Data backup and recovery are critical responsibilities that every CPA should take seriously. While smaller firms have traditionally backed up to tape or external USB drives, they may be subject to human error or fire, flood or theft. The proliferation of Internet connectivity, less expensive bandwidth and online backup and cloud services has created reliable and cost-effective solutions for backing up firm data securely offsite. The lull after busy season is a good time to evaluate these options and compare them to the firm’s current system.
Despite their popularity, backup tapes require manual intervention because someone must remember to physically swap the tapes out and ensure they are regularly moved offsite. Restoring files is often laborious as they can be on multiple tapes that have to be brought back to the firm to be accessed. In addition, many states’ cyber security laws mandate that any files with personally identifiable information be encrypted, which can double the backup time and impede network performance during that time. Finally, the cost of purchasing multiple tapes and the related ongoing labor make other