The Silent Killer That Lurks Within Your Organization
Technology research groups like Gartner report that nearly 95% of companies that suffer a major data loss permanently shut their doors and never reopen. Yet, an alarming number of small businesses don’t have a disaster recovery plan and use insufficient methods of backing up data. More than ten million hard drives will fail this year and its impossible to account for the damage that human error will cause. Statistics aside, the actual risk of data loss is unmeasurable. One thing is certain: you won’t even see it coming.
Why Your Cloud Backup Plan Will Probably Fail
If your small business is like most, you create and store large amounts of data over time, including customer transactions, employee records, backups and more. If you chose a cloud storage provider for convenience, then it’s time to examine your recovery plan more closely. Cloud storage providers charge per GB for downloading your data from their servers but regardless of the cost, it can take WEEKS to restore even with a high speed business-class Internet connection. The downtime created by this disaster can have serious negative consequences. Cloud Backup is a compliment to a proper backup scheme, but is by no means a disaster recovery plan.
Why Hackers Want Your Boring Data
We’ve recently been shown just how much info can be discovered through just metadata. Simply put: A little of your data goes a long way in helping an intruder obtain sensitive information about you, your customers and your employees. Small business owners tend to take a very relaxed attitude towards the threat of intrusion. The common justification for this is usually along the lines of “No one wants to steal our boring data” but nothing could be further from the truth. Hackers have sophisticated tools to discover common vulnerabilities and just like street thugs, they go for easy targets. Neglecting the state of your network security just makes it easy for thieves.
5 Ways to Ensure Your Data NEVER Gets Lost or Destroyed
1. Have a backup backup plan! Redundancy is the key to keeping data alive. Consider adult mayflies: they only live for about 24 hrs, yet amazingly, they have survived more than 350 million years on our planet. Their ability to self-replicate quickly is what ensures their survival. Replicate your data and keep multiple backups in separate locations. Proper replication will ensure your data’s survival.
2. Automate your backups! Backups should be fully automated, removing the burden from you and your staff. Automating your backup and replication tasks ensures that your data is protected even while you sleep.
3. Verify the integrity of your backups! Recovery is not possible if your backups are corrupted or incomplete. Check your backups for integrity to ensure you always have a safe copy.
4. Encrypt your data! Just like you wouldn’t leave your storage unit unlocked or allow just anyone to know your gate code, you shouldn’t store data without proper security measures. Encryption is the first layer of security. Your network should also be behind a hardened firewall with very limited access.
5. Run recovery drills! Large corporations spend upwards of $250K on disaster recovery drills, highlighting the importance of preparation. Training your staff on what to do when systems crash or connectivity is lost can help you avoid chaos and work together as a team to restore operations quickly.
“Dammit Jim, I’m a Doctor, Not an IT Technician!”
You don’t have to be tech savvy to practice better data security. We’ll answer your questions and offer you suggestions to improve the habits of you and your staff.
In the meantime, be proactive. Share what you learn with your staff and enforce policies. No one cares more about your business than you. Your customers, employees, their families and yours are counting on your company’s survival. Stop taking risks with your company data and get serious about protecting it. If you need help taking the first step, call us and we’ll assist you.