5 Data Storage Steps Every Founder Must Take

September 20, 2015

4:00 pm

Data is taking over. It’s the most powerful, most predictive tool available for business leaders, and the best ones are taking advantage. However, as we’ve seen with the Sony, Target, and U.S. government leaks, if disaster strikes your company’s data — regardless of the industry — chaos ensues.

Luckily, business leaders can reduce the potential for a breach by understanding the basics of data storage. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Choose a Good Data Storage Partner

You might be your own best storage option. If you’re going to manage data on-site, think like a hacker. If you’re going to outsource to a third-party provider, research the company’s background thoroughly, taking note of previous data breaches. Check all certifications, and look them up if you don’t understand their value. Ask a potential provider about any high-profile clients, too. Its work should speak for itself.

2. Understand What Data Is Stored

The data’s sensitivity determines where it can be stored. Of course, less important data can be less secure, but company legal documents and employees’ Social Security numbers shouldn’t live in the cloud.

3. Manage Data Locations

Laws differ regarding data stored internally versus data stored on other companies’ cloud servers. Some companies even store data in other countries, each with their own set of laws. Be sure to research laws, downtime, and past security breaches when outsourcing data storage to third-party providers.

4. Back Up as Many Times as Possible — and Then Once More

Anything can go down at any time. So your data should not only be backed up, but every backup should also have a backup. The more backups you have in place, the more information that can be recovered — and the faster everything can be brought back.

5. Minimize Outage Recovery Speed

Time is of the essence when getting a business back on track. When data goes down, you need to know how long it’ll take to get the entire business back up and running again. Internet-based tech companies are especially at risk of losing millions of dollars for being offline, even for just 10 minutes.

It’s impossible to overstate how important data storage fundamentals are for founders to know. One hack from a teenager, a robot, or even a competitor can reveal patent-pending product plans or other vital company data. In the wrong hands, data can be deadly, so protect it carefully and intelligently.

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Shawn Freeman is an entrepreneur, a personable geek, and the founder of IT services company TWT Group Inc., based in Calgary, Canada. He founded the company to make IT simple instead of infuriating and believes it should be the easiest part of anyone’s day. TWT has seen significant growth since its inception and is now serving more than 100 clients.

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