It seems like it’s been a long time since the days of writing and filing papers by hand instead of using word or Google docs. It’s been equally as long since we’ve kept important information in folders or on floppy disks instead of its more advanced brother, the USB stick. In a world that is so digitally advanced, it’s hard to imagine being without our technology. However, the one thing a company is never prepared to hear is that there has been a catastrophic loss of data. Whether you’re Microsoft or a small accounting firm, the mere thought of losing all your data to a surge or hacker is enough to make you want to curl up in a ball and scream. It can be extremely crippling to a business, and for this company, it was exactly that.
Blogging platform JournalSpace no longer exists, thanks to a massive wipe-out of their main database. Normally, you’d think “no problem, we have a back-up!” but unfortunately for this company, that wasn’t the case. With years of files, and no back-up in place, they lost everything. According to the JournalSpace blog, the database was overwritten as a result of a malicious act from a disgruntled ex-employee. Essentially, their IT guy relied on RAID as the only backup mechanism for the SQL server and he had set up automated backups for the HTTP server which contains the PHP code, but for some reason he didn’t have a backup system in place for the SQL data. The worst part about it is that had the company invested in a backup system, their company wouldn’t have suffered, and they would probably still be blogging today.
Now we’re not saying that our products are the “be-all, end-all”, but after seeing what this Northeastern University professor went through, we’ll make a bet that they probably are.
Professor Heidi Kevoe-Feldman stored hundreds of files, many years worth of her own personal research and over 100 GB of files on Dropbox. She’d been using it for years and never had problems. In an interview with Business Insider, who originally reported the story she stated, “I’ve been using Dropbox for years, for everything. I have students upload papers to it, and I collaborate with other researchers on it”. Her worst nightmare came true one Wednesday, when she tried to access some of her files and realized that more than 200 of her movie files and over 3,000 photos were gone. She contacted Dropbox support and they claimed there was nothing they could do to help her and claimed that she deleted the files herself, despite that fact that some files had been added after the date that they said the files got erased. In Heidi’s case, she was lucky enough to have time machine on her computer and restored all of her files.
Companies should know by now the importance of backing up files. It may cost you a little bit now, but it will save you the possible loss of your data down the road. You buy car insurance even though you know you’re a good driver and health insurance even though you’re not sick. Having a backup in place is basically an insurance policy for your business.
Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.