Small Businesses at Risk for Data Disasters

What Imation has offered here is nothing special and stuff you’ve probably read a lot of times. However….for those who don’t know
Running a small business can be a challenge in itself; but when disaster strikes and data is lost, life can become even more complicated for a small business owner. While some business owners have insurance policies to keep them afloat in a pinch, many are not prepared for unexpected disasters such as a fire, flood or e-mail viruses that can damage computers, laptops or servers that save a company’s inventory lists, e-mail, electronic catalogs, customer records and financial data.
In recognition of National Small Business Week, Imation Corp. (NYSE:IMN) , a worldwide leader in removable data storage media, offers five basic steps all small businesses can take to reduce the risk of losing valuable information by properly backing up and archiving their data.
“Businesses of all sizes can always use a reminder on the importance of backing up and protecting their data. And in the case of many small businesses, losing electronic files not only means lost business, but in some cases going out of business completely,” said Robert Herman, market development manager for small-medium businesses, Imation. “Having backup files available in case of a disaster, and knowing you can restore them, is often the difference between staying in business and having to shut down.”
The common myth among many small companies is the feeling of being too small to require a formal backup plan. Although some backup schemes can be complicated, Herman says it is easy to implement a basic data backup program, since most small businesses are dealing with less than 100GB(1) of storage for data backup. Imation offers the following techniques for small businesses to help ensure long-term data protection:
1. Determine what data is critical for business continuity.
2. Have a backup plan in place. Test your backup plan on a regular basis
to ensure it is working properly.
3. Backup critical data every day to removable media. Perform a full
backup at least once per week.
4. Test your ability to restore at least quarterly.
5. Store media offsite (far enough away that a disaster won’t strike both
facilities), in a cool, dry, safe location. Also keep a full backup
copy onsite.
There are several removable data storage technologies available for small business owners to properly backup laptops, desktops and servers; removable media is also available in a variety of capacities that are compatible with small business equipment. Designed for the small business user, technologies like CD-R/RW discs, DVD-R/RW discs, USB flash drives or tape cartridges such as Travan(TM), SLR, DDS, DAT or VXA are ideal for small business data backup. It is important to consider what technology is compatible with your system as well as the amount of storage you require before making a backup technology choice.
“Adopting a backup strategy is critical for business continuity and it is easy to get started with storage technologies available in a variety of formats and price ranges to fit every budget,” added Herman.
According to recent market research(2), companies choose tape media brands by the following criteria: price, quality/reliability and company reputation. In addition to value, small businesses are still looking for reliable, high quality products with a proven track record. Brand name products with a good reputation and solid customer service and support are also critical in the purchase process.
For more information on small business backup guidance, visit www.imation.com/smallbusiness. The dedicated small business Web site provides resources on backup plan recommendations, evaluation and testing criteria, media care and handling tips, as well as disaster recovery guidance to assist small businesses through the backup process to better protect their data.

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook