Whether you’re managing a retail store, a dental practice, an accounting firm, or a boutique bakery, your business runs on data. At minimum, you must keep track of sensitive employee and payroll records, making sure they’re accessible when you need them—and private when you don’t. You may also have years’ worth of sales transactions, patient information subject to HIPAA regulations or valuable intellectual property that you couldn’t do your work without.However, as much as we rely on data, too many businesses overlook how important it is to keep it safe, available, and secure. One common practice is to keep data on a PC or external hard drive, but if the device fails, you’ll spend thousands to recover your data—if you’re lucky enough to recover it at all. Other businesses use the cloud for data storage, but depending on how much capacity you need, this can quickly become expensive.A network-attached storage (NAS) device gives businesses a simple solution for backing up and protecting their data. Think of NAS as a sweet spot between a hard drive and a server. While servers can do more, they’re costlier and more complicated to set up and manage. They also require more effort to manage potential security vulnerabilities.Because NAS devices have a defined purpose with software and applications designed for simplicity, they are easier to set up and use. The installation process offers step-by-step guidance with customer support available for extra help. That means you won’t have to call your IT specialist.If you’ve never before considered NAS, here are the top five reasons your business should have one.It keeps what’s private privateIf you’re dealing with financial transactions, employee Social Security numbers, patient data, or other sensitive information, you need to keep it protected. Unfortunately, nearly 90% of small- and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. don’t use data protection for company and customer information.1 This is bad news. According to a recent survey from the Ponemon Institute, 54% of small- and medium-sized businesses have experienced a data breach involving customer or employee information in the previous 12 months.2NAS can help you safeguard data and avoid the high costs of a breach. When you use a NAS device, your data stays in your office. This is especially helpful when the cloud is not an option due to business restrictions or other concerns. In this way, a NAS device can help you comply with industry regulations for data privacy, like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).In addition, a NAS device with Intel® QuickAssist Technology (Intel® QAT) gives you a simple way to quickly encrypt and decrypt data.Your data is always there for youEvery business has certain types of information it needs immediate access to, no matter what. Think calendars for appointment scheduling, patient medical records or inventory pricing.If this data is stored in the cloud and you lose your internet connection, your business could come screeching to a halt. Similarly, waiting for large files to download from the cloud can consume valuable employee time. With a NAS device, your data is on-site and ready to be accessed whenever you need it.Everything is backed up—seamlesslyYour data is priceless. Enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you can quickly recover all the data saved from your PCs, mobile devices and other systems in the event of a failure. You can set up NAS devices to automatically sync with and upload data so that it’s backed up regularly—without you or your employees having to think about it.You can support video surveillanceVideo surveillance systems can help keep your business safe, but they demand an incredible amount of computing performance and storage capacity. Select NAS devices give you robust performance and connectivity for video surveillance and transcoding. This means you can quickly and securely access your camera views from any device, any time. Look for NAS solutions with support for video surveillance if this is important for your business.You’ll save money over the long runToday’s businesses have a growing number of PCs, mobile devices, cameras, point-of-sale devices, and other systems. As your data needs grow, so do your costs for cloud storage. Sending everything to the cloud can get expensive, especially considering the extra demand on your internet bandwidth. Using a NAS device to store critical, sensitive, or large files will help reduce some of the cost.NAS devices are designed to balance performance, power and cost, giving you an optimized solution that fits both your CapEx and OpEx budgets, while working in tandem with the cloud storage you already use. Given that you could pay hundreds or thousands each year for cloud storage costs, a NAS device can quickly pay for itself.Find the right NAS solution for your businessEventually, most businesses will have a problem with data, whether it’s loss or a security breach. By being proactive about secure data storage, you can protect yourself before data becomes a problem. One of the most important assets for a business is its data—so ensuring that it’s available, protected and backed up is critical to your success.As you research NAS devices, look for solutions that use Intel processors, which give you fast file transfer speeds, exceptional performance, amazing graphics and robust encryption to help keep your data secure. We recommend solutions from Synology, QNAP, ASUSTOR, NETGEAR, and QSAN.1. “Cybercrime and hacking are even bigger worries for small business owners,” The Guardian, January 2015, com/business/2015/jan/21/cybersecurity-small-business-thwarting-hackers-obama-cameron.2. “2017 State of Cybersecurity in Small & Medium-Sized Businesses (SMB),” Ponemon Institute, September 2017, ma/IMG/pdf/2017_state_of_cybersecurity_in_small_medium-sized_businesses.pdf.