Workers plugging thumb drive into laptop
Whether you choose cloud storage or an off-site data center, protecting your business's data is crucial to the success of your company. — Getty Images

Many small business owners don’t consider the possibility of losing their data. In fact, 58% of small businesses are not prepared for data loss, and 60% of those that lose their data shut down within six months.

Losing sensitive company or customer information can be detrimental to the health of any business. Backing up data is a fairly simple process and can be done with any of the following sources.

[Read more: 4 Best Cloud Backup Strategies to Protect Your Data]

Cloud storage

A cloud storage solution is a great resource for data backup. Dropbox and Google Drive are two of the most popular and cost-effective (less than $50 per month, depending on the plan) cloud storage options. However, keep in mind that these services do not guarantee your business will never experience a security breach.

Like many other backup solutions, backing up your data via this solution involves a series of dragging and dropping files. While not risk-free, cloud storage is a highly convenient and accessible option for data backup.

Removable media

Removable media comes in the form of hard disks, DVDs, CDs, USB memory cards and USB flash drives.

Microsoft offers an easy way to back up files to removable media from a computer that runs Windows. The backup process on Mac computers and laptops is similar: Choose your form of removable media and plug it into your device. For automatic backups, select “System Preferences” then “Time Machine.” Time Machine will only work properly with a solution that has as much or more storage as the hard drive or single files you need to back up. To manually back your files up on a Mac, select the files you’d like to save and drag them onto the removable media.

When using removable media, always keep security in mind — the small form factor of removable devices makes them easy to misplace or, worse, get stolen. Be sure to lock removable media up in a safe deposit box.

[Read more: Data Backup: What You Need to Know]

Losing sensitive company or customer information can be detrimental to the health of any business.

Network-attached storage

According to LifeWire, a network-attached storage (NAS) is a server that’s dedicated to saving data that can operate either wired or wirelessly, depending on you business’s needs. Once configured, NAS can display as another drive on your computer, making it easily accessible for devices connected to your network. NAS devices are helpful for backing up multiple computers at one time and for saving time with automatic backups. However, this solution costs anywhere from $500 to $10,000 and can experience drive failure.

To utilize NAS, the device will need to be installed on your computer. Once installed, the NAS drive will be available and will walk you through how to back up your data. The NAS will offer the option of backing up your entire system, or just disks or individual files. Follow the prompts accordingly.

Data backup center

A data backup center is by far one of the most secure and highly recommended data backup solutions because it is housed offsite, keeping your data secure in the event of a natural disaster, flood or robbery. The cost of using a data backup center varies depending on usage and can start at as low as just a few dollars a month and rise to upwards of $5,000+ per month. Any company that specializes in data backup centers will easily be able to do this backup for you, which is typically not done during normal business hours. The process is similar to the others — manual or automatic backups will be done involving a series of dragging and dropping.

[Read: Cloud Backup vs. Data Center: Understanding the Difference]

No matter which source you choose, investing in some sort of backup solution is a great starting point. Depending on the size of your business and your data needs, you may opt to use more than one backup method. This provides you with peace of mind knowing that if one method fails, the other is available to you.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published March 03, 2020