Compared to the other responsibilities of building a company — from brainstorming big ideas to winning over investors and expanding revenues — data protection is sometimes an afterthought. But in a digital economy where data plays an increasingly large role in conducting business, and in a world where data breaches, ransomware, and unexpected data loss make frequent headlines, it’s never been more important for businesses to make data management, protection, and recovery a priority.
Understanding the nitty gritty of data protection can be tricky, but putting the right infrastructure in place early on can be a game-changer for growing companies. Here’s why data protection is one of the toughest issues faced by growth-stage companies, as well as a solution that can make a difference.
Data protection is misunderstood
First off, the learning curve to understanding true data backup and recovery can be steep. At its core, it means protecting digital data — which can encompass everything from company IP and trade secrets, to customer data stored in a database — from hacking, corruption, and accidental erasure.
Taking proper precautions against loss starts with taking stock of what data your business possesses, how and where it’s stored, and who has access to it. Properly securing the data means having robust back-up and recovery systems — ones that can scale with your growing needs. Implementing the right infrastructure will not only keep a company’s data safe, but also keep the business from getting overwhelmed if its data needs grow more quickly than anticipated.
Additionally, businesses of all sizes will benefit from proactively training their employees to better understand data protection: Human error accounts for the vast majority of data breaches. A vigorous data protection set-up means staffers who are in-the-know. When a workforce has a higher collective data literacy, with data management tools that are easy to use at their disposal, the likelihood of data loss decreases, and the ability to recover data quickly increases in the event that an unexpected loss occurs.
There’s a myth that only large companies should be concerned
Most of the problems that make headlines afflict large tech companies with millions of users, or credit and retail giants with volumes of consumer financial data. But in the first half of 2019 alone, thousands of data breaches have compromised billions of records — and they’ve affected businesses of all sizes. Research has also found that, so far this year, more than a third of breaches have affected small enterprises.
More than anything else, hackers are searching for vulnerabilities anywhere they might appear — not specifically targeting business behemoths. Companies with easier-to-penetrate security systems are often smaller companies that might not have the savvy or assets to protect themselves, nor the capacity to properly restore their data once it’s lost. It’s key to remember that regardless of staff size, or how much data a company has, no firm is immune to cyberattack.
Hacking isn’t the only way that data can be compromised
While external attack is responsible for the bulk of data breaches, it isn’t the only way a company’s data can be seriously compromised. Data losses and corruptions are also frequently caused by a litany of risks, including software and hardware malfunctions, natural disasters, internal mistakes, and bulky and inefficient management systems.
Earlier this year, it was reported that a large social media company had lost more than a decade of user-uploaded data, including millions of tracks by artists who were using the platform to share their music. The cause of the loss was attributed to a data migration gone wrong.
When Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the East Coast, it caused tens of billions of dollars in economic damage – partly through extensive flooding and power outages that corrupted servers and hardware. More than half a decade has passed since that hurricane, and in that time, the amount of data has increased year over year – making a natural disaster an even greater liability.
Small and mid-size businesses have limited resources
One of the biggest hurdles to establishing a strong data protection framework is that small and mid-size businesses have much fewer resources than large corporations. Data protection and back-up is costly, and business owners may be left wondering whether spending on it is actually justified.
When in doubt, it’s paramount to consider the costs associated with breached or lost data. Compromised customer or intellectual property information not only results in revenue loss, but is also damaging to a business’s reputation, which can have long-term consequences in the marketplace. Then there are the damage control costs: Following a data breach, a business may need to spend money on legal fees, public relations to remediate their image, and new technology to secure their data moving forward.
There are solutions emerging that are specifically tailored to address the growing business needs of midsized companies with fewer IT resources than their enterprise counterparts, yet are facing the same technical challenges. Metallic, a new division of Commvault, offers a comprehensive data protection software as a service (SaaS) portfolio, with recovery and backup, that was designed for scalability and flexibility. Not only is it easy-to-install, but it was made to adapt to more users and more environments on prem, hybrid, and cloud — essential for companies that are expanding.
Commvault understands that data loss can be abrupt and unanticipated, which is why Metallic offers easy back-up and rapid data recovery.
In the unlucky event that your firm is subject to a ransomware attack, or a natural disaster strikes, its data will be protected.
Perhaps more importantly, Metallic won’t break your bank or your schedule: It’s priced on a subscription model where you only pay for what you want, and it takes as little as 15 minutes to set up.
In an unpredictable world where data is prolific but can be overwhelming to protect to understand, a dependable back-up and recovery system is the most strategic thing a growth firm can do for its data.