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World Backup Day: a Reminder to Protect Your Business

March 31 is World Backup Day—a reminder to protect your business and “avoid becoming an April fool”.  Whether it be due to natural disaster, a hacker or simple human error, in a flash your critical business files (data, pictures, spreadsheets) and information could suddenly be lost forever. 

Advanced Business Equipment (ABE) promotes World Backup Day because we have found that many small businesses under-evaluate threats posed by ransomware, data loss, and data breaches. The days when losing data was just a consequence of hard disk failure, or a lost or stolen device are gone—nowadays, chances are high that the cause is ransomware or malware—with a high risk of losing data for good if you're not prepared.

Philip Harrison, ABE’s Director of IT, states, "It’s important for businesses to be fully aware of what data is on their company devices, be it servers, workstations, tablets, or smartphones. Is your company industry compliant? Are you prepared for business continuity in the worst-case scenario of a ransomware attack or power shutdown due to natural disaster or human error?"

The Strategic Research Institute states that if a company is unable to resume operations within 10 days of a disaster striking, it is not likely to survive. Would your business fold or survive?

When it comes to protecting your business, there are two different avenues to explore:

  • Disaster Recovery: working to recover data and information after a disaster occurs
  • Business Continuity: being able to continue working during a disaster as if nothing damaging had actually happened

Deciding which is right for you depends on how long you can afford for your business to be down.

Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery offers protection by saving data with the express purpose of being able to recover it after its loss. 

If you have backed up the operating system or made a computer backup, it even can help you to restore your computer to an earlier date than when the data incident happened—perhaps the closest we’ll ever get to actually being able to travel back in time.

Data is usually kept off-site and/or in the cloud, ready for retrieval. Consider that data recovery is not instantaneous, and your reputation could suffer if your customers are inconvenienced during downtime. 

No-so-fun fact: The Uptime Institute Symposium puts the average cost of downtime to your business at $5,600 per minute.

Business Continuity

Business continuity is accomplished by identifying the operations critical for the survival of your business and then providing the emergency procedures needed so that you can often be back up and running in a matter of minutes. 

  • Having an up-to-date copy of your website in the cloud, ready for quick deployment in the event of a ransomware attack, is one example.
  • Loss of power. Each year up to 70% of businesses will be affected by power loss of at least one hour. In the event of a large disaster, your company could be without working utilities for days or weeks. 

Lastly, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic increase in the number of remote workers, leading in turn to a spike in major ransomware attacks. Be sure to include home offices in your verifications of cybersecurity and backup / recovery solutions for your business.

Cloud Backups

With Cloud or hosted backup solutions, your files and data are stored off-site. These files are accessible anywhere, on any device, through a secure connection and if you’re unable to get to your physical location, you can still get to those files saved to your cloud backup.

Cloud backups also make it easier and safer for you to share files company-wide, rather than using local file storage options.

On-Site Backups

On-site backups such as an external hard drive or a flash drive can still be an integral part of your business’s overall plan and can be essential if your internet connection goes down or your cloud backup provider is unavailable. 

Harrison urges company owners to avoid thinking of data loss as something that only happens to large companies. “Any company, of any size, or any individual can fall victim to data loss and theft.”

Says Harrison, “The first step is always going to be to audit the data you produce, such as customer data, product data, HR data, and sales data and where it’s stored, in order to fully understand the ramifications of a data loss incident.” Next is to identify the possible ways data could be lost and, lastly, to create a data protection plan to protect those assets.

Cyber Resilience 

True cyber resilience focuses not only on detecting, protecting and preventing attacks on your data but also on ensuring you’re still covered if those defenses fail. Your backup and recovery solutions mean you are better able to recover customer data, financial information and business-critical files.

ABE can help you sort through your data backup solutions. Through our technology consulting services, we can help you identify critical backup needs or, if needed, supplement your company’s internal IT professionals. Contact us to learn more.