From the turn of the century, there has been an increasing awareness of data, its handling and management. This has been both on a commercial and non-commercial front. Large businesses were the main consumers of data security systems aimed at protecting their data against breaches and disasters. However, the tide is quickly turning and small businesses are also putting in systems to ensure their data is backed up and retrievable should a disaster occur.

In July 2012, Sage, the accounting software firm found that through a study that most small businesses are gradually embracing data backup particularly financial data, but this happens on-site only. The study also went ahead to reveal that only 38% of the small businesses surveyed had a formal disaster preparedness or emergency plan.

Data backup on-site only is not sufficient to safeguard your small business from natural calamities or even hardware malfunction or theft. There needs to be a deliberate move towards the development of a preparedness plan which includes solutions to help you protect critical information. Below are some of the proven approaches to securing your small business data.

Backups Automation

It doesn’t matter whether you are a freelancer or a small business with a significant number of employees, having an automated backup system is mandatory. A majority of small businesses back up their data on local hard drives, but the point here is to consider third-party backup solutions or even offsite services. Cloud backup services are particularly advisable and beneficial for small businesses because many of them do not have a dedicated in-house IT team to assist them in managing their server backups.

Server Virtualization

A survey done by CDW has it that 25% of small businesses are en route to virtualizing their servers, which is very important for enhanced data protection. Basically, server virtualization involves using one physical server machine to run a number of virtual server environments such as web servers, databases, and your email on it. This means a single server performs the work of so many servers which is certainly a cost-effective solution.

A Full Service Security Application

As a small business, you must understand that safeguarding your data is much more than just the backup process. There are lots of intrusion attempts including malware and computer viruses, which can significantly compromise your business data and affect your critical systems. Installing a firewall is a good idea, however, most of these systems protect only your software and by the time they get activated, the threat has already accessed your network. Some experts have recommended that the best way around this is to have a secure appliance-based firewall from a trusted brand like Dell, as well as spam filters and antiviruses that will block intruders and threats even before they assess your network.

To add to the above security measures, you should have a disaster preparedness strategy complete with plans of action to lessen disaster impacts and speed up the recovery process so that your small business can get up and continue operating even after the disaster. In this, you will not be a statistic in the approximately 40 to 60% of businesses that never reopen after the disaster.

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