Every day 2.5 quintillion bytes of data gets created across the globe. Much of this data is essential for the day-to-day functioning of small and medium-sized businesses. From client email addresses to order histories, employee information, business models, and intellectual property, data is vital to the survival of your business.
But what if one day you woke up and it was all gone. Natural disasters have the capacity to destroy all of your business’s data overnight. According to the IDC, in such a scenario, 50% of businesses would never be able to recover and would be forced to close.
Even with a solid recovery plan, 40% of data recoveries were unsuccessful following a natural disaster. How can you protect your business from an unforeseen natural disaster? Here are three steps to get you on the road to recovery and mitigate data loss in the event of a flood, earthquake, or other natural phenomena.
Have a Plan
The first step to protecting your data from natural disasters is to develop a recovery plan. It will provide clear steps in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Before you can even begin to recover data, you need to know what data you have. Start with a data inventory which identifies what information you keep and where you keep it (both physically in hardcopy and digitally).
The plan should also identify the risks data loss poses to your business, provide emergency contact information, and provide clear procedures for restoring IT systems, communication, and applications.
A plan is only as good as its implementation. You should, therefore, test your disaster plan regularly. This is good practice for streamlining the process and identifying areas of the plan which could be stronger.
As a precaution, every business should have backups of their data, but these backups should be robust enough to handle a significant natural disaster.
This usually means holding one backup internally, on your own servers, while also maintaining other off-site backups in geographically diverse locations.
Since natural disasters can affect a wide geographical area, it is good practice to keep your off-site data backup in a different geographical region.
Many companies offer backup solutions off-site in fortified data centers. For example, Data Center Services from ATI Solutions has a secure, raised floor facility in Virginia many businesses use to back up their data.
Creating your full-backup is only useful if your data does not change. To protect all of your data and ensure all your backups are up-to-date it is imperative that you regularly review your backups (as part of your data recovery plan) or implement an incremental backup strategy.
An incremental strategy creates a full backup, then completes additional backups when changes are made to the files over time. This can help ensure that your preserved data is up-to-date and recent changes to files are not lost in the event of a natural disaster.
With the implementation of these strategies, it is possible to reach the point where a natural disaster will have a limited impact on your business. When chaos ensues, and businesses around you are in disarray, you will be prepared and can avoid costly outages and extensive data loss.