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Could You Recover From Data Loss?
Without your data, you wouldn’t have a business. Even partial data loss can mean big repercussions for businesses of all sizes. The loss of a day, a week or a month’s worth of records and transactions could absolutely cripple your company beyond repair, so making any sort of assumption about the safety of that information is exceptionally risky.
How risky? Let’s look at the bleak picture painted by the statistics:
Every week 140,000 hard drives crash in the United States.
Confidence in your backup and disaster recovery situation isn’t a nice to have, it’s a need to have. And to truly feel confident, you need to know:
Your Backup Schedule: backing up is always a good idea, but depending on how many transactions your business processes in a day, the frequency of that backup can become critical. If your data is only backed up once a month, how would you recover from a data loss that happens shortly before the next schedule? Can you really afford to lose 3 weeks’ worth of data?
The Business Continuity Plan: say you have a backup situation that you feel relatively confident about, do you know what happens following a loss? Having the data available is only part of the equation, knowing how you will address getting your business back to full operation is another.
What About RTO and RPO: These metrics are a critical part of your business continuity plan. Your RTO, or Recovery Time Objective, tells you how long you can afford to be down for before you reach critical levels that are hard to recover from. The RPO, or Recovery Point Objective, indicates the age of recovery your business can tolerate, meaning how old can the backed up information be before it loses value?
Your 3-2-1 Plan: To be fully secure, you should have 3 copies of your data, in 2 different formats, with 1 kept offsite. What is the matrix for your organization?
Data Accessibility: Even if you backup on a well-planned schedule, how do you go about accessing the backups should a loss occur? Where are they kept and how long will it take to obtain what you need to recover? Solutions such as Azure Blob storage can make even the most unstructured object data accessible from anywhere.
Your Backup Audit Strategy: It’s not enough to have a backup strategy, it needs to be periodically audited to ensure that in the event of a disaster, it actually works.
If you can’t quickly answer these questions, your business is at risk.
An Insufficient Backup and Recovery Plan is Costly
The true cost of downtime is hard to quantify for each and every business, but data loss and the time it takes to recovery are extremely costly.
Take a look at these numbers:
(And these are just the hard costs. Auxiliary costs such as lost productivity, compliance fines and goodwill customer gestures mean these numbers are actually higher)
Additional studies (including this one from ITIC) indicate that on average, a SINGLE HOUR of downtown per year costs enterprise businesses upwards of $100,000 USD, with over 50% saying that figure is actually more like $300,000 USD per hour.
Is that the kind of capital you feel comfortable risking?
We assume not.
Hardware failures, malicious intent, natural disasters, viruses and malware, failed backups and software corruption are all a threat to you each and every day. In fact:
- Hardware or system failure accounts for 78% of all data loss.
- Human error accounts for 11% of all data loss.
- Software corruption accounts for 7% of all data loss.
- Natural disasters account for only 1% of all data loss.
And it’s not just about the money. Losing transactions and customer data will also negatively affect your reputation among your customers and your standing in the business community.
Get Out of the Danger Zone
Today’s access to the cloud and to service providers dedicated to helping you backup and secure your business mean there is no reason to remain at risk. And while you may be thinking the cloud is subject to its own security concerns, there are ways to ensure your business remains operational 99% of the time.