The loss of data is a big concern for any business, and now with cloud storage it’s even more of a concern. Too many businesses rely on the “it can’t / won’t happen to me” attitude, which so often ends in total disaster, costing them big money or even sending the business to the wall.
If disaster does strike your business, you’ll be one of the lucky ones if you suffer a big hit to productivity. Up to 60% of small businesses go out of business entirely within 6 months of a major data loss event.
The good news is that most small businesses back their data up, and that’s going to go a long way to mitigating the potential disaster scenarios. If you already do, now would be a good time to check that your backups are actually working, and doing so on a regular enough basis to make a difference. If you don’t, you’re on the edge of disaster.
That said, just having a backup isn’t going to solve all your problems. You need a continuity plan for what steps need to be taken in the event of a disaster. Step by step instructions for who to call, and what to do so you can get your business back up to 100% efficiency as quickly as possibly. A plan like this can prevent major productivity and revenue loss and get your people back to work.
It doesn’t stop there; Your continuity plan needs to include your systems; Software packages that are vital to your operation, banking and financial systems, payroll and accounting, even printing if your business relies heavily on printed material. You should consider all aspects of your particular business and ensure you have a plan to keep ALL of them going in the event of a problem.
What kind of problems cause a business to lose data?
Hackers – In most cases, data loss results from poor cyber security. Without the right preventative measures in place, hackers can infect your system with ransomware, and compromise all of your files. Ransomware is one of today’s biggest threats to your data. The hacker gets in, takes over your files, and demands a ransom to release them.
Human Error – Backing up files, moving files and deleting old files is something that we do every day. It’s inevitable that you’ll accidentally delete files or backup an outdated version. Human error happens— You must have a plan in place for recovery when this happens.
Software Failure – We’ve all been there. You have a dozen programs running at once as you try to accomplish a dozen tasks. When working in one of these programs, your computer gets sluggish and then crashes. Now, all that data is gone because you didn’t save or back it up before the crash. Similarly, if you use outdated software you’re asking for problems. Don’t fall victim to this. Keep software up to date and don’t over-task your hardware.
Hardware Failure – Hard drives fail all the time – 140,000 fail every day. Some just get worn out, but others fail due to extenuating circumstances such as:
Cyber Viruses and Malware – Viruses and malware are a real threat in today’s ever-connected world. The Internet has immense value and you’re probably connected to it all the time. However, this also leaves you open to computer viruses that corrupt your network, and hackers who want to steal or hijack your data.
Power Failure – Loss of power to your system might seem like a remote risk, but that’s not always the case. A power failure on your computer can result in lost data, or even worse, hard drive failure.
Natural Disasters (hurricane, tornado, etc.) – A tornado doesn’t care how long it took you to back up your data, or that you didn’t backup at all. A server room could flood, or a main work area could suddenly cave in and be swept away. If you live in an area that’s prone to natural disasters, you should already be backing up your data.
The best way to protect your data from hackers and other risks is to have a reliable recovery solution in place that’s designed by an IT professional. The biggest threat to your data and your business is not being prepared. Get together with your I.T. manager and develop a Business Continuity Plan that works for your particular business.
Call Shift Computer Solutions at (07) 3814 1131 or send us an firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you create your Business Continuity Plan for 2018.