cloud-data-storage

The Importance of Cloud Data Backup & Storage

Why Do You Need Cloud Data Backup & Storage?

Cloud data storage is becoming more popular in all professional environments. As a nation, and in-fact a country we are producing more digital data than ever before. With this unparalleled growth it is unsustainable to continue to store data in tangible objects.

Many businesses, charities and educational institutions now utilise secure offsite data storage, becoming more efficient in the process. With an increased market shift to “the cloud”, there is a new wave of concern surrounding the security of data online. Online data security is even more relevant following the recent activation of the GDPR regulations. Find out more about GDPR and Cloud Data Storage.

UK-based Cloud Backup

You can sleep soundly at night, knowing your data is stored securely on our own servers. We own all our servers meaning your files, photos and data are not shared with any third parties or other businesses. Storage is split across our two data-centres located in London and also Bournemouth where your data is replicated and stored separately. Services are available for Single User Backup or Business Backup depending on the nature of your requirements.

Encrypted Data Storage

To increase the level of protection you receive, all stored data on servers is encrypted as standard. Data you backup with Safe Data Storage remains only yours and can only be accessed by you.

From the point of initial collection at your PC terminal or other device, data is covered by an Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Following this, any connection between you and the server to access files and data is covered using a SSL 129-bit channel.

What this really means is that your data, what ever this may be, is converted into a randomised selection of numbers, letters and symbols. Without access to an encryption key, to unlock the data it remains useless and unreadable.

Backup & Restore

One of the most important features of cloud data storage and data recovery software is knowing you can avoid disastrous data loss. Across our servers files are stored in multiple isolated locations for prevention from complete data loss. Regardless of your industry or skill, no longer having the ability to access customer, sales and other forms of data could have a hugely detrimental impact on the service you are able to offer. Additionally, subsequent data loss from unsecured storage could pose significant ramifications under GDPR regulations.

It can be incredibly easy to delete the wrong file or press something you shouldn’t have. With fully backed up data you need not worry, your files can simply be restored within minutes – even for the less tech savvy among us. No loss, no wasted work, just peace of mind your data is in safe hands.

If you would like to receive more information about being able to backup on cloud systems and restore your commercial and sensitive data, or simply want to know the best service for your needs, get in touch with a member of our team.

GDPR deadline

Data D-Day: GDPR Finally Arrives

It’s been rumbling threateningly towards UK businesses for a long time now, but tomorrow (25 May 2018) marks the deadline for businesses to become GDPR-compliant, a date otherwise known as Data D-Day.

Businesses can’t say they haven’t been warned – anxious chatter about GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulation) has been going on for months – but that hasn’t stopped many companies from putting off confronting the new regulations until the very last minute.

This isn’t surprising: there’s a reason why people are using audio of the regulations being read out to help them sleep. Trawling through the long-winded legal jargon and coming up with a plan to make your business GDPR-compliant can be tedious and hard work.

Unfortunately, like all jobs that you can’t put off forever, planning for GDPR is very important and needs to be dealt with eventually. Businesses need to ensure that only strictly necessary data is kept on customers, that up-to-date records are maintained of what data is stored where, and that processes are in place for keeping data safe.

The new regulations will put power firmly in the hands of individuals, who will now have the right to ask what information a company holds on them and request its correction or deletion if appropriate. This is the so-called ‘right to be forgotten’.

Put simply, many businesses will have to completely rethink their data collection and storage practices, and will likely have to audit the data they currently hold to ensure it meets the incoming regulations.

This is where Safe Data Storage can help. Our cloud backup services offer secure online data storage for businesses, charities and schools, allowing you to put your mind at rest knowing your data is safe.

With our services, all data stays in the UK at our two data centres, located in London and Bournemouth.

Data is fully encrypted at all points of the backup process, protecting the privacy of the individuals to which the data pertains.

For more information about how our services can help your business become GDPR-compliant, see our guide to GDPR, or get in touch today.

 

World Backup Day data storage

What is World Backup Day? Our Guide

If you’re an avid Twitter user, and especially if you work in technology, you may have seen publicity about World Backup Day a few weeks ago, which was celebrated on March 31st. But what is the purpose of this day and how did it start?

Make sure you’re ready for next year’s World Backup Day with our handy guide.

Background

World Backup Day was started in 2011 by digital consultant Ismail Jadun. It is celebrated on March 31st every year – a date chosen because it’s the day before April Fools Day…and of course you’d have to be a fool not to backup your data!

The day comes from humble roots; Jadun conceived the idea when he saw a Reddit post by a tech user who had lost their hard drive and wished someone or something had reminded them to back up their data.

“I thought it was a wonderful idea,” said Jadun, who then set up a day to do just that. “It’s wonderful to see people and schools around the world promoting the importance of backing up our data.”

What does it involve?

Of course, backup up their data should be on business’ minds all year round, but World Backup Day serves as a useful way of reminding people of the importance of securing their data and brings the matter into the public consciousness for a period before and after March 31st each year.

The day also raises awareness of the various ways data is at risk if not backed up, from devices being hacked or stolen to accidental deletion to viruses.

The day’s founders ask internet users to “take the pledge”, which goes as follows: “I solemnly swear to backup my important documents and precious memories on World Backup Day, March 31st.”

World Backup Day take the pledge

Twitter was flooded this year with users vowing to ‘take the backup pledge’

This year’s World Backup Day is arguably the most important yet with the impending implementation of the new GDPR, which will change many business’ data storage and protection practices.

A survey conducted for this year’s World Backup Day by its organisers found that 30% of users have still never backed up their data. Though this shows a slight reduction from figures in previous years, this is still a significant proportion of users whose data is not secured.

Safe Data Storage provide cloud backup solutions for businesses, schools and charities. For more information, get in touch today.

 

Safe Data Storage GDPR

What the Facebook data breach tells us about the public’s attitudes to data security

Image courtesy of blogtrepreneur.com/tech

In January we consulted our crystal ball and predicted that data – in particular the public’s data privacy, and large-scale breaches of it – would be headline news in 2018. What we didn’t expect was to be proved right so soon by the massive Facebook data breach exposé that has dominated the headlines this month. Feel free to ask us for this week’s lottery numbers…

Facebook users across the world are still reeling from reports that 50 million Facebook profiles were harvested by Cambridge Analytica, a UK-based data analytics company, in an enormous data breach for use in political campaigns including Donald Trump’s presidential bid and Brexit.

Facebook users’ ‘likes’ and other information on their profiles was used to target them with political propaganda encouraging them to vote for the candidates Cambridge Analytica was working with.

The effect of the news of the breach has been to make consumers more aware of their data and how it is being used. Cambridge Analytica’s data acquisition can be traced back to Facebook quizzes in the early years of this decade where users blithely granted access to their and their friends’ data in order to take part in quizzes.

Already, as a result of this story breaking, it’s hard to imagine Facebook users casually signing over their data to third parties en masse any longer without knowing how it will be used. Indeed, many users have left the platform altogether out of concerns about the security of their data.

For businesses who handle sensitive data about their customers or users, there is a clear lesson to be learnt from this: consumers are growing increasingly aware and passionate about their online privacy and how their data is used.

It seems clear that data security will become an increasingly important factor to consumers when they are choosing between services and products.

Of course, the Facebook breach has happened against the backdrop of GDPR’s introduction, which has been worrying businesses by itself. Organisations are required to be GDPR-compliant by the fast-approaching deadline of 25 May. Read more on GDPR on our blog.

GDPR gives individuals more access to, and rights over, their data and how it is used. It will force businesses to reassess what data they collect on employees and customers and the collection of all of this information is strictly necessary.

In addition, individuals have the ‘right to be forgotten’ if they object to some of the data being collected about them.

This is clearly a landmark moment for the data industry, with consumers awakening to the importance of keeping their data secure and organisations increasingly being held to account about their data practices.

Safe Data Storage provide secure cloud backup services for businesses, education providers and charities, giving you peace of mind that your data is safe.

For more information, get in touch.

Data recovery

What is Data Recovery Software and why do you need it?

While the world becomes increasingly computer literate with every day that goes by and equipment becoming ever more sophisticated, it is still all too easy to accidentally delete valuable files and lose them forever.

Many email and basic free online storage services provided by the tech conglomerate giants, only offer 30-day data recovery periods. So if you do not quickly realise that data has been wrongly deleted, it will be too late, leaving you in a potentially very damaging position.

It can be very easy to delete a file without knowing simply by clicking the wrong button – if the data was accidentally deleted, there’s a good chance you won’t even notice it has been deleted for weeks or months.

For many businesses, schools and charities, losing files could be disastrous as they may contain commercially sensitive data or personal information about vulnerable people. Of course, for businesses particularly data losses may be financially costly, be it due to a loss of trust from customers or from losing commercially valuable information. It goes without saying, then, that the prospect of losing vital files forever is highly stressful.

While we all know we should be regularly backing up our files as a failsafe in this kind of situation, many people never get round to it.

In some cases your computer’s recycle bin may come to the rescue. However, if your PC is close to capacity and needs to free up space for newer files, it may well have made it impossible for you to recover the file without professional intervention. And the chances are that for most businesses and schools, the large amount of files you need access to means that your PCs will be pretty much always at capacity.

Professional data recovery software such as that provided by Safe Data Storage allows files to be brought back from the grave, so to speak. While deleted or corrupted files may no longer be accessible to regular users, specialist software allows remnants of the code relating to the files to be located and restored.

This can be a lifesaver for businesses, schools and charities and also provides complete piece of mind, giving you the reassurance that even should the worst happen you have a system in place to restore deleted files.

If you require data recovery software or are interested in learning more, contact us today.

Crystal ball predictions

5 Data Storage trends to look out for in 2018

We’re already well into the New Year, and as is customary each January, it’s a good time to look at what we can expect to happen in the year ahead.

Making forecasts for industries as fast-moving as the data storage industry isn’t easy, but we’ve looked into our crystal ball and put together a few predictions to help you make sense of things.

1. Businesses will become more savvy about data protection

Although data protection has become an increasingly common and important concept in the business world in recent years, many businesses are still complacent about the security of their data, believing they do not need to back it up as the probability of suffering negative consequences is slim.

However, the news of huge data leaks in 2017, coupled with their customers’ increasing concern about data privacy, means that businesses of all sizes will have to take data protection more seriously this year to avoid losing customers who cannot be assured that their data is safe.

2. GDPR concerns will mean UK businesses turn back to UK storage providers

The much-discussed General Data Protection Regulation, which has been called “the most sweeping change to data protection in the past 20 years,” will be coming into force in May. This means many businesses will be panicking about ensuring they are GDPR-compliant by the fast-approaching deadline.

As we explored previously, while the impact GDPR will have on businesses is still unclear – hence the widespread panic about its introduction – industry experts believe the best option for UK businesses is to store their data with a UK-based cloud backup provider, as providers in other European countries may follow different, non-GDPR-compliant data privacy regulations.

 

GDPR data storage

GDPR will cause headaches for businesses in 2018

3. Data will be headline news

A combination of the previous two points means that data will be a more important news story than ever in 2018. Consumers’ data privacy continues to grow into a huge current news story, and massive cases of data leaks of sensitive consumer information will only fuel the fire. In addition, the potential for companies to be wrong-footed by GDPR is also likely to create headlines. There will be more media attention on the data industry than ever before.

4. Encryption will become more popular

One of the best ways sensitive data can be protected is through using end-to-end encryption. Safe Data Storage are among those to already provide this feature, and according to Interop’s recent 2018 State of Infrastructure study into business’ data practices, 39% of respondents said they would be investing in encryption this year, making it the study’s most invested-in area of data security.

5. Cloud storage becomes the norm

The amount of data stored in the cloud, and the amount of businesses using cloud storage, has steadily increased over the last decade or so and looks set to rise sharply in 2018 as businesses realise it is the safest place to store important data.

While tech giants such as Amazon and Microsoft provide their own cloud storage, many businesses will look to cloud backup services that offer data recovery options longer than the 30-day period often operated by the aforementioned.

Secure data storage

Is your business’ data safe? Research suggests it’s probably not…

New research carried out in the U.S. has revealed that the majority of businesses who store credit card data using cloud storage are not doing so securely.

Information Management reported today that research by the company reviews aggregator Clutch found that over 60% of small businesses that use cloud storage for customer credit card and banking information were not storing this data securely.

Clutch’s research polled the IT decision-makers at 300 small businesses in the U.S. who currently use cloud storage.

In addition, the results showed that 54% of companies that store medical data do not do so securely.

By not storing this data securely, the businesses are breaching industry regulations on data storage.

In the U.S., this can lead to fines of millions of dollars and of course huge damage to a company’s reputation.

Secure data storage

Keeping your customers’ data secure is crucial for any business

However, just as important – in the U.S. and everywhere else – is the need to protect customers’ sensitive financial information.

Being unable to reassure customers that their credit card and other personal information will be safe may lead to a downturn in business as customers will not feel confident giving you their data.

More than simply comprising customers’ privacy, having this kind of data unsecured leaves them at financial risk through the danger of fraud.

In the UK, with the new General Data Protection Regulation incoming, the need to ensure your cloud storage is secure and follows industry guidelines is also more important than ever.

Data breaches of unsecured cloud storage have featured heavily in the news recently. Just yesterday it was revealed that data on 123 million households in the U.S. was leaked due to a breach of an Amazon Web Services storage bucket used by a marketing company.

According to the security researcher who discovered the breach, the data included 248 fields of information for each household, meaning that “billions of personally identifying details and data points about virtually every American household” were made visible.

Safe Data Storage provide secure, fully-managed cloud backup services with extensive technical support. Data is encrypted and stored in two data centres, both based in the UK.

Contact us today to find out how we can keep your data safe.

 

GDPR data storage

What is GDPR and how could it affect your business?

It’s been described as ‘Data D-Day’ and has business owners and industry experts alike panicking as confusion reigns. But what is GDPR and how could it affect your business?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and refers to new laws about how data is stored that will come into effect in May 2018, replacing the 1998 Data Protection Act. This looming deadline is causing huge consternation in the data industry, with its impact unknown at this stage.

Part of the reason for the uncertainty around GDPR’s introduction is due to the UK’s impending exit from the European Union. This means that there is doubt as to whether data stored in EU countries (as opposed to the UK) will meet the data sovereignty regulations that will come into force under Brexit.

The GDPR not only applies to organisations located within the EU but it will also apply to organisations located outside the EU if they offer goods or services to EU data subjects – meaning many businesses will still need to remain compliant to the new GDPR. After Brexit EU countries may have different local laws about data storage than the UK – this will create legal confusion once Brexit has been completed.

The consensus among industry experts seems to be that, due to this legal grey area, the best option for British businesses is to store their data with UK-based companies offering secure cloud backup solutions in order to avoid falling foul of GDPR’s local data storage laws.

Mark Hohenberg of Hosting Techniques Limited recently gave a good summary of the situation when he told Prodec, “The safest thing for businesses that have data stored on the continent is to simply migrate it to UK-based data centres that are owned or managed by UK-based companies.

Here at Safe Data Storage, all data is stored in the UK. Our main server is located in London, with all data replicated to another server in Bournemouth; therefore you can be safe in the knowledge that your data never leaves the country. Both of our data centres are ISO 27001-accredited.

In addition, we are taking a number of steps in preparation of GDPR’s introduction In order to ensure we are fully GDPR compliant. For example, we have appointed a Privacy Officer to work alongside employees and clients. You can read more about our GDPR preparation here.

For businesses considering data storage options, the priority should be finding a company providing UK-based, GDPR-compliant cloud backup. Remove the risk and confusion of storing your data in another country post-Brexit and see how we can keep your data safe today with secure storage.

If you have any questions about GDPR or would like help with finding the best data storage solution for your business, contact us today.

 

 

Halloween data loss horror stories

Your Halloween data loss horror stories

With Halloween just around the corner, we thought it was time for scariest type of surprise there is… data loss horror stories! We asked around the internet, in forums and on social media, for your worst data losses. Here’s what we found. Lock your doors and read on…

Enough to make a grown man cry…

We all know that data losses can have just a particularly devastating effect on businesses as the amount of data involved is often much larger than with individuals’ data losses. For small, local businesses, a huge data loss can even threaten their entire business’ survival.

“Data loss was responsible for the first time I saw a grown man cry,” Twitter user Jon told us. “I was a service engineer and had to tell a small business owner that his hard drive was dead.

“He lost all his accounts data going back forever.”

Stubbornness can be costly for business – very, very costly

“I’ve seen a business owner refuse to spend any money at all on a backup solution and lose 10+ years of data,” an IT professional and tech forum moderator told us. “And I see at least one post like that a week, if not more.”

Another user on a tech forum described a ‘sphincter-tightening experience’ in which he thought he had lost years’ worth of a client’s sales data after a computer malfunction. Luckily he had a backup, and was able to restore almost all of the data, only having to manually re-enter the last few months’ worth.

Many businesses have commercially sensitive data, such as information about their customers, products, or processes, that if lost and not backed up could have devastating effects for both company and customer. A significant data loss can set a business back by several years in its development.

But it can be just as devastating for personal data 

“I had a 1TB external hard drive full of all my photos and other irreplaceable stuff and it got corrupted,” a Reddit user confessed to us. “I couldn’t recover everything so I lost all of my files.”

Your personal data can contain priceless memories that don’t exist anywhere else – meaning that without a backup, once they’re gone they’re gone forever. Is it worth taking that risk?

So, what can we learn from these horror stories? One thing is clear: ensuring you have a reliable backup of your data is absolutely essential in order to avoid risking your business’ survival or your school project. No wonder that, according to a recent survey by Advanced, a software company, four out of five business owners are considering using cloud backup data storage.

Make sure you don’t join the list of victims this Halloween…get in touch today to get your data safely backed up.

Cloud storage backup

Why use cloud backup?

Being able to store data in a cloud is a wonderful thing. Clouds have revolutionised the way we manage files and information, and the benefits of storing work online as opposed to physical copies are too many to mention.

However, many cloud users make the mistake of thinking that their data is safe once it is stored in a cloud.

Unfortunately, this is not true.

There are many potential risks of storing your data in clouds without backing it up. Firstly, even data stored in a cloud is not safe from malicious attacks. The only way to be sure that your data will not be lost is by using a cloud backup service. This way you have a securely stored backup of your data in case the worst happens and your original copy is lost. In the case of attempted hacks, with cloud backups you have the option of using encryption to make sure your data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

A less malicious reason for cloud data loss is simple user error. How many times have you accidentally deleted a file or folder? Unfortunately, however accidental the deletion, without backup they are often lost forever. Cloud services such as Microsoft Exchange only provide a 30-day window to recover deleted items before they are gone for good. So by the time you notice that important work presentation or your CV has accidentally been sent to the bin, it could well be too late.

Of course, businesses cannot risk losing important files and information. For some businesses, charities or schools, the data they are storing in a cloud is so important or sensitive that to lose it would be disastrous. Being completely reliant on cloud storage without a backup is naive and reckless – it puts your company in a dangerous position.

Here at Safe Data Storage we offer fully managed cloud backup, with entirely UK-based technical support. Get in touch today to find out how we will keep your data secure.