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Why You Need a Disaster Recovery Plan

Cybersecurity and data recovery. Think you have heard enough? Clearly not. Despite the surge in cybersecurity awareness thanks to the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation a couple of months back, millions of businesses within the UK are at risk of losing their data should they fall victim to a cyber-attack. Recent research has indicated that almost a million businesses within the UK are not backing up their company data.

Sounds scary? Well, a further 2.8 million businesses face losing their data all together due to their choice of backup location, storing their backups in the same location as the original data. Trust us, it gets worse. 17% of businesses within the UK have no backup in place at all, with the only copy of their data located on the same computer it was created on. If you’re reading this knowing that you are a part of those statistics, hopefully this post will bring you back to reality and urge you to deploy a proper disaster recovery plan.

If you’re reading this, knowing that you are a part of those statistics but are in denial that your business could ever be victim to a cyber-attack, here’s a stat for you. Research published this month shows that in the run-up to the end of June this year, UK businesses were subjected to an average of 52,596 attacks each. That equates to around one attempted attack every two and a half minutes. Have we got your attention yet?

So, let’s say that one of those attempted attacks infiltrates your systems, how quickly could you recover your data? Would you even be able to recover your data at all? No matter what industry you work in, I’m sure IT systems are a critical part of your business. Having a solid disaster recovery plan in place not only ensures your systems and hardware are safe, it also ensures your business is safe to continue to serve customers. After all, if you can’t give your customers what they pay you for, do you even have a business?

One of the most common sources of a disaster today is through the form of a ransomware attack. A client of ours (who may well have been in the same position as you are today) was in denial regarding the value of having a data recovery solution in place. When doomsday came and they opened their systems one Monday morning to see they had been infected with ransomware, pandemonium set in. Over the course of the next week members of our team set up base at the businesses premises and began negotiating with the attackers. Despite the best efforts of all involved and the recovery of some data, a ransom was paid in order to regain access to their systems.

I’m sure you can all guess what they did once this disaster had been resolved. Yes, they implored a data recovery solution. With that little anecdote in mind, what would you do if you opened your systems to see all of your files had been encrypted? Equally, what would you do if you saw the infection and already had a data recovery solution? It is crucial to ask yourself what your key aims for disaster recovery are.  Are their specific files you need recovering before others in order to carry out normal business functions? How often will you back up your data? How quickly do you need to get your business back up and running in the event of a disaster? These are all things you need to have an answer for.

Anyway, aside from ransomware, unfortunately a disaster and loss of valuable data can come in many ways. Here’s a few of them:

1: Power Outage

I’m sure most of us can recall reading the headlines last year when American airline company Delta faced a power outage at their mission control in Atlanta. The power outage in Atlanta took place at around 2:40am and lead to 11 hours of downtime, leaving 1,400 flights cancelled costing the airline a mega $50 million. The outage caused absolute chaos at airports across America, seeing static check-in queues and attempts by staff to create boarding passes using a pen and paper. If you needed more convincing, this speaks volumes about the importance of a backup plan and your businesses ability to recover quickly after a system wide outage. How would your business have coped if you were down for 11 hours?

2: Human Error

Unfortunately, disasters can also stem from the very heart of your organisation – your employees. Whether they be a disgruntled employee or someone who hasn’t had their morning coffee first thing on a Monday, members of your team can wipe important files that can have a devastating impact on your businesses. Arguably, data losses stemming from human error are often the easiest to resolve, providing you have a disaster recovery plan in place, which 17% of you do not… Using a data recovery solution like Datto means that if Jane from accounts has had one too many Tequila Sunrises the night before and accidently wiped your customer database, you can get back up and running before she makes it back to the bar for a couple of stiff ones.

3: Natural Disasters

Natural disasters can have a devastating impact not just on society but also on your business. Unfortunately, natural disasters can come in many forms, whether that be an earthquake, forest fires, flash floods and so on, and are things that cannot be prevented. They can, however, be anticipated and the right disaster recovery plan can save your businesses a lot of downtime and a lot of headaches. So let’s say you are using a CRM system like Salesforce to keep track of leads and customer records. Because systems like Salesforce don’t actively back up your businesses data, you face a massive risk. For instance, should a natural disaster take place, compromising Salesforce’s datacentre, these risks can surface and mean that some if not all your customer data can never be recovered. That is why it is so important to have a solid disaster recovery plan in place to alleviate some of the risk associated with using applications like Salesforce to ensure your business can get back up and running as quickly as possible.

So hopefully if you were a part of the earlier statistics, you can now see the value in creating a solid disaster recovery plan for your business. If you would like to talk to us regarding Datto, our data recovery partners, please contact us today.

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