The era of everlasting hard drives is not quite upon us, but accidental data loss is still in full swing.
Due to the constant development of data storage technology and cyber security threats, curbing the potential for data loss and operations disruption is an ever-changing battle for IT businesses.
Unfortunately, data loss and data breach are common enough occurrences in the IT world that successful companies must take proper precautions to mitigate the consequences of data disasters should they occur. From small businesses to global corporations, a thorough investigation of a company’s IT security and business continuity plans can be the difference between bumps in the road and large-scale failure.
Does your business have a disaster recovery plan? How prepared are you for a potential information emergency? Does your business rely on a single external USB hard drive to back up your most critical systems? If so, what happens if that external hard drive goes missing, or information is accidentally deleted from it? What if it crashes? What kind of time and resources would your company have to invest in recouping lost data in the event of a disaster or security breach? These are all important questions that a business must ask itself, and there are plenty more that come into play when creating an approach to the potential for data disasters.
Most experts and consultants would agree that company data and systems should be backed up in all their entirety in at least three different places: the main point of storage or the file server; a local, external backup drive; and the cloud. The local external backup offers a company quick, convenient access to their data in the event of a file server failure or an internet connectivity failure. The cloud backup protects a business’s data from physical threats like fires, natural disasters, equipment theft and the like.
Some analysts would recommend companies heavily reliant on their data to copy server images to a standby appliance and a remote data center where the full functionality of its IT systems can be quickly replicated given a data loss issue.
But how do any of these precautions protect a business from cyber security threats?
As we all know, intrusion threats have become increasingly sophisticated over the past few years, leading to the outcrop of entirely new categories of malware like “ransomware,” “malvertisments,” “spyware,” “bots,” and “worms.” Even the most prestigious and financially capable businesses have fallen victim to these attacks. For example, a wealthy private hospital in Los Angeles called the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center recently paid hackers a bitcoin ransom worth $17,000 to obtain a decryption key that reinstated their access to their own computer systems.
That’s just one of the over 100,000 instances of ransomware attacks reported since 2013, and a fair amount go unreported by companies in an effort to save face. By having multiple backups of your business’s critical files on hand locally and saved to the web, these kinds of ransomware attacks can’t bring your company’s productivity to a standstill or cost it unpredictable funds. A business with a mature data disaster recovery plan has the power to thwart these kinds of malicious hackers by simply restoring the company’s servers and data using its local or cloud-based backups.
Without making these precautions, strong and weak business risk failure due to data loss. A mature business continuity plan really does make a difference when it comes to running a sustainable, reliable company that clients trust. Take a deep look into your own company’s systems and search for potential solutions to data loss and data breach before they occur; the job on the line could be your own.