Article By Ian Sherratt, Services Director – Cloud Centres
Companies failing to backup their data run the risk of catastrophic failure.
Data is critically important for all businesses, but many are guilty of failing to carry out regular backups, according to a recent survey.
Large and small businesses mostly depend on IT and data for their success, so ensuring the data created is adequately backed up should be a critical function. But, unfortunately, this is often not the case: a recent survey of UK businesses by IT company Beaming found that more than 50% are at risk of losing critical data.
Beaming’s research found that some four million businesses put themselves at unnecessary risk by failing to have adequate backup strategies and, most worryingly, more than 700,000 businesses have no data backup strategy at all.
Furthermore, data backup has fallen further down companies’ priorities in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, with many now focusing on making enough money to survive. And with a huge number of people now working at home, often using their own PCs on insecure networks, the issue is more important than ever.
Ironically, as data backup is seldom considered until a computer suffers a malfunction, by that time it’s often too late to recover all the data.
This is why data backup should be on every manager’s list of priorities – if you have employees working in different places and they lose everything, it’s going to be very difficult to get them back working again.
Data – our most important asset
In the recent rush to enable remote working companies have focused on providing connectivity, video conferencing, training and applications, while often forgetting about data protection.
Data is our third most important asset and is now everywhere in the private cloud, in data centres and also in our homes. But who is covering the backup of the data being created by people working from home? If the business does not have it covered, you can guarantee that an end user is not going to have backup covered either. If you are a business owner, you’re still paying people to create data that belongs to the business, so it’s crazy to not think about backing it up effectively.
The best backup solutions should be invisible and occur periodically in the background without a user having to do anything or even know about it. You can’t have an issue that stops people working to do something they never think about doing in the first place. It’s counterintuitive. If there’s an option to click cancel, people will.
In addition, backup should be policy driven; not just policies for how it is configured, but also how it is mandated. For instance, having a policy that all laptops, whether it is an employee’s own device or one supplied by the company, should be backed up and employees will be disciplined if they ignore backups or turn automatic ones off on their device.
What lockdown has achieved
What lockdown has achieved is to radically change and speed up the way we do business and how we use the technologies that support us. People at home have to adapt and so those organisations supporting them have to adapt. But the inevitable frenzy in which these changes were introduced now needs to be adapted and sustained in a measured, risked-based way, particularly since they are here to stay.
For example, technology firm CybSafe reported that 65% of UK employees had no cybersecurity awareness training when working outside a corporate environment. One in five (20%) said they didn’t have up-to-date video conferencing software, while 23% never update software on devices connected to their home WiFi network.
All this bad practice has given huge opportunities to criminals who prey on the unwary and unprepared. This is compounded when a company moves its operations to the cloud, using enabling technologies to work in a smarter, more efficient and cost-effective way.
At Cloud Centres, we take data backup incredibly seriously and are using Commvault for our solution in our data.
Commvault offers a single product that will do the backup, file archiving and replication. The beauty of Commvault is that it’s based on one code base, whereas a lot of other backup vendors – and there are many – have bolted products together and may have separate interfaces for those, and it can be difficult to managed whizzing between those interfaces. But you install Commvault and that’s it; you get all of the features that can be turned on with licencing in a single easy-to-manage interface.
In practical terms, it means Cloud Centres can provide all solutions – everything from cloud backup to infrastructure in our datacentre to laptop backup – from one single vendor to our customers. And with only one set of technical issues to deal with, it means we can provide a really cost effective, simple, elegant service. And that’s critical; nobody wants a solution to be clunky.
Using Commvault also enables us to look at cloud mobility. Organisations that have established a working-from-home strategy are now asking if they need to maintain a room full of servers in an office when actually that’s not where everybody works anymore.
Companies are now looking for solutions where they can store data on public and/or private clouds, as well as on physical servers. Using Commvault as a staging platform means the data is already secured before it is moved.
From a product perspective, cloud mobility is a powerful capability and it means customers can reconsider what they’re doing with office space and server rooms. Commvault enables us to have an almost invisible backup in the cloud, and all that information is secured in the right place, but customers have the ability to move it from one place to another.
That is important as one size doesn’t fit all, so it’s about putting your data, storing it, managing and protecting it where it makes sense for your business. You don’t have to have a 100% cloud first strategy. It’s not just a backup product, it’s also a data management product and an information management product.
Data is the lifeblood of your business and protecting that is key. If you don’t have your information, you don’t trade, it’s as simple as that.
We’re here to help
If any of the above resonates with you, we have a fully managed back up service designed to protect your business from the worst.
Podcast with Nigel Lambert and Roger Lane from Commvault: