We’re sure you, as a business person, already realise that your second most valuable business asset (after your staff) is your data. The information you hold on your products, services and clients not only helps your business become more efficient, it also helps to understand how best to focus your future sales and marketing efforts.
But have you realised the importance of keeping this data safe, from competitors and clients alike? You are bound by the Data Protection Act (DPA, 1998) which demands that personal data is properly protected against loss or theft. The DPA applies to any business or individual who holds and processes personal data (e.g. client data), assigning ownership responsibility to you, and proscribing a number of serious outcomes should you lose or expose this information. Data backup, therefore, becomes a serious business consideration.
How good is your backup file recovery?
Cloud services offer a quick and easy solution to many basic backup headaches. Once configured, your files are replicated to a remote data-centre where they stay until you need them, updating copies as you change the information in your own systems.
This set-and-forget approach to backup allows you to focus on the tasks that actually make your business money – and by making sure that you choose a fully secure Cloud storage service, you should comply with the DPA. But choosing the wrong service could actually be an even larger headache waiting to happen.
Consumer-grade services, like the free accounts available from Dropbox, Google and Microsoft, are a great way to get started with Cloud backups – but there’s a reason these accounts are free. None of the free services offer guaranteed file recovery, nor any specific timeframe for those that do. Once you’re on-board with the service, in order to gain access to better guarantees for file recovery, you have to upgrade to a paid, business level of service.
The question of data sovereignty
Cloud backup services also raise a problem of data sovereignty – where in the world is your information actually being stored? The European Union has some very strict guidelines about how personal data is handled and transported into and out of their jurisdiction.
Normally this isn’t a problem when information is stored on your own systems, but put them into a Cloud service and the issue becomes much less clear. Cloud technologies improve availability by distributing data across multiple data-centres – if one facility fails, the others can ensure that your data is still accessible. For example, Microsoft and Google both use data-centres based in Ireland, but your information could also be replicated to the US or elsewhere outside the EU.
This raises two problems – first, are you inadvertently breaking EU law by illegally transferring personal data outside European borders? Secondly, is your data being stored in a country where political or legal provisions could render your data inaccessible?
The answer to both these issues is to choose a reliable provider of Cloud backup services who relies solely on data-centres in the UK and the EU. And by choosing a business-grade service, you can be sure of guaranteed data recovery with the professional speed and complete reliability that your company requires.
To find out more about Cloud backup services and how they can be used to help protect your corporate data, please get in touch with our team today, and we’ll be happy to help.
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