Refined Data Backup

The modern-day workplace is full of tech - our entire world fits into the palm of our hands - so there is no surprise that its influence has spread to the workplace. Tech is catered to make our lives easy and more efficient.

Unfortunately, there comes with it a risk of offering opportunities to cyber criminals – opportunities that, when seized, could cause business debilitating problems for your organisation.

Cyber criminality has been steadily rising for decades but the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a real spike. This makes it essential that you back up your data with an effective backup strategy. Unfortunately, this applies to all businesses regardless of size.

Backup is the process of having up-to-date copies of your files uploaded to other locations – some businesses have up to four copies spread around disparate locations. You must ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster, as continuing operations is essential, because you must be able to reach some semblance of the level of productivity that you do when everything is running as normal.

There are two feasible options to backup your data in the modern world, and they are Cloud and Local backups. Both have their positives and negatives – depending on your organisation, the decision can be particularly difficult – knowing which one is right for your business is essential.


There is no ‘right’ option, because choosing between the two is completely relative, and it all depends on what works for you, your team, and your business. As we have already said, regardless of the one you choose, it is essential that you backup your data – not doing so will leave you unable to work in the eventuality of a disaster.

It is always recommended to implement measures to ‘keep the lights on’. It is unfortunate but cyber criminality can never be stopped in its entirety, regardless of what you implement and how much money you throw at it. But you can prepare your business to weather the storm of a cyber attack and continue operating afterwards.

So, what are the pros and cons of both Cloud data backup and Local data backup?


Cloud Backup

What is it?

Cloud backup is the automatic copying of data to a cloud-based server in a remote location. The provider you choose will manage the Cloud backup service on a monthly/yearly subscription-based service.

What are its advantages?

  • Cost-effective – You can save a lot of money by not using Local backups, as maintaining and purchasing the infrastructure you need for Local backups can be obscenely expensive, and all of this coupled with the subscription being a fixed cost. With Cloud backup you are only paying for what you are using - making it a relatively cheap backup option.


  • Unbridled access – All Data in the cloud is accessible whenever you need it to be. Your users (with permission from you) will be able to access the most recent versions of all of your data from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.


  • Scalable – You are probably going through – or seeking - a period of exponential growth, or else why would you be running a business in the first place? During this time you may run out of capacity on your agreed plan. When using Cloud computing you can acquire extra backup when it is needed, which can be implemented practically instantaneously; contacting your provider is as simple as sending a message or picking up the phone, and in seconds you can be ready to backup more data. Whereas, when working with Local backup, if you run out of space you have to go out to purchase brand new – potentially expensive - hardware, set it up, and manage it, all of which could take days, or, depending on your technical prowess, perhaps weeks.


  • Reliable security – Cloud backup includes cyber security features as standard, and they are the best in the business. It also has access control and data encryption features as standard that are all part of your subscription price, making it by far the most reliable security option in backup.


  • Automation – Cloud backups take place in the background; this means you could lessen your outgoings on junior analysts that would traditionally manually backup systems. With this feature you can also decide how often your backup takes place, even down to a couple of minutes apart if you feel that is necessary.


  • Less risk – With Local backups you are at the mercy of the elements - this means that if there is a disaster then your data is lost forever. The locations where your Cloud data backups are housed are built in such a way as to prepare for practically every eventuality.


What are its disadvantages?

  • Reliance on an internet connection – Unfortunately, a large disadvantage to Cloud backup is its reliance on a stable internet connection. If, for whatever reason, you lose your internet connection it can make swift data recovery exceedingly difficult, and it is fair to say that a lot of disasters would result in a loss of internet connection – a flood, fire, or an earthquake, for example. If your connection is lost this makes your data useless.  Yes, you can go somewhere else to access your data but, depending on your circumstances, this may not be possible.


  • Regulated industries – You must have knowledge on where and how your data is stored; in regard to regulation this could be problematic, but if this information is not acquired you could fall foul to those regulations. Some sectors ensure that you protect, store, and distribute your data in a certain way. Being in control at all times is paramount and, for this reason, the Cloud may not offer enough control for you to stay compliant (but in truth this would be a very particular circumstance as most Cloud providers are transparent with where and how your data is stored).


Predominantly, small to medium sized businesses enjoy the convenience that comes with Cloud backups; they do not have a need for a potentially very expensive internal IT team.

But, what about Local Backups?


Local Data Backup

What is it?

Also known as on-premise backup, Local backup is the process of saving applications and data to a device. The device is usually a server but could be a disc or a tape, all of which will be located in the same building or place as the original data.

What Are its Advantages

  • Speedy recovery of copious amounts of data – With no reliance on an internet connection to be successful, data backups are easy – as long as you keep the device safe, work can resume quickly.


  • Greater security and access control – We are contradicting ourselves slightly here as we just exclaimed about how good Cloud security is, but data saved on a disc on-premise (in your eye view, or at home in a safe, etc) can be appealing to many, especially when some like to take ownership over their own data.


  • Confidentiality – By managing your own data backups and - going further - the access to that data, you can feel certain of confidentiality.


  • Cost – Local backup hardware can be very expensive, and the infrastructure that hardware works from can be pricey too. Purchasing, implementing, and managing them takes a level of skill and not to mention the time and money too, all of which make them simply not cost effective.

What are its Disadvantages?


  • Risk of disaster – With your local backup being stored in the same place as the original copies of your data, in the event of a disaster like a flood or fire, for example, there is a high probability that both could be damaged beyond repair. Therefore, we recommend, if you are using your own Local backups, that you keep copies in different locations.


  • No control over downtime – Uptime cannot be guaranteed! This is the biggest disadvantage to Local backups (for example, you can guarantee clients that you can first and foremost protect their sensitive data, but disaster strikes and then your relationship is over before it began). Local backup recovery can sometimes take considerably longer than you would think, and this simply isn’t good enough.


  • Not easy to scale up – There is a possibility that your forecasts for growth could be incorrect, you may suddenly go through a sudden period of growth resulting in the large capital expenditure and the implementation of that particular backup server not fit for purpose. Growth is, of course, never a bad thing, but with your backup requirements increasing you will need to spend even more on your hardware and software. There are many organisations that occupy industries that are prone to fluctuations – be it due to seasonal business or the general requirements of their target market – these organisations could find themselves changing their hardware more often than would be cost effective.


  • Unable to access data remotely – The modern age of remote working ensures that backed up data will be inaccessible; the only way your users can access data is by being on site, which is no good if your systems fail and they are spread out in remote locations, because your users would need to be on-site to access backups if systems fail.


  • Human error – As much as some of us expect too much from our teams, we forget that they are only human. We all forget things, and by forgetting to process backups your team are leaving the survival of your business to chance in the eventuality of a disaster.


Even with all the knowledge in the world, it can be hard to assess which is the best option for you – the Cloud, Local, or perhaps in some cases a hybrid of them both. Get in contact with our expert team and we can help guide you through this difficult choice.



Ensuring you get the most from the tools at your disposal

Our team of experts will take the time to get to know you, your team, the way you do business, and your goals and visions for the future. We will work together with you to learn what compliments the way you do business and will ensure that you are constantly up-to-date with the latest tech that is beneficial to you, whilst simultaneously ensuring you stay compliant to regulations at all times. We will help you with your Digital Transformation and educate your team on how to use the new tools at their disposal to their full potential. With our help you can introduce up-to-date tools, remain compliant, and be confident that your team are doing everything they can to aid in both. Don’t hesitate get in contact with us and see how we can help you.

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