Inexpensive and Secure Options for Business Data Storage

When it comes to your PC, you probably aren’t terribly concerned about having ample space and state-of-the-art security for data storage. That’s because home computers are mainly used for simple tasks like communicating with a limited network of family and friends, surfing the web, compiling personal records and filing taxes, and possibly watching video content or playing online games. In short, average storage space and security measures are adequate to meet all of your home computing needs. But when it comes to your business you might require significantly more options for data storage, not to mention much higher levels of security to protect sensitive client information. And the unfortunate truth of the matter is that such measures could end up costing you quite a bit. So here are just a few inexpensive ways to get the storage and security you need for a little less.

When it comes to storage there are a couple of options you could pursue that are likely to cost you a lot less than, say, hosting a server farm on-site or contracting out to a data center. Depending on the size of your business and the amount or size of data you generate, you may not need massive amounts of virtual storage space. Or perhaps you can get by with breaking it up into small portions for individual employees and using a unity system to gain access rather than hosting everything on one massive, integrated server. Considering how inexpensive external hard drives are, some small businesses may be able to get away with housing file backups on such devices.

For example, you can now purchase a 1TB drive (that’s a terabyte, or 1,024 gigabytes, of storage space) for under $100. And it couldn’t be more secure from outside threats; all you have to do is turn it off when you don’t need to load or access files. On the other hand, it is pretty easy for employees to walk off with, and some would say these devices aren’t suitable for long-term storage (although that depends largely on the type of files you’re storing). In truth, it’s not that difficult or expensive to set up a unified storage drive on-site with a few TB of space and software that auto backs-up files for employees (since human error often makes a manual backup system unsuccessful).

But what if you need more storage space? Suppose you are producing HD video files that you need to store for weeks or months at a time for editing purposes. You will quickly burn through several TB of storage space. In this case, cloud storage may be your best bet. It can get expensive, but still it will likely cost you less that contracting with a traditional data storage facility. And while you will probably want to learn more about this tech before you sign on, you should know that it is generally safer than standard storage due to the fact that data is spread across several server locations (so even if one portion is accessed the rest will be out of reach for hackers).

As for safety, you will have to rely on others to provide it for you when it comes to using off-site data storage. But for your on-site system you should have antivirus and anti-spyware programs installed at the very least (some, like Ad-Aware, offer free software), as well as an adequate firewall (this you will have to pay for, but it’s worth every penny) and potentially even an encryption program for sensitive data. You should also train employees in common sense procedures like deleting unknown emails, shying away from dangerous websites while at work, and of course, frequently changing passwords and keeping them private.