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What is the best way to protect business data?

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It’s storm season and I’m trying to develop a plan for the worst. What is the best way to protect my business data?

Jim Dickens, senior vice president of CCC Information Services Inc.’s Automotive Services Group

It’s important for shops to make storm-related preparations. Shops also need to take a close look at the storage of digital business data. The most critical things that repairers stand to lose include insurer contacts, customer databases, past and current repair information, financial data and historical business information.

Several shops have their backup server stacked right below their main server in the shop. If any major disaster strikes, both would be destroyed simultaneously. It’s very difficult and costly to recover that data, if it’s even possible.

Migrating to cloud computing capabilities is the easiest and safest way to prepare for disastrous events. If your server is destroyed, all your information will remain fully intact in cyberspace.

Some people do have privacy concerns with storing data with a cloud service. So shops should assess their cloud provider before jumping onboard:

• Have a solid understanding of what the service provider is going to do with your data and application, and know the company’s confidentiality policies.
• Make sure there are high degrees of security so that nobody can hack in and steal your information.
• Make sure enough computing power is offered to deliver high performance.
• Make sure there are redundancy and disaster recovery plans in place in the event that something happens to the company’s data center.
• Use the company’s past customers as references on performance and satisfaction.

The information in your database is critical to your overall operations. Having a mechanism to back-up and access everything you need to operate your business post-catastrophe is critical.  

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