Why you shouldn’t store files only on local computers

Why you shouldn’t store files only on local computers

Business leaders have regarded the importance of data backup for decades. Until a few years ago, that typically meant maintaining backup archives on portable storage devices or redundant storage networks. However, relying solely on in-house storage is a recipe for disaster when a single event, such as a fire or severe data breach, could render everything unworkable. These days, that usually means the end of a business.

Local storage devices are as inherently vulnerable as hard copies of documents, if not more so. Just one malware infection can destroy everything stored on the device, as can physical damage or even human error. Now that businesses routinely rely on a wide range of portable and in-office devices, it’s even more difficult to keep track of everything and ensure that all your files are safely backed up.

You’ll be relying on a single point of failure

Companies that still rely on in-house computing infrastructure often store all mission-critical applications and data on a local server, using redundancies to keep everything safe. At least, that’s the idea. However, so long as all your devices are connected to the same network, you’ll still be relying on a single point of failure, even if those devices aren’t located on the same premises.

Things like self-propagating LAN threats, which spread throughout your network much like a virus spreads from file to file in a single computer, render all systems vulnerable. Furthermore, any data stored on devices that aren’t automatically synchronized with your backup system may easily be compromised too. For example, mobile devices often get mislaid or stolen, but losing the data on them is often much worse than losing the value of the device.

Ransomware is a growing concern

By now, most business leaders appreciate the value of online storage. Nonetheless, as the high-profile ransomware attacks of recent years have taught us, many don’t seem to be taking notice. If ransomware gets into your network, there’s a good chance of it spreading to every device. When that happens, you’ll be faced with the choice of paying an enormous ransom or losing your data.

It’s fine to keep important data on a local computer, but if that’s the only copy, it’s likely just a matter of time before it gets compromised. If not by ransomware, there are many other malware threats and cyberattacks that cause unexpected hardware failures and accidental deletion.

Unencrypted data is always at risk

If your data is lacking encryption, it can easily end up in the wrong hands. Many applications and operating systems don’t enable encryption by default, which means it can be intercepted while in transit or while at rest should an unencrypted device be stolen. This is an especially common problem with mobile devices, which a lot of users don’t even bother to PIN protect.

You can and should enable full disk encryption on devices that contain sensitive data. It is, after all, a regulatory requirement for many types of data, including patient health records and payment information. However, even encryption isn’t foolproof now that we live in the age of phishing scams, in which criminals routinely exploit human ignorance to get them to unwittingly surrender things like encryption keys and login credentials.

What can you do to keep your data safe?

Millions of businesses around the world have joined the cloud revolution, and countless more plan to do so in the near future. By storing your apps, data, virtual desktops, and servers in the cloud, you have access to a level of infrastructure that no smaller organization could ever hope to achieve. Modern data centers don’t just offer a vast amount of storage space — they also have the best physical, administrative, and technological safeguards available. Not only that, but off-site redundancies also ensure that all data is kept safe even if a catastrophic event befalls the primary data center.

If your business would like the added peace of mind provided by cloud backup and scalability, call Enteracloud today to schedule a free consultation.