Since we live and work in New Orleans, we’re obviously familiar with hurricanes and flooding. Because of these natural disasters, business owners are knowledgeable about backups. However, many do not realize the vital importance of good backups until it is too late and they do not realize there are more likely ways to need backups than natural disasters like hurricanes.
Our message is simple, “Your business can survive if your data survives.” You can replace your entire business – computers, services, equipment, buildings, and even employees, but you can’t recreate lost data without a strong backup strategy and properly working backups. For this reason, we take backups very seriously and our internal motto is “My IT can survive if our clients’ data survives.” An IT firm cannot sustain a reputation of losing client data. When creating your backup strategy, you must consider all the potential threats to your data and prepare for the worst.
3 Disasters that Can Destroy Your Business:
- Natural Disasters – This is the most obvious disaster that most people think about losing data (and their business) and these disasters include hurricanes and flooding locally, and earthquakes, tornados, and blizzards in other parts of the country. We list other disasters because we’re interconnected in today’s business environment and a blizzard in New England can affect shipping to the Gulf Coast. Usually, when a natural disaster hits, a large portion of the area are affected and customers are more sympathetic if you’re out of work for a few days because they are also affected. However, many companies today have a larger footprint than just their local region, so you need to plan to get back up and running quickly to service out-of-town customers.
- Local Disasters – A local disaster can be a fire, pipe bursting, power outage, or water leak just to your office. We’ve seen odd occurrences where a small roof leak travels across the ceiling and drips water directly on the server 500’ away in a different room. The challenge with a local disaster is two-fold, your local backups are ineffective and your customers are less sympathetic because they are not affected too. Even if you have your data stored offsite, such as in the cloud, it can take days to download your data or to ship a hard drive with your data to you.
- Crash or Cyber-Attack – Some people do not consider a server crash or cyber-attack a “disaster”, but because its effects are just as grand as a local disaster, we call it a disaster and plan for it accordingly. We also lump theft into this category because having your server stolen is more detrimental because now you need to recover your data to be operational and prevent data from being shared. This is especially true if your company is required to follow HIPAA regulations and why we require password protecting your devices and suggest encrypting your data.
According to Kroll Ontrack Data Recovery, hardware and system malfunctions (like a server crash) count for 78% of data losses! Hardware failure is the most likely way to lose data by far because the next few culprits are human error at 11% and a software malfunction at 7%. In fact, natural disasters only account for 1% of data loss!
We must stop fearing just a hurricane and prepare for the more likely culprit, hardware failure. That is why life cycle management is crucial because it can prevent a failure (and save your company a lot of money) and why you need to back up your data in three locations.
Remember, your business can survive if your data survives. Don’t roll the dice and pray that your data is okay, be sure that you’re covered against all three types of data disasters.