You cannot afford to ignore the availability, integrity, and security of your organization’s data. Businesses like yours are the main targets of significant cyber-attacks, but most of them are also at risk from outages and unpredictable disasters that may happen at any time.
For some companies, even having a couple of hours of downtime can cause significant losses in terms of customers, revenue or productivity. The data lost when your devices fail or because of a breach can result in unrecoverable documents and could cost enough to put you out of business.
In a study published by data backup and business continuity solutions provider Unitrends, 93% of organizations that lost critical business data for more than ten days filed for bankruptcy within a year of the loss.
What Are Data Backup And Business Continuity Plans?
Preventing a significant data loss incident and reducing possible downtime if a disaster occurs has to be your top priority. Setting up a reliable and efficient data backup system and putting a business continuity plan in place are essential steps you must take to achieve these priorities and safeguard your business and the integrity of your data.
Data backup is a process that involves the storage of data in a different medium and, where possible, a different location to your primary data storage. If your primary data storage fails or gets damaged, it is easy to recover your information from the backup. In essence, this is the process of creating duplicate data that you can quickly retrieve in the case of sudden and unexpected data loss.
Suppose you have a robust business continuity (BC plan) plan alongside regular backups of your data. In that case, your business can get back on its feet as fast as possible after a significant data loss incident. The plan is a step-by-step playbook for your business operation’s resumption in the aftermath of a disaster that partially or totally destroys resources like computers, servers, databases, your corporate network, or your data.
According to Ilan Sredni of Palindrome Consulting, “The three key aspects to a successful BC/DR plan is a clear understanding of the time required to restore a complete network.” He also says that the plan explains who is responsible for handling technical, operational, or administrative issues. The 3 key aspects to a successful BC/DR plan is a clear understanding of the time that is required to restore a complete network (minutes vs hours vs days), the time from when you last restore (a few hours ago vs. last night) and who will be available to address any issues (operational, administrative and technical).
Benefits of Having Data Backup
Knowing that you have a data backup in place will give you peace of mind and the following additional benefits:
- Reliability: Among the essential benefits of remotely backing up your company’s data is that the duplicate info is created automatically at regular intervals without requiring your constant input. What’s more, this process is done over the internet, allowing you to instantly access your data anytime and anywhere that you need it.
- Lower Workload: When you have your data and files backed up automatically, any manual backup system becomes obsolete. An automated backup system frees up employees who would otherwise have had to carry out the tedious task of ensuring that they regularly duplicate business data to USB drives or other separate external storage.
- High Security: A remote data backup means that your data is stored on separate media than your primary data, but is also at a physical location away from your business. Typically, a secure backup site would be a commercial datacenter with numerous safeguards integrated into its digital framework and physical location. Thanks to security measures and advanced encryption of data, you can be sure that your data is safe and cannot be easily compromised.
If you require data backup and recovery services for your business, but you are unsure about setting it up yourself, you should look to a managed IT services provider for help. Due to their expertise and experience, they do your backups correctly, and set up is as quick as possible.
The Benefits of a Business Continuity Plan
If your business has a continuity plan, you can expect to enjoy some of the advantages below:
- Cost-Effectiveness: Business continuity planning often calls for the adoption of innovative hardware and software solutions, which can save your business money. For instance, swapping local storage for cloud-based data brings a significant cost reduction.
- Higher Productivity: A Business Continuity plan can increase your employees’ productivity since it involves cross-training multiple people to perform specific vital tasks. An effective BC plan means that resignations, vacation days, or sick leaves do not lead to service interruption or downtime.
- Customer Retention: Your clients expect instant service and constant reliability. If you fail to meet their expectations, your customers will move their business to your competitors. A business continuity plan reduces the risk of downtime or data loss, which could cost you customers.
More Steps You Can Take To Ensure Business Continuity
Besides having backups and devising a business continuity plan, Anthony Buonaspina, the CEO and founder of LI Tech Advisors says that there are additional steps you can take to protect yourself from data loss and security breaches that threaten your organization:
- Secure your hardware: Install the latest security patches and have 2-factor authentication if possible. You should also enable remote wipe for mobile devices in case they are lost or stolen.
- Perform a network security scan: Periodically scan your corporate network to find potential security vulnerabilities.
- Train your employees: Employees are among the weakest security points in most businesses. Invest in cybersecurity training for your staff to make them aware of risky behavior and protect themselves from phishing attempts.
- Buy cyber insurance: If the above business continuity measures fail, cybersecurity will provide compensation that will help you restart operations.
According to a Gartner study, the average cost to business because of downtime caused by data loss is $5,600 per minute. Unfortunately, for many small businesses, a change in procedure and processes does not occur until a data loss occurs. Do not put your organization at risk – be proactive. Consistently back up mission-critical data, train your employees on the implementation of security policies, and the responsible use of the internet and document your disaster recovery process.