What steps are you taking to protect your small business from data loss? According to a study conducted by Clutch, over half of small businesses that experience a data loss event will fail within the six months.

The good news is that you can protect your small business from data loss by creating backups. With multiple copies of your data, you can rest assured knowing that the loss of data on one platform won’t affect the same data stored on a different platform.

#1) Follow the 3-2-1 Rule

Apply the 3-2-1 rule to your small business’s backup strategy. This rule states that you should create three copies of your data on at least two different platforms and keep at least one copy of the data stored offsite. The latter part is particularly important because it ensures your small business’s data won’t be completely lost of a disaster, such as fire or flood, occurs at your small business’s facility.

#2) Use an Automatic Cloud Backup Service

You can use an automatic cloud backup service to simplify and streamline your small business’s data backup efforts. There are dozens of cloud storage vendors, many of which support automatic backups. Using an automatic cloud backup service, your small business’s data will be backed up on an offsite server without any manual work on your behalf.

#3) Create Regular Backups

Data backups are only useful at recovering from a data loss event if they are created on a regular basis. If you only create backups once a month and experience a data loss event, you could lose several weeks worth of data. So, how often should you create backups? It really depends on the type of small business you operate as well as the type of data you store and use. With that said, information technology (IT) experts recommend creating backups every 24 hours.

#4) Clean Up Stored Data

Don’t forget to clean up your backups by removing irrelevant or unneeded data. Keeping sensitive data for too long could leave your small business vulnerable to a data breach. If you have a database backup consisting of past customers’ payment information, for example, it a hacker could access it and use that data for his or her own nefarious purposes. If you no longer need sensitive data in a backup, delete it.

#5) Invest in Cybersecurity Solutions

Cybersecurity and data backups go hand in hand. If your small business has lax cybersecurity measures, hackers could infiltrate your network and systems to modify, copy or delete your backups. To strengthen your small business’s cybersecurity, use a multi-pronged approach consisting of antivirus software, firewalls and encryption.