What Would You Do If Your Laptop Was Stolen At This Very Moment?

by Josh Clifford | www.everonit.com

In today’s information economy, linear and individual-centric ways of working have given way to team-based working and lightning-fast flow of information across different states, regions, countries, and time zones. Relationships once based on proximity now extend to a web of people in formal and informal networks who are dispersed around the globe. These teams work together to create mission critical documents that then become the intellectual property on which your business is based. This fundamental shift in work has left a huge challenge for small business when it comes to backing up and protecting their users’ data at a reasonable cost.

Ask yourself this question: What would you do if you lost your laptop at this very moment?

If you are like most of today’s knowledge workers you take your laptop everywhere with you, store everything you need to perform your job function on the system, and only occasionally think about synchronizing or backing it up to a server. Because of these habits the idea of losing a laptop becomes a scary unthinkable thought for most people. Just the idea of recovering all of the contacts stored on the computer makes most users shudder never mind the documents and presentations that users have been working on with a variety of teams over the past six months. When you stop to really think about what it would mean to have your computer stolen or have it stop working, data backup quickly becomes a top priority.

The keys to a successful backup program are:

  • Done regularly (at least once a day)
  • Stored offsite (in case of disaster)
  • Available to be restored when needed

Small companies often address this issue by implementing a file server and instructing users to save all-important documents back to the server so that it can be backed up. The file server is then successfully backed-up to a data tape which in turn is stored offsite in case of a disaster. When a user needs a file restored for any reason the data is available by retrieving the appropriate tape. The problem with this type of plan is that best laid plans don’t always play out as expected. More often than not, users continue to store highly critical documents on their local computer (does this sound like you?).

Some users complain that it is too slow to save files back to the server or that they can not consistently access the server to retrieve the latest version of a file when they are on the road. Other users simply refuse to utilize the file server and then expect their data to be salvaged when their laptop takes a fall off the conference room table during a meeting. Unfortunately the reality for most small businesses is that they have a minimal backup and disaster recovery plan in place due to prohibitive management, software, and hardware costs. Often zip drives, CD burners, and other various methods are employed by individual users that understand the risks associated with not backing up data. But even these methods leave the organization and its users exposed to data loss from viruses, hackers, hard-drive crashes, power failures, accidental deletions, and other user errors.

So how can your small business achieve a big business backup and disaster recovery program without the big-ticket cost associated with such a plan?

One cost effective solution used by big corporations as well as small businesses and individual users is to look at web-based solutions for backing up your user’s data. There are a variety of companies that offer web-based backup solutions for desktops, laptops, and servers. Here at Everon we have been using a backup solution by Connected that has been called a "Best Practice" by Gartner, "Best of Breed" by IDC, and is available for a reasonable cost.

The Connected service is a small application that sits on each individual’s computer, is easy to configure, and automatically backs-up data from that computer to an offsite secure data center. This alleviates the problems associated with normal backup scenarios. The program has the ability to do a full system or data only backup.

Full system backups ensure that all system and data files are backed up, and provide the ability to perform a full system recovery in the event of a disaster. The data only option will automatically select all of your important data files for you and allow you to restore them from any computer anywhere on the web with appropriate login information. The data only option can include additional file types, files, and directories that are not found during the automatic selection, and can easily be customized.

When the program is connected to the Internet all data is encrypted for security and the backups happen automatically, transparent to the user as they work. The interface for restoring files is very intuitive and easy to use, allowing individual users to perform restores on their own. When restoring files users have the ability to look at the last ten versions of a file to decide which version they need to restore and continue working from.

The benefits of web-based backup solutions will be immediately evident to your organization:

  • All intellectual property is backed-up behind the scene regardless of user location, connection type, or resistance.
  • The process of protecting your data becomes fast, easy, secure, and fully automated.
  • Save hundreds or thousands of dollars on software, backup hardware, and tapes allowing a small business or individual user to implement a big business backup plan.
  • No ongoing management costs.
  • Offsite storage – your data is protected in case of a disaster and is always available via the web.
  • Anytime access to data from any computer anywhere you can connect to the web.
  • Fast file retrieval – just pick the files you need and they are restored to your computer – no need to contact an administrator to retrieve a deleted or lost file.

Make sure you have a sufficient backup program. The next time someone asks what you would do should your laptop get lost or stolen you can look them in the eye and say: "I would simply restore my critical data to another machine and keep working as if nothing had happened"

Information about Connected can be found at www.everonit.com or call 888-244-1748

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