Take the necessary steps to protect your data

As we head into winter, it’s a good time to take stock of your business preparedness to better understand what vital practice systems and data could be at risk. We’ve all followed the news as severe weather phenomena, earthquakes and hurricanes have battered our country this year, but surprisingly many small and medium business owners remain fatalistic about the possibility they could be next.

Client data and IT systems are the lifeblood of any modern practice. If you were hit by any of the varying conditions that can cause an extended power outage lost it all, how long do you think it would it take to re-enter two days, two weeks, two months, or even two years of valuable client information? And what if you couldn’t recover it at all?

In this scenario, your business may not have the time or financial resources to recover. In fact, according to global market intelligence firm IDC, 40% of small and medium businesses don’t back up their data at all.  When they do 40-50% of those backups are not fully recoverable. In addition, a recent report found that 60% of companies that lost their data shut down within six months of the disaster. That’s why making sure it’s both safe and accessible at all times should be a top priority for any practice owner or manager.

Almost every state in the U.S. faces potential for some form of natural disaster throughout the year, with some more vulnerable than others. Nevertheless, even if your practice has a lower risk of physical damage than those in other parts of the country, what position would you be in if – at a minimum – extreme weather struck your city or town?

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Automated backup is essential

One way to ensure this is to have an automated solution that backs up your vital practice data securely and reliably 24/7, 365 days a year. The most effective way to do this is through installed software that is set to automatically backup and upload your client, operational and financial data to secure offsite servers.

The days of old fashioned manual backups to vulnerable on-site servers or backup disks are dangerous and out-of-date. The modern solution is a prescheduled backup that happens in the background so there’s no human input needed. This saves valuable staff time and minimizes redundant data entry tasks, as well as the risk of someone simply forgetting to enter the information.

Here at Covetrus we use the analogy of a ‘full round trip’ for backing up data securely. This means it goes through the following steps:

  1. Data is backed up automatically by prescheduled processes
  2. It is then compressed, encrypted, and uploaded to secure offsite servers
  3. It is stored in a secure, offsite data vault
  4. If and when required, it is retrieved
  5. And if necessary, it is then reinstalled back into the software program, ready for automatic re-upload
  6. We pair this ‘data round trip’ with secure onsite backup for additional peace of mind.

Data backup misconceptions, explained

  1. All backup solutions are equal. This is not true. For example, many third party ‘cloud’ backup solutions require you exit your software programs during backup. Disreputable companies are also not always upfront about what their service covers, they offer complicated pricing options, they don’t guarantee the accuracy of data verification, and they’re often hard to get hold of for support.
  2. Data loss only happens with hurricanes, earthquakes, or other large-scale events. Again, this is not true. Flooding, lightning strikes or even extreme weather can cause an outage and data loss. Outdated hardware can fail too, costing you valuable client data.
  3. Cloud backups are adequate. While cloud storage for your data is a good option, it shouldn’t be the only one. Cloud systems are vulnerable, for example, if you lose internet connectivity, or if a cyber-attack takes place. Practice owners and managers should have both cloud and server backups – redundancy is key.

Your practice simply can’t afford the risk to productivity and lost consumer confidence, if disaster strikes leaving you with unrecoverable digital assets.

Don’t be unprepared – back up your data.

Avoid data loss and ensure you can access or restore your data following a hardware failure or natural disaster. Data backup services from Covetrus are a seamless, affordable way to prevent your business from losing data.

Learn more about the Data Backup solution created and supported by your practice software by completing the form at the top of the page.