Among the first things that many business owners do is protect their offices with insurance policies, commercial-grade locks, strong steel doors, alarm systems and security cameras. And rightly so. After all, you need to feel safe in your environment – and give your clients a sense of security.
However, no amount of physical security can protect the core of your business – your data – from a failed hard drive or server, which is why backing up and protecting your data is just as important as protecting your physical space. Unfortunately, more than 58 percent of small businesses are not prepared for data loss,” according to a report by Small Business Trends. In addition, “60 percent of small businesses that lose data will shut down within six months.”
So, what’s a small business to do? You could, of course, just buy new hard drives or servers, but the better option is to use secure cloud storage. After all, according to The New York Times, some of the largest data breaches have “hit traditional servers” and “none of the most catastrophic hacks have been on the big public clouds.” But what exactly should small business owners look for in an online storage solution? Let’s take a look.
- Offline folder syncing: With online access to your files you can work anywhere, but there are times when your internet connection will go down or you’ll be in an area where it’s simply unavailable. Which is when offline access to your files can be a handy fallback. With a solution that includes a sync tool, you can easily work offline, then sync the files you’ve changed to your online business library once your internet access is available again.
- Selective syncing: For those times when you’re working on a device with a small hard drive and you may not want all the folders and files in your cloud storage to be synced to that device, this type of feature allows you to choose which folders you want to sync. Best of all, these tools tend to be device-specific, so you can still access all your files from your other devices that have more hard drive space.
- Automatic syncing: To keep your files up to date, choose an online backup solution that automatically syncs your files. This way, you can access your files from folders on your preferred device and save files automatically to the cloud. And, for even easier syncing, look for a solution that allows you to add files to a folder with a simple drag and drop.
- Share files: With your files housed in the cloud, you can give your entire organization access to digital documents – no matter where they are. Or, you can restrict access to just a few select people. And for added security, some systems even let you set expirations on files so they’re inaccessible after a certain date, and set customized permissions for files so that they’re read-only or editable.
- Access control: In addition to giving you the power to save, access, and share your files from virtually anywhere, your cloud storage and backup solution should also allow you to restrict who can access your data. So, look for one that gives you the option to restrict access for apps that don’t use modern authentication methods, restrict access based on network location/IP address, and more.