Are Regular Data Backups Part of Your Disaster Recovery Plan?
How often do you backup your business data? Once a day? Every Friday? Where is the backup data stored? On your network? In the cloud? What does your business do if a disruption in service occurs? Close the office? Try to locate your IT resource? If you could answer each of these questions, great! If you’re like many professionals, your answers were more likely:
- I don’t know.
- Good question.
- Hmmm . . . I think.
To protect your business and your customers, you need a disaster recovery plan that includes regular backups of critical data.
What is Disaster Recovery?
Disaster recovery focuses on how a business brings its critical services back into operation after a disruption in service. Whether it is a power outage, a successful cyber-attack, or a tropical storm, an interruption in service can have dire consequences for an organization.
What is Business Data Backup?
Part of a disaster recovery plan addresses the need for restoring operational data. Data backups are at-rest storage of a company’s files and folders that are designed to protect against data loss. Backups are scheduled at set intervals to minimize the loss of data because of a disruption in service.
What is Business Continuity?
Business continuity plans describe the process of bringing an organization back to full operations after a disaster. It goes beyond the mission-critical restoration of a disaster recovery plan, but it relies on the disaster recovery process for its ability to achieve full operations.
Why Is a Disaster Recovery Plan Needed?
The types of disasters that can cripple businesses are no longer restricted to physical locations that are susceptible to hurricanes, earthquakes, or blizzards. Today’s business environment faces virtual disasters, as well. With hackers attempting a cyber-attack every 39 seconds, a virtual disaster is just waiting to happen. With a well-designed disaster recovery plan, businesses can survive disruptions in service, while saving time, money, and resources.
When a business cannot operate, it loses money. How much depends on the industry, but a 2020 survey found that about 25% of small businesses estimated their per hour cost of downtime to be above $50,000. The majority of business owners said their downtime costs were between $10,000 and $50,000. It doesn’t take long for the cost to add up. A day of downtime could range from $80,000 to $400,000.
Once a business is back in operation, it needs access to critical information about its products and services. Unless critical data was backed up, employees may spend hours trying to recreate data or explaining to customers why information is no longer available. With data backups, systems can be restored without a loss of data or a decline in customer service.
Including a backup strategy in a disaster recovery plan saves time. Whether it is a natural- or human-made disaster, time is a critical commodity. The longer it takes to return to operations, the more significant the impact on the bottom line. For example, a virtual disaster such as a data breach can take up to 314 days to identify and control. Even when a breach is caused by human error or system glitches, it can take about 250 days.
Regular backups enable an organization to restore its system to a known point before the disaster. The backups can even be restored to a duplicate system, reducing downtime from hours to minutes. A quick return to operations helps mitigate the risk to a company’s reputation.
About 60% of small businesses go out of business after a disruption in service. One reason is the loss of customers. Given today’s competitive market, a loss of service means a loss of customers. Approximately 63% of consumers will move to a competitor after a poor customer experience. Making sure data is backed up, and ready to restore not only helps retain customers it also minimizes the impact on a company’s reputation.
Failure to retain control over personally identifiable or sensitive customer information hurts an organization’s reputation. It can also result in fines and possible legal action for those industries that are high-regulated such as financial services and healthcare. Securing this data through systematic backups reduces the risk of a company becoming out-of-compliance because of a disruption in service.
If your organization does not systematically backup data at set intervals, it is a disaster waiting to happen. Planned backups, along with a well-designed disaster recovery plan, help companies save time and money while enabling them to survive. Contact EVERNET for information on data backups, disaster recovery, and business continuity.
Eric is a Business IT cybersecurity advisor, consultant, manager, integrator, and protector who founded EVERNET in 2007. Eric co-hosts a podcast called “Finance and Technology Insights by Brian & Eric” on YouTube. Eric is a regular contributor to the EVERNET blog, writing about the latest technology news and providing his expertise in cyber security prevention and management.