A year-and-a-half since the pandemic expedited the process of digitalization across industries, and we are witnessing how this transformation has played out for different stakeholders. One such important stakeholder is the local retailer, especially the ones who own small to medium-sized stores and are not always included in the mainstream conversations surrounding cloud security and data backup.
In the wake of heightened data breaches and ransomware attacks, it becomes imperative for them to encrypt, protect, and backup their data. The importance of these terms could not be more profound at a time when 90 percent of SMB retailers in India do not have enough awareness, let alone the services or infrastructure for the same.
A Kirana Store Owner’s Dilemma
In a country like ours, an average Kirana store owner is by nature inundated with a plethora of day-to-day business activities. In a situation like this, ensuring adequate data backup becomes an ancillary responsibility than a primary one. The traditional alternative, then, is to manually manage all the information without securely backing it up on a legitimate secondary source.
Ransomware and Such Malware Breaches: In the last few years there has been a significant increase in the amount of data collected, consumed, or shared by businesses. The rise of mobile internet, digital transformation is led to an increased risk of data breaches by hackers. Ransomware attacks cripple businesses as all the devices, networks rendering the breached data will be unusable and businesses will come to standstill and reputation is at stake.
Regular Operational Failures & Natural Calamities: Data is susceptible to human errors/ data deletion, power surges, hard disk failures, system crashes, improper shutdown, software corruption, and even natural disasters that could shut the operations of a business for a considerable time.
Lack of Awareness: A lot of retailers are unfortunately not aware of the most basic jargon or terminology surrounding data security that directly pertains to their business directly. Alternatively, much worse, they possess half-baked instructions that are counterproductive and could adversely affect them.
In the situations mentioned above, relying heavily on traditional or legacy methods could cost the retailer their entire business. Legacy backups are riddled with problems - they are people-dependent, time-consuming, error prone, and yet expensive. In an evolving technological paradigm, emphasis should be laid on investing in a backup tool that can overcome these issues at the lowest cost but with maximum efficiency and profitability for the business owner.
Significance of Cloud Backup & Preventing Ransomware
It is important to not just plan a strategy for once the disaster has taken place but also to ensure it does not happen in the first place. An incentive of using cloud backup is that it additional facilities (like constant monitoring and reporting of data) and detects threats in advance to stay ahead of a data calamity. The data stored on the cloud can be tracked and accessed remotely. This is a huge win in a pandemic-stricken era because now the owner does not have to scramble for information in case of an emergency. Apart from being automated, the data is also end-to-end encrypted. With BaaS, backup is real-time, instant and restoration is just a click away. It also helps businesses remain on the right side of the law be it GST or VAT, As statutory law mandates generation and maintenance of electronic records for at least three to seven years.
The Road Ahead: Backup as a Service (BaaS)
In a post-pandemic and highly digitalized world, data breaches are inevitable. To ensure timely, reliable, secure, and cost-effective backup of one’s businesses- BaaS is the future. Consider this: a startup or a novice retailer would have to go through several unavoidable stages in order to complete the backup process. From purchasing relevant infrastructure to hiring and training an entire staff-, it can be an uphill task to execute this process from scratch. All of this coupled with high costs, lack of technical awareness, and time constraints then become a potential roadblock to enabling a successful data protection system.
In addition to deploying BaaS, businesses have to define a good cyber security policy defining rights roles, access to data to different users of the system be it cashier, supervisor, manager. Ensure systems are updated regularly. Role-based access can have multiple levels of security that can be easily configured and monitored. Last but not the least, data being a crucial business asset protecting against data thefts with a unique MFA-based authentication gives complete control of data as passwords need not be shared as it is a unique machine-generated key.
In conclusion, an average Kirana store owner might face a lot of dilemmas in their journey towards understanding the need for a proper data protection backup. While some invest in this early on, many start to understand its importance after suffering a bow. At the core of this dilemma is the opportunity to protect data, embrace new technology and leverage it to enhance the overall user experience.