Retrospect Blog

Five Data Protection Mistakes Small Businesses Make

There are 28 million small businesses in the United States, and they account for 54% of all U.S. sales, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Small businesses have hundreds of worries, including managing cash flow, meeting customer needs, and managing employees. Data loss shouldn't be one of them.

We recently conducted a survey on data loss and data protection at small businesses. It showed that the majority of small businesses take data protection seriously, with over half performing daily or continuous backups. However, a significant number don't back up at all. Let's walk through the types of data protection that small businesses miss.

1. Any protection

Small businesses are busy. There are dozens of tasks to do, and there is never enough time. Some businesses don't back up at all. They count on their hard drives not failing, coffee not spilling, and employees not accidentally deleting anything. While there might be the occasional business that gets by, many more suffer the consequences after they finally lose data. Having a backup is a safeguard against whatever problems might come up.

2. Daily protection

One backup isn't enough. It protects that snapshot in time, but it doesn't cover anything in the future. Some small businesses that we surveyed only back up once a month, and a month is a long time in between backups. An employee could spend an entire month on a project, only to accidentally delete it before the next scheduled backup. The best data protection is daily backups.

3. Endpoint protection

Some small businesses own a file server and tell their employees to store all of their files on it. The workflow makes IT easier: only one computer to manage and protect. If a laptop dies, the employee's files are safe on the server. However, that assumes the employees follow through. What we've found is employees are trying to get stuff done, not make IT easier. Using centrally-managed remote files can be a headache for large file formats like Photoshop and even PowerPoint, and it requires a direct network connection, which makes remote work more difficult. Endpoint protection ensures all of your desktops and laptops are protected, and advanced file filtering allows admins to easily minimize storage costs.

4. Offsite protection

Local storage for backups is a good first step, but having only a single on-site copy of your business data isn't playing the odds. Chances are something will happen. It could be fire, flooding, or a simple accident in the server closet. Many companies utilize offsite storage--tape, disk, or cloud storage--to protect their data in a second location to avoid any data loss and significant downtime from an accident, failure, or disaster.

5. Mobile protection

The rise of mobile devices has made "Bring your own device" (BYOD) an inevitable part of every business's IT environment. Employees don't want to carry two devices just to check work email, but employers need to ensure their corporate data is protected on mobile devices, just like any other device in the company. Mobile device data–like emails, notes, and particularly custom data from specialized apps–should be backed up.

Complete Hybrid Data Protection

Retrospect's hybrid data protection ensures your entire business is protected. It provides daily backups for servers, desktops, and laptops. Businesses can use disk, cloud, or tape as their storage media. We provide white papers detailing how to protect your mobile devices. See our Knowledgebase. With Retrospect, your business data stays protected and lets you focus on helping your business grow.

Bio

Kristin Goedert

Kristin Goedert is Director of Marketing and has been with Retrospect for more than a decade.