Data loss is always a concern for businesses, and now with cloud storage there is more concern than ever that data stored there could be stolen or lost. “It can’t/won’t happen to me” attitudes among small businesses could end in disaster, costing these business owners a pretty penny.
Lost profits, lost productivity and damage to your businesses reputation are just a few things that could come from loss of data…and those are the best-case scenarios. Small businesses can’t afford to lose data. Almost 60% of small businesses go under within six months of a major data loss.
The good news is that a majority of small businesses already backup their data, whether it is locally, on the cloud or both. To prevent a catastrophic loss of data, it is important that you follow some simple guidelines to preserve your data. Backup the data for starters, preferably on a daily basis, but at least a couple times a week. You also want to have a Business Continuity Plan in place.
A Business Continuity Plan is a process put in place to respond to any catastrophic loss of data with a documented and clear set of plans to recover that data. The plan includes step-by-step instructions how to recover the loss and get your network or system up and running as swift as possible to avoid a major loss in productivity or revenue, and get back to work.
Your data recovery analysis should include hiring a Managed Service Provider for your IT recovery needs. They are specially qualified to handle data recovery and to get your business back up and running after an IT disaster better than you are. They will help with the analysis and show you the best way to safeguard your data so that, in the event of a catastrophe, they can help get that data back.
What can cause your data to be lost? There are a few main causes for the loss of important data, including:
- Hackers – A lot of times data loss is due to poor cybersecurity. Without the right preventative measures in place, hackers can infect a system with ransomware and compromise all of your files. Ransomware is likely today’s biggest threat to your data. You hear about it everywhere, including how to defend against it before they get in and take over your files. You don’t want that ransom note.
- Human Error – Backing up files, moving files and deleting old files is something that we do every day as part of our business routine. So it is inevitable that we accidently delete the wrong files or backup an outdated version of a file. Human error is inevitable so have a plan in place for when this happens to you.
- Software Failure – We’ve all been there. You have a dozen programs running at once as you try to accomplish a dozen tasks at once. You’re working in one of those dozen programs when the computer starts acting sluggish then crashes. Now all that data is gone because you didn’t save or back it up before the crash. Similarly, if you are using outdated software you’re asking for problems. Don’t fall victim to this. Keep software up to date and don’t over task the hardware.
- Hardware Failure – Hard drives fail all the time. 140,000 hard drives fail every day. Some just get worn out but others fail due to extenuating circumstances such as:
- Water Damage
- Fire Damage
- Power Surges
- Getting Dropped
- 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 at all times, but this also leaves you open for computer viruses as well as hackers that want to steal or hijack your data, or corrupt your entire network.
- Power Failure – The loss of power to your system might seem as if it is low risk, but that’s not always the case. A power failure to the computer can result in loss of data or even worse, hard drive failure.
- Natural Disasters (hurricane, tornado, etc.) – A tornado doesn’t care how long it took you to backup your data or that you didn’t backup at all. A server room could flood or a main work area could suddenly cave in or be swept away. If you live somewhere prone to natural disasters, you should already be backing up data.
The best way to protect your data from hackers and other problems is to have a reliable recovery solution in place by an IT professional. The biggest threat to your data and your business is not being prepared. Get together with your Managed Service Provider (MSP) and come up with a Business Continuity Plan that works for your business.