your business. You should never trust your data to anyone that doesn’t have the following security measures in place:
- Compliance. Ask your IT service company if they meet and enforce regulatory compliance. HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, Gram-Leach-Bliley, or SEC NASD compliance are government regulations that dictate how organizations with highly sensitive data handle, store, and transfer their data. If you are a medical, legal or financial institution, you are required by law to meet these strict requirements, as well as work only with vendors who do. But even if you are NOT a business that must oblige these regulations, you still want to choose a provider who is. Being compliant is a good sign that they enforce high standard security measures.
- Physical Location. Make sure the physical location where the data is stored is secure. Ask your service provider if their location is physically secure, they have an ID system, video surveillance, and some type of authorized personnel only access system (such as card key or password lock entry).
- Encryption. Make sure the backup data transfer is encrypted with SSL protocols to prevent a malicious hacker from accessing the data while it’s being transferred.
2 Multiple data centers that are geographically diverse.
Experts in data security know the best way to prevent loss of data is to build redundancy into your operations. Your remote backup service should store multiple copies of your data, in more than one location. That way, if a human error takes place or a disaster strikes and destroys copies or even their locations, they have backups of your backup in a different city where the catastrophe did not occur.
3 Ability to receive overnight hard copies of your data on a storage device.
If your entire network gets wiped out, you do NOT want Internet download to be your only option for recovering the data because it could take days or weeks. Therefore, you should only work with a remote backup provider that will provide overnight copies of your data via some physical storage device.
4 The option of having your initial backup performed through hard copy.
Again, trying to transfer that amount of data online could take days or weeks. If you have a large amount of data to backup, it would be faster and more convenient to send it to them on DVD.
5 Data to be restored to a different device than the one it was backed up from.
Amazingly, some backups can only be restored to the same computer they came from. If the original computer was burned in a fire, stolen, or destroyed in a flood, you’re left without a backup.
6 Daily status reports of your backup.
All backup services should be available in daily status report to confirm that backup ran was performed and to report failures or potential problems; you should be able to request access to reports or email confirmation for the backup process, sent to you and/or your internal IT staff.
7 Qualified tech support.
Many online backup services are “do-it-yourself.” This allows for a cheaper service to you. HOWEVER your system must be backed up PROPERLY, otherwise the money you will save will be insignificant compared to the losses you shall inevitably suffer if your backup was not set up correctly. If you opt for a do-it-yourself option, your IT service provider should walk you through the steps on the phone or to check your settings to make sure you did the setup properly.
If your remote backup provider doesn’t meet all 7 of these points, then you’d be crazy to trust them to store your data.
The Single Most Important Thing To Look For When Choosing a Remote Backup Service Provider
While the above 7 checks are important, there is one more, most critical characteristic that many businesses often overlook. A quality IT and Backup services company must do regular test restores to check your data backup and make sure that recovery process is flawless.
You do not want to wait until your data has been destroyed to test your backup, yet that is exactly what most organizations do – and they suffer significant financial and business losses.
An average business should undergo a quarterly test backup; if your data is very sensitive and you cannot afford to lose it, then test restores should be done monthly.
There is a variety of factors that may cause your backup to become corrupt. By testing it regularly, you’ll have a peace of mind knowing you have most recent, good, a solid backup copy of your data available in the event of an unforeseen disaster or emergency.
We can help
powersolution provides small and medium size businesses with Intelligent Business Continuity services, delivering Data Backup and Disaster Recovery solutions that give you the accessibility, security, and affordability you need to ensure your network and data is protected and your organizations are ready to face anything – from small accidents to a natural disaster.
Let’s start with our Computer Network Assessment service to help your organization get a clear, realistic understanding of where your computer network is today, and how to get it to the next level of security and efficiency.
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Every step of the way powersolution will aid your business to make sure your company and your client data are secure, and your business continuity is protected. Call us 201-493-1414 or Request a Consultation today.
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