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  • Writer's pictureDonald MacLeay

How to Make Sure Your Data is Still There

Just guessing, I think that most small offices are in danger of data loss and suffer from minor data loss on a regular basis. Sometimes the most recent version of a file was on some device that was not backed up and sometimes files are just plain lost because staff does not remember where they are found. At the worst of times a disaster took place and a computer or server died, taking the only version of current data with it. The absolutely most damaging event is ransomware where someone is intentionally attacking your data and finding all the weak points in your backup system to attack that too.

A Ransomware Attack: How Bad Can It Get?

How bad can it get? Only you the small office manager can answer that because the real answer is in your time and money. What if you lost a day of book keeping? What if you lost a month of it? Ask yourself how much labor does the work on those files represent in a day, a week, or a month? Do you have designers working on projects? How long would it take to do it over again when files are lost?

Why do I think that most small offices are not really taking care of their data backups?

The Cost of Not Backing Up Your Data

Backups are the kind of thing that can get pushed to the bottom of the IT budget priorities. When dollars are at stake, it is easy to find reasons to accept provisional and ad hoc solutions and to assume that cheap included backups “got everything”.

It is also easy and tempting to assign the backups to some staff member and decide that you do not need the expertise of a systems administrator, especially in the days of the cloud.

Nobody really wants backups. They don’t do anything for your company day to day. The main thing that backups do use up resources on your local computer and your server, if you have one. Backup systems are also notorious for needing care to be kept working.

What Type of Data Backup is Wanted, Rather Needed?

RESTORED DATA is what people want. And when it is needed, it is too late to be designing your backup system. Restored data is what you get from your backups AFTER the emergency has occurred.

Test Your Data Back-up System

East Bay Computer Services takes pride in testing each client’s backup setup with a full restore. We do one when we start with a new client and that is usually when we find the limits of the system. And then we do a regular test every 6 months. We also read the backup software reports in the in between time to see if there are any errors in the log. If so, we fix them. But the only way to know if your backup really works is when it gives you your data back.

How East Bay Computer Services Can Help with Securing, Protecting, and if Needed, Recovering Your Company Data

If you have an office server, the rule of thumb is to have two backups running every day or more often. One of those backups goes to an on-site device. The other goes off site, now called the cloud.

To do this well is very accessible. There is good software to run either, or both, of those backups and keep a number of prior versions available. Prior versions protect the users from the normal mistakes made on a file before saving it, and are very helpful with ransomware attacks.

When your data is in the cloud, one should practice a backup the other way around and download it all automatically to a local backup device, or two. On line data means a lot of things, so this is probably a few configurations. For example, one would be for QuickBooks, another for SharePoint, yet another for Sales Force, etc. All the big companies provide for a data download method with different levels of ease and quality of support.

Many offices are a blend of local server and cloud data, so for those, both setups apply.

All the backups in the world will not work if the company does not know where all its data is.

A lot of offices have allowed staff to each create a solution for their personal work space, but making the collective work space a cyber rat’s nest. One employee has a personal Drobox account here, another is using their personal Google Drive and often that is mixed up with company setups. It is totally fine for a company to use a mix of tools as long as we know where everything is and where it is supposed to be. The first step in this is to decide how to organize your files, how they will be used and who should have rights to what. A successful network is easy to use, quick to find things and is organized by task with some kind of regular standards for file names.

But that is another discussion altogether.


Let East Bay Computer Services assist your business with securing, protecting and if necessary restoring your company's data.

Contact Us TODAY!

Our 24 HR answering service messages are emailed directly to the manager. If this is urgent, call the manager directly at (510) 290-1200

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