Ignoring Data Protection in Your Small Business is a Big Mistake

This post brought to you by Carbonite. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Growing Your Biz.

In our hyperconnected, data-addicted, dynamic world, one thing is certain: running a small business these days has become more complicated.

According to recent research, by 2020 there will be an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet Data Protection in Your Small Businessword-wide. While all of this connectivity and technology may have opened up a wide range of new opportunities for small business owners and self-employed professionals in particular, it has also created many new challenges in its wake.

As more and more business processes, such as payment processing, accounting, marketing and advertising, customer service, and order creation are not only digitalized, but connected to the Internet, data backup, security, and recovery have become an essential part of doing business.

So, let me put it bluntly: If your data gets lost or compromised, it can instantly bring your business to its knees. As a small business owner, you simply cannot afford to ignore this area, and today you have little excuse to do so. While you may not have the resources to hire a dedicated IT team, there are many robust, yet surprisingly affordable and easy-to-use solutions out there that will help you backup, restore, and protect your data.

Of Blank Screens and Pimping Payday Loans…

Several years ago, I decided to move my writing and editing business online in order to expand my client base. Of course, the first thing I needed to do was set up a website. I’m a do-it-yourself kind of person (sometimes to a fault), so I immediately began learning everything I could about WordPress themes and php coding in order to do some customization to the site.

One day about a year later, as I was busy making some changes, suddenly and inexplicably, my site and all of its content (which included over 100 hundred articles) went blank… and I mean completely blank. There was no error message, nor any other indication of what might have gone wrong- just a white page.

After several frantic hours of trying to find a solution, I remembered that I had made one backup of my site (on a whim) with my web host, and I was able to restore my site to this previous version. I had to reload some articles and lost a few reader comments, but most of the site was intact. While my story had a happy ending, I’ll never forget, however, the panic of those first moments.

It didn’t end there, though…

All was well until a few months later a visitor to my site informed me that some spammy links were mysteriously showing up on my website. I hadn’t seen them because they had been maliciously placed in section that lies outside the visible range of a web browser. I quickly checked it out, and sure enough, nestled within the page’s coding was a collection of about thirty spam links and text. Suddenly, it looked like I was supplementing my writing business by selling Payday loans and, ahem… “enhancement” pills.

What Are Your Options for Data Protection and Recovery?

While the truth is I’ve had it pretty easy as an online business owner (knock on wood), things like this are happening all the time online, and the threats just keep growing exponentially. Now that online hackers are upping the ante with strategies such as ransomware and malvertising, it seems like no one and their data is safe these days.

While firewalls and anti-virus software can help prevent many of the malicious attacks on your business data, it’s often not enough data protection– especially if you support a team of employees. Let’s face it, things happen. Files can get inadvertently deleted, devices can get lost, stolen, or destroyed. Even if you were thoughtful enough to have insurance coverage to soften the financial blow, your insurer can’t help you recover any of the valuable or sensitive data that you lost.

The bottom line to all of this is that data protection and security isn’t a luxury these days, it’s essential, and having that data protection can make all the difference between your business’ success and failure. There are countless small business stories, where business owners suffered debilitating data loss, yet were able to make a full recovery. They did this by ensuring that they had the right solutions to cover their back.

This is where platforms, such as Carbonite cloud solutions, come in. Carbonite is an affordable, feature-rich service for small business owners that offers unlimited data storage and management, backup, recovery, and state of the art encryption technologies. All of these processes work in the background, seamlessly integrating with your business.

Best of all, Carbonite is extremely affordable; plans start at just $5 a month. It’s not often that you can get so much peace of mind for such a small investment.

In closing, there are many ways in which you are already giving to your business: you may have put in countless hours, significant effort and attention, as well as money. Preserving the integrity of your business’ data is not an area where you should skimp. You owe it to yourself and your business to make sure your data will be there for you when and however you need it.

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