Backup & Disaster Recovery: Protecting Your Company’s Digital Assets
Organizations leverage data and record keeping at all levels of their organization. Today’s business world demands that companies collect, generate and analyze massive data sets on a daily basis. They use this information to understand more about their operations and use data-driven decision making to optimize performance.
Without access to their data, everything slams to a halt. Applications don’t work properly, customers can’t place orders, employees get upset because they have to stay late to get their work done, and the long-term damage can be significant.
The Importance of Protecting Data From Loss
Protecting data from loss is one of the most important priorities that a company can have these days. Companies face several consequences if this information gets lost in a form that is understandable by attackers.
Downtime is the first problem that they run into. They can’t bring their systems back up until they get the data back, or else no one can access work that’s already been done. Manually entering this data could prove impossible, depending on how big the data set is and whether a backup is available.
If the organization doesn’t have a proper backup and recovery plan, then the downtime is going to last much longer. Every second that the systems are down is another second that business operations are disrupted. For some companies, the financial loss could be millions of dollars per hour. If the financial loss is great enough, the business itself could find itself in bankruptcy or otherwise restructured.
Lawsuits are another consequence of data loss. When a company handles sensitive data, such as personally identifiable information or medical records, customers may hold the organization legally responsible for any damages related to a breach. For example, a person may need to cancel their debit and credit cards and pay for credit monitoring to keep an eye on the unauthorized use of their information.
If someone uses their accounts to place orders, their bank may not refund them the money for some time. This situation can lead to other issues, such as missed payments, bounced checks, overdraft fees and other adverse actions. The damages related to such a case can be significant, especially if thousands or millions of customers are impacted.
The Risks Involved When Companies Don’t Have a Robust Plan and Procedure for Recovery
Disaster recovery is not a simple process. Companies have to have a lot more planning than setting up an automatic backup solution and hoping that it works properly during the emergency. Everyone needs to know who they should contact and the coordinators for a data loss disaster.
The company needs a way to bring critical systems up as quickly as possible without running the risk that the hacker is going to exploit it in the exact same way. A full investigation into how the breach occurred and what they need to do to fix the issues is important.
In a worst-case scenario, the organization may end up without working backups and lose years of data. While some of it might be pieced back together from various sources, thousands of hours of work has to be repeated. These are business-ending mistakes.
Threats to a Company’s Data
One of the biggest threats to a company’s data is a cyber attack, especially if they operate in an industry or market that’s higher risk. For example, the financial and medical fields often find themselves the targets of opportunistic and sophisticated attacks.
However, this is not the only threat that organizations must prepare for. Natural disasters come in many forms, from floods to fires, and they have a devastating impact on businesses. Data centers that are entirely in a single location are particularly at-risk, as a natural disaster would take out the primary and the backup equipment.
Finally, equipment failure can take out critical databases. Hard drives fail eventually, so it’s important to acknowledge that fact and work around it to avoid data loss.
The Importance of Having a Backup and Recovery Plan in Place
A backup and recovery plan can get a business back up and running after any of those three threats. This plan looks at all of the risk factors present and has a set procedure in place that minimizes data loss and downtime.
An IT company can help with the proper setup and procedures for this disaster recovery plan. They have the first-hand experience with the best methods to bring systems back up after each type of emergency. When companies tap into this information, they better prepare themselves for potential problems in the future.
While general-purpose recovery plans are widely available online, they don’t take into account an organization’s unique infrastructure or the particular environmental challenges that face them at that location. For example, the emergency response plan for a data center that’s sitting in an area prone to flash flooding is going to be much different than an office that is in an area with wildfire risk.
Data loss is bad news for everyone involved. These digital assets are the fuel that keeps modern companies in business, so it’s important to handle it with an appropriate level of care. A backup and recovery plan is one of the best tools to minimize data loss and improve the security of the organization.