Company survival could depend on a backup system

Tony Sale, Trustee of National Museum of Computing, working on the Colossus machine at Bletchley Park Pic by John Robertson.
Tony Sale, Trustee of National Museum of Computing, working on the Colossus machine at Bletchley Park Pic by John Robertson.
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EVERY company must have a way of making sure it can stay in business if the worst happens to its data.

Flooding, fire, accidental loss and even deliberate sabotage can put a firm’s very survival on the line.

If computer systems are out of action, businesses may face problems in paying staff, complying with data protection law, taking customer orders, or having deliveries cancelled because of failure to pay suppliers.

According to Wikipedia, a remote, online, or managed backup is a service that provides users with a system for backing up and storing computer files. Online backup providers are companies that provide this type of service.

Just like a home PC, systems for backing up data runs on a schedule, perhaps on a daily basis when computers aren’t in use.

The backing up would collect and encrypt data before transferring it via the internet to the service provider’s servers or the company’s own off-site hardware.

There are many products on the market, with differences in pricing and levels of service.

The big positive about online backups is they can allow trading to continue even if computer data has been lost.

Remote backup has many advantages over traditional methods, such as someone taking a tape or CD home with them. The most important perhaps being that the backups are stored in a different location from the original data. It can also cut out potential data transfer errors, such as changing tapes, Online remote backups are also automatic and apply encryption to data.

However, there are some potential downsides to be aware of. Sometimes the restoration of data can be slow, especially if there is a very limited network bandwidth. Other potential downsides could be if the service provider goes out of business or is purchased.

Data backups should be seen as part of the wider issue of company resilience.

And in Milton Keynes, the city has its own business resilience forum to help provide information on the subject of business continuity planning.

For more information on the MK Business Resilience Forum visit www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/business-resilience