The Importance of Cloud Backups for SMBs

Cybersecurity | February 17, 2023

Are you looking to upgrade your SMB security?

Small-Medium sized businesses are the biggest targets for cyber attackers. Studies show that 60% of small businesses victims of cyberattacks closed their doors permanently. Cyberattacks are damaging not only to your finances but also to your reputation.

This is where Cloud backups come in. The Cloud has been around for over two decades and has provided businesses with a more intelligent and effective data storage solution. Read on to find out how your business can benefit from this.

Explaining Cloud Backups and Storage

Cloud storage and backups are part of a more robust technology called cloud computing.

Every email system you’ve used, including Outlook or Gmail, works on the Cloud. Think about it. Where does the data holding your emails go if not on your device?

In the simplest terms, the “cloud” is a virtual storage server that exists online. The physical equipment running the servers is kept off-site. Your business pays a cloud computing company to use its services.

An Illustrative Example

You’re a small retailer that does a ton of online business. You’re too large to store everything at home but too small to have the resources to run your servers.

However, it would be best if you still had a place for product orders, inventory details, customer payment information, and login credentials for user accounts.

All this data needs to be safe, organized, and 100% protected. You store this sensitive data on dedicated online servers when you use cloud storage.

Like your emails, you’ll always have access to this data if you have a connection. In addition, only you’ll be able to access that sensitive data. The only difference between cloud and traditional storage is cloud servers aren’t in-house.

Recover from Mishaps

Imagine this: the absolute worst happens. A fire breaks out in your office, and you lose everything – your computer, digital files, and any documents in your filing cabinet.

You could lose valuable progress, data, and profits. As an SMB owner, it can be challenging to recover and rebuild everything from scratch. Cloud backups help save you from this.

Cloud storage and backups allow you to recover from mishaps and disasters. This is because every single piece of relevant data goes on the Cloud. You’ll still have your local copy on your computer or in-house servers, but you’ll also have peace of mind.

Depending on your jurisdiction, you might also be subject to data compliance laws. Examples include GDPR and HIPPA. Keeping your data safe on the Cloud helps ensure you can stay compliant.

Versatility is King

With cloud storage, you have a backup in case you need it. You don’t have to worry if you ever need to recover lost data but don’t have access to the original files anymore. The Cloud has copies for you, including in every previous version.

This is a lifesaver if the data or documents are living “work-in-progress” types. The same applies if a system update messes things up or corrupts crucial files.

The critical thing about the type of recovery the Cloud offers is two-fold. It lets you access and recover your stored data without needing physical access. On the other hand, it lets you use your physical access to store, edit, and backup files as you need to.

This means cloud storage and backups aren’t only applicable if the worst-case scenario. They help in different ways, which the rest of this guide will get into.

Increases Cost Efficiency

One thing that cloud technology doesn’t get a lot of open credit for is how cost-efficient it is. Businesses don’t go for cloud computing services because they are lazy or don’t have the tech knowledge. Instead, many companies realize they can save tons of money by using the Cloud.

The Cloud doesn’t require physical space or equipment on your premises. It also doesn’t require a dedicated in-house team to maintain those servers. The company you contract with takes care of all of this for you.

This allows for a level of predictability regarding your operating costs. You know you’ll pay monthly for your cloud services, and you don’t have to worry. Because most companies charge by plans, you won’t experience sudden increases or dips.

You still have flexibility, but you also have stability if you want it. You also don’t have to factor in if something goes wrong as part of your operating costs.

If the cloud computing company needs to do any troubleshooting, you don’t have to do anything. Under traditional models, you’d need to divert IT resources in that direction. You might even have to pay your employees overtime depending on the situation and how long it takes.

Organizational Costs

A good cloud computing company can help get you started, and they implement any fixes as required. They also save you a ton on organizational costs.

Because cloud storage and backups can be 100% automated, this can save you a bunch of time. What you might spend hours sorting through and uploading could be instantaneous. Everything could go to dedicated folders in the Cloud the moment you create, receive, or save them.

This eliminates the need to file everything away by hand. Because you can do a keyword search, the Cloud eliminates the time it takes to pull those files up.

All these benefits lead to the same cost-saving adage: time is money. Anything that saves you on time will save you a bunch in operating costs.

Scales with You

It doesn’t matter if you are a small business or a large one. With cloud backups, the tech and services grow with you. Plans are always flexible and usually usage-based.

This means that you only pay for what you need. Small businesses don’t need the kind of resources that big dogs like Wal-Mart use. As your business grows, however, you can increase this as much as you need to.

Let’s go back to the cost-efficiency argument we made earlier. Under traditional models, you’d have to buy more equipment and spend more money as you grow. Your old servers wouldn’t be able to handle all of the traffic coming into your booming business.

Instead of buying more equipment, and figuring out how to get more space and staff to run them, you can go with the cloud. Increasing allocated cloud space won’t cost as much as buying your own servers.

As your business scales up, you’ll need the extra power and resources. Getting those without breaking the bank is always a good idea. Of course, this same argument for scale works in reverse.

If the worst should happen and you need to scale down your business, the Cloud is flexible enough. You can reduce how much data you need to back up and store, and lower your operating costs in the process. When things turn the corner, and you’re ready to scale up again, increasing things is as easy as pie.

Accessible and Convenient

Cloud-based storage is accessible and convenient. There’s no getting around this fact. Al the other benefits are like a bonus compared to the fact that you have total accessibility and control over your data.

Any time you need to access an old file, store or back something up, or restore something, you can. You don’t even have to get up from your desk and reach for your filing cabinet. You also don’t have to worry about a physical connection breaking down on you and having to go address it.

Recovery on Your Terms

In essence, cloud backups let you restore data on your own terms. You don’t have to bring in specialists or repair professionals. Gone are the days of needing to drag your laptop to the repair shop so they can recover the data from your hard drive.

Everything can go onto the Cloud. It’s even possible to do a full computer backup and restore this way. This includes everything from your operating system to apps, down to every last family photo.

This also gives you a level of privacy that’s unparalleled. You can wipe your device if you need to move on, confident in the knowledge that it’s all on the Cloud. No repair person ever needs to scroll through your personal data while trying to “fix” your device.

As we mentioned earlier, the Cloud saves every single version of the files you upload. This gives you full control over what you restore, and from when. These factors alone make cloud backups and cloud computing in general, absolute game-changers.

Automated Storage, Backups, and Handling

Cloud backups allow for unparalleled automated storage. We’ve mentioned how you can send files to the right places from the beginning and how this saves you time and money. Now it’s time to talk about the other benefit of automation: peace of mind.

People used to back things up on floppy disks, and then CDs. After that, we moved on to USB flash drives and external hard drives.

Those last two are still in use for personal files. Most businesses, however, have graduated to large-scale servers. Cloud computing takes the server model and automates it for you, saving you the hassle.

Batting Human Error

What cloud backups also do is address an issue that’s been the bane of backups everywhere. That is to say, it helps stop simple human failure and forgetfulness.

One of the main issues with traditional ways of backing up data is that it required people to remember to do it on a regular basis. Even if you remembered to back data up every week, what if something happens the day before you do?

Cloud storage is convenient and efficient because it performs backups automatically.

You can back up as many files as you need to, either right away or at a time frame, you feel comfortable with. You also never have to worry about remembering either. It will all work like clockwork without you needing to interfere.

Protect Yourself from Cyberattacks

One of the main reasons you need to consider cloud backups is to protect yourself from cyberattacks. Technology has enabled businesses to explore greater horizons and reach audiences around the globe. However, that also means that hackers have become more advanced in their methods.

The most common attack against businesses isn’t corporate espionage. It’s known as a ransomware attack.

Ransomware is where a hacker locks you out of your data or important systems, and demands you pay a ransom. There are many ways they do this. A typical one is via a virus that gets them in so they can change the necessary passwords and lock you out.

The hackers threaten to destroy, leak or sell sensitive data unless you pay them. These sorts of attacks have hit all the major businesses, and can even bankrupt some smaller ones. If you back everything up on the Cloud, this keeps you safe.

Because you retain full access to your data, you can do damage control and even ignore the hackers. Because the cloud servers are external and encrypted, the hackers won’t have access. This is true even if they get access to your own system.

The folks at the cloud services company can always restore your data for you.

Why Every Business Benefits from Cloud Backups

Cloud computing and cloud backups are game-changers for any small business. They help safeguard your important data, and they won’t cost you a fortune to do it. It also comes with a variety of security and organizational benefits.

When it comes to finding the right partners to implement and integrate the cloud, look no further. At Empist, we have the experience and passion to help take your small business to the next level. Contact us today to learn more.