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By Ben Puzzuoli, Director Sales & Marketing at DataDepositBox
Data Deposit Box Online Backup Expert Tips: How Do SMBs Reduce Data Storage Risks?
For many companies, data storage makes up a huge part of the IT budget. This is not surprising for large organizations since most have enterprise-wide transactional systems, massive data warehouses and explosive growth in e-mail traffic. But, even in a small to medium-sized business (SMB), you can expect a 50 percent increase in data storage costs annually even though the actual unit cost of storage has been dropping every year. The increased costs are usually related to hardware, increasing power and the cooling requirements for expanding networked data storage like tape systems, specialized network gear and disk drives.
New applications, complex business analytics and regulatory requirements are also major contributors to the demand for additional storage capacity, especially if you must address the security challenges related to data integrity, accessibility and confidentiality. While privacy and continuity are concerns for every business, they are especially critical if you are in an industry such as financial services, commerce or healthcare where new regulations penalize organizations that fail to protect data privacy at all data access points, including storage.
So, how do you control this risk of increasing costs? One approach to reducing your storage costs and carbon footprint is to look at ways of consolidating and optimizing your data. Data duplication is one of the major challenges that a company faces when it comes to data storage. Many users find it faster and easier to just back up information by saving multiple copies. While this gives a business owner some confidence that their data is accessible, protected and directly controlled, this approach also increases storage volumes and costs.
Companies are now attempting to consolidate storage systems in order to maximize capacity and minimize management overhead. When departments or subsidiaries have sensitive or regulated data, then additional data access safeguards may be required. Consolidation and de-duplication can significantly reduce storage-management costs, improve storage utilization and increase data access.
In addition to cost management, successful businesses mitigate risk by taking steps to ensure that their stored data is protected against unexpected calamities such as fire, natural disasters, power outages and theft. While methods for protecting stored data have historically been limited, inefficient and expensive, it is now fairly simple to setup a backup plan with both direct attached and network storage infrastructures to deal with data storage loss and disaster recovery.
Many different types of backup are available to small business owners including remote backup, tape vaulting, storage-array mirroring, peer operation sites, and the use of off-site storage-service providers. Storing backup copies of your critical data files off-site significantly reduces the threat of discontinued operations due to physical disaster, application or system outages, and human error. However, it can also increase the number of people and entry points with access to your storage resources and data.
As a result, you will want to be familiar with best practices when managing all storage-related applications, systems, devices, and media to minimize access abuse to the stored data. Some of them like data compression, encryption, and access controls at the application, system, transport and media levels can provide strong barriers against unauthorized stored data disclosure, theft and corruption — and can alleviate privacy requirements for storage extension and consolidation.
By taking a holistic approach and planning in advance, you can ensure that your critical business data is protected and your storage infrastructures are secure. At Data Deposit Box, we believe that the millions of successful small and mid-sized businesses deserve the same enterprise-grade protection for their digital assets that large organizations take for granted. And by arming yourself with some of these best practices, you will be well on your way to reducing the data storage risks for your small business.
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