Business continuity is one subject that not a lot of people know a lot about. Even those that claim to, often only understand the theory behind it and the practical applications of strategies and procedures necessary to keep a business running smoothly. This is largely because there isn’t a curriculum that presents a comprehensive outline on how to deal with disaster. This month, we’re going to share some continuity strategies that work, regardless of the situation, to get your business coordinated and back up and running fast following an unfortunate event.
Data backup is something that all businesses need in some capacity. The reasoning for this is simple: you can never predict the future, so your business’ life is never guaranteed… unless, of course, you plan for the worst. Today we want to share with you some best practices as they relate to data backup and disaster recovery, practices which we hope will give you the confidence that you can recover from even the worst-case scenarios.
You need to be sure that your business is prepared for disaster, which will necessitate a disaster recovery plan. While there are many steps that go into creating one, we wanted to highlight a few in particular and outline a few best practices to follow for each. Here are three of the most vital elements of a successful business continuity strategy, with a few tips to help you fulfill them most effectively.
Disasters can happen when you least suspect them. Whether it’s a tornado that levels your office or an electrical failure which sparks a structural fire, a business-ending scenario could happen with little-to-no warning. You must be prepared to maintain operations even when it feels impossible, and part of this is being prepared to handle off-site operations.
In today’s age of ransomware, climate change, and worldwide pandemics, a lot can happen that could spell trouble for your organization. This is why it is so critical for your company to have a business continuity plan. There are many factors that contribute to a successful business continuity plan, one of which is a disaster recovery plan. But wait, aren’t those the same thing? Not quite.
Disasters are not something relegated to specific locations or industries. All organizations are susceptible to a data loss disaster or two, no matter which category they fall under. As a business owner, it should be your prerogative to protect your company from the various disasters that could create downtime, destroy data, and disrupt operations.
Individuals are increasingly understanding the value of their data, and that is a good thing. Unfortunately, a lot of small and medium-sized businesses are operating today without any type of data backup protecting their business’ data, and that, of course, is bad. It is important that if you don’t have a dedicated data backup and recovery strategy in place, that you work to fix that immediately. Today we’ll tell you why.
In light of the recent successful touchdown of Mars Rover Perseverance, it reminded me of a really fun story I read about a technical issue that NASA had a few years ago, and how it’s an extremely powerful message for anyone who relies on technology for their business.
I want you to take a moment and consider something: is your business prepared to survive any kind of data disaster? If you aren’t, you need to ensure that your systems—all your systems—can recover from whatever feasible event might impact them. This is what is known as IT resilience. Let’s dive in a little deeper.
Your business’ data is extremely important to the livelihood of your business and as a result, you need to have plans in place to protect it. Sure, you can invest in all the top notch cybersecurity tools and services, and they may keep you from getting your data stolen or corrupted, but what happens if something terrible happens to the servers that it is stored on? No level of threat detection is going to save a server if it is charred, under water, or its components are completely fried.
When considering a continuity plan for your business, you need to consider some scenarios that may not ever happen. This is called risk management and it is the basis of keeping your business up and running regardless of the situations that it encounters. This month, we thought we would outline some of the variables that need to be addressed when creating a comprehensive business continuity plan.
Hope can be a big part of a person’s notion to start their own business. Needless to say that entrepreneurial hope doesn’t always consider that there will be a global pandemic that grinds the operational effectiveness that you’ve spent years building to a halt. Hope does, however, play a big part in the creation of a business continuity plan. Today, we’ll briefly discuss why you should never lose hope and how being prepared stems from the same notion as starting a business.
The tragic reality of the COVID-19 pandemic is that businesses are in a very uncomfortable situation. As the virus made its way around the world, many businesses have had to enact their version of a disaster recovery policy. Not all businesses will look at this the same way, but if you want your business to have the kind of continuity that will allow it to get through tough situations like this, formally creating a disaster recovery policy will put you in the position to weather any storm you encounter.
Imagine having a data backup and disaster recovery solution, thinking you’re prepared to handle anything that comes your way. Then disaster strikes and recovery is impossible. If you had tested your solution beforehand, it may have been possible to prevent this misstep entirely. What kind of disasters need to be prepared for, and how can you make sure your testing takes them into account?
Businesses need data in order to exist. That’s just the way things work nowadays. This reliance on data, however, then makes it a strong requirement to protect it from mishaps. You’d protect your finances, after all, and your intellectual property… why not protect the resource that leads to these things from all of the many circumstances that could put them at risk?
While not every business needs to worry about hurricanes, the same can’t be said for other kinds of disasters out there. Tornadoes, fires, and other natural disasters could strike at any moment depending on geographical location, but if you’re prepared, you can limit the influence these events have on your organization’s future.
Each organization has a different definition for how they define a disaster. One business might feel that they can get away with losing a few files here and there, while another might need every file to be secure and protected against data loss. Regardless, the importance of being able to define the severity of a disaster cannot be underestimated, as you will need to properly gauge just how much hot water your business has landed in before it can pull itself up by the bootstraps and push forward.
Over one-third of businesses don’t have any means of backing up their data. This is a major problem, especially considering how many threats there are that can derail operations. For managed IT providers like us, this is painful, as it’s unfortunate to hear about data disasters that could easily be prevented. We’ll discuss some of the biggest reasons why your business needs data backup and disaster recovery.
Hard Drives Break Easily
The hard drive is the part inside your computer that holds its data, but it is also susceptible to failing for one particular reason: it breaks easily. Consider the fact that the typical hard drive works by spinning a bunch of platters at very high speeds. It’s practically built with the risk of catastrophic breakage. These platters are outfitted with a thin magnetic coat that stores the data itself. A small arm rests over this platter with nothing but a cushion of air to hold it in place. The spinning itself is what keeps these two from colliding. If the head were to touch the platter, well… it’s safe to say that you’ll be wishing you had data backup.
While modern hard disk drives can somewhat bypass these issues and have failsafes built into them, mechanical devices with countless spinning parts should be expected to fail at some point or another. Constant operation will result in wear and tear, and even the most subtle shakes can take their toll on the reliability of the drive. If your data is only located on one drive, all it takes to ruin your day is a bit of bad luck.
User Error is Inevitable
What happens when one of your employees makes an admittedly understandable error and countless troubles follow suit? Perhaps your company uses spreadsheets to keep track of which services each of your clients receive. This template is what’s used for billing purposes. While this is a crude way of doing business at best compared to more recent innovations, if the original copy is lost or the files are changed unexpectedly, you could have a major problem on your hands. If this were to happen when you have data backup, you just need to restore the file from backup and everything would be right as rain.
Ransomware is Tricky and Unpredictable at Best
While the average PC owner understands that they need a firewall and antivirus protection on their computer, commercial-level solutions will simply not do for a business. There are threats out there that can pierce the defenses of the average security protocol. Some of the most renown recent threats include ransomware--malicious programs that encrypt data on your device and only unlock it when a ransom is paid. Cryptolocker and Cryptowall are some of the most notorious types of ransomware out there, and they’re as dangerous as they are crafty. Worst of all is that they are spread through spam and targeted phishing emails, so even some specialized security solutions may not spot them in time. In the event of a ransomware strike, the most practical way to recover is to just restore your data from a time before the ransomware infected your infrastructure.
Not Checking Your Backup
The scariest part of data backup isn’t the thought of not having it, but what would happen if your data backups failed. Frequently testing that your backups work is perhaps the most important part of using data backup and disaster recovery. PCSOFT can assist you with the implementation and upkeep of your backup system. To learn more, reach out to us at 02 98730080.
Having consistent access to data is what drives business. If you can’t access mission-critical data, then you experience what’s called downtime, which drives profits into the ground. Therefore, you need to keep your data safe, especially if you want your company’s future to be prosperous. Therefore, you need data backup and disaster recovery.
If there’s one concept that every business owner needs to be intimately familiar with, it’s business continuity. Boiled down, the concept tackles the question of how your business will carry on after a disaster situation has struck. While a business continuity plan is by no means a simplistic document, there are a few key points that all businesses should focus on.