8 Tips to Choose the Right Data Backup and Recovery Services Provider
Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, storing data safely and maintaining its integrity is always going to be among your topmost priorities.
All businesses gather and work with valuable data such as customers’ details, inventory files, sale records, emails, company agreements, contracts, and other sensitive documents. All this information should always be thoroughly secured and protected to ensure unhindered business operations.
The good news is that an increasing number of businesses are working to this end. According to a 2019 survey, “84% of organizations reported using the cloud to store data or backups with small enterprises reporting higher adoption (93%) than mid-sized (82%) or large (81%).”
Whether you back up your information online or save it offline on an external storage device, taking this step is a must to protect your data and avoid becoming the victim of ransomware, data theft, cyber extortion, and other types of cybercrimes.
This is why you need a skilled and experienced managed IT services provider.
However, choosing the right IT support services company can be perplexing. But we’re here to help. Mentioned ahead are a few factors to consider when picking an IT company that provides data backup and recovery services.
- Data Security and Privacy
Data security is probably the most important factor to consider when picking a backup service. A lot of organizations go for cloud backup as storing data in the traditional manner, i.e. on a physical device isn’t completely secure either. It can be lost/destroyed in the event of theft, hardware failure, or natural calamities. When stored on the cloud, data can be accessed from any location at any time and only by someone authorized to do so. So this system is much more secure.
However, not all IT services providers offer high-level data protection. A competent provider will secure your data with the following:
Two-Factor Authorization: As the name suggests, two-factor authorization (or 2FA) adds an additional protective layer of security to the traditional password login. The user requires a second verification, usually a one-time password, which is received via a text or an email. This is done for each login attempt, so it is unique every time.
Disabling Login: This comes in handy when your login details have been compromised. To secure your account, all you need to do is disable the login.
Data Encryption: All data should be encrypted with algorithms before transferring to secure it in case of an attack. Ask your potential provider about the algorithms it uses and clear any doubts about their encryption process.
- Service-Level AgreementInstances of you not being able to access your data should be restricted to an absolute minimum if not eliminated completely. Hardware does need to be taken offline from time to time, and this is a normal practice, but you should always be equipped with a solution so that downtime does not become frequent. A reputed IT support services provider will create a well-thought-out service-level agreement and explicitly mention the percentage of uptime guaranteed to you in it.
- Frequency of Backups
Entrepreneurs are busy people, and the last thing they want to worry about is backing up their data. Traditional backups are also costly, time-consuming, and performed once a week. If disaster recovery was needed, a whole week’s worth of crucial data would be lost without a backup. For this reason, cloud backup comes as a convenient option. You need not worry about scheduling and organizing backups or forgetting to run backups as cloud systems do so automatically in real-time.
However, not all providers offer automatic backup services, so you will have to ensure to opt for this option for your convenience and data security.
- Protection from Accidental Data Deletion
Many a time, cloud backup systems fail due to a reason other than security breach or software error. The culprit in several cases is human error, i.e. accidental deletion. Even if your data is safely backed up and guarded against breaches, if you (and an employee with access) delete the data, either accidentally or intentionally, the system will follow your instruction and remove the data. If you do not have a solution or tool in place to recover this data, it will be lost forever.
To prevent this, talk about a data deletion policy with your potential IT services provider. Such a policy will prevent users from deleting any backed up data, thereby securing it even more tightly.
- Disaster Recovery Methodology
It is always a good idea to ensure that your data can be recovered as easily and promptly as possible in case of data loss or corruption. Know that it will be almost impossible for you to run your business operations smoothly without access to key company data. Further, if your systems stay down for a long time, it’s going to cost you big bucks. It is, therefore, necessary to discuss the disaster recovery procedure employed by your potential IT company. Ask them about the duration and the ease of implementing this process. Some providers offer one-click recovery solutions, which restore your lost data to the last backup point as quickly as possible.
- Compliance Support and Customer Service
The IT company you’re considering tying up with should be compliant with standard privacy and security protections. If your business is required to meet certain specific compliance mandates that involve archives or backups, find out how they meet such mandates.At the same time, make sure that your business is assigned to a dedicated person to communicate with whenever you experience technical issues or system problems. Evaluate their customer support channels. Can they be reached through phone, online chat or email? Inquire about their average response time and whether or not they provide support across locations 24/7 or only during business hours.
- Ability to ScaleYou will do well to pick a provider that can scale according to your business and allow you to upgrade to an enterprise-level solution when the time comes. If the provider limits the number of user accounts or data storage options or charges substantially higher for storing larger amounts of data even for its top-level services, it may not prove to be cost-effective for your business.
- Experience and Reputation
With a growing number of individuals and organizations opting for cloud services for their data storage, backup, and recovery needs, new cloud backup companies are mushrooming all over the place to meet demand. New startups with an unproven track record tend to offer their services at lower-than-normal prices. For best results, however, it is crucial to go with an established company with a good track record. Only such a provider ensures that your data is always safe. Also, the likelihood of the company shutting operations and going out of business is considerably lower, giving them a higher sense of accountability.
Data loss can wreak havoc within an organization. Ensuring its safe recovery entails working with a managed IT services provider that has proven capabilities in implementing robust measures to safeguard your precious data. Choosing such a provider can raise a conundrum. You want an IT service provider who can guarantee you that your critical IT-related business operations are in safe hands. Hopefully, the above pointers will help you choose the right IT company that possesses the skills and resources needed to enable round-the-clock capabilities.