If you’re the owner of a small business with an online presence, you’re probably already aware of the importance of keeping your data secure. And while this often refers to keeping information safe from hackers and intruders, sometimes it’s important to protect yourself from unexpected circumstances that can cause a loss of data.
In 2011, Symantec conducted a survey of small businesses, which showed that only about half of those had any sort of disaster recovery plan in place, which dropped further to 43% when focusing on the smallest companies. This clearly shows that many companies are ill-equipped to handle
a disaster that could result in large-scale data losses. Fortunately, it’s never too late to implement
a proper disaster recovery plan.
Disaster recovery plans contain a set of procedures to recover essential data in the event of
large-scale data loss. These plans are essential for organizations that deal with data on a daily basis. Most disaster recovery plans outline the steps that need to be taken to not only deal with data loss but also to prevent it. So what are the events that can cause large-scale data loss?
Cause: Malfunctioning Hardware
Any IT experienced IT technician will tell you that hardware failure is the most common cause
of data loss. No matter how high-end your infrastructure is, wear and tear will affect all your devices, and at some point of time you can bet your hard drives will deteriorate to the point
of permanent failure. Besides hard drive failure, malfunctioning of other hardware like processors and network components can render servers unusable, at which point you will have to spend time and money replacing the damaged components before your data can be accessed again.
The best way to mitigate this type of disaster is to take regular backups of your data, ideally with
a hosting or server provider experienced with disaster recovery management. While some companies might consider handling data backups on their own, outsourcing this kind of work ensures a more reliable system, as the data will be stored on a server that is well set up for any kind of hardware-related disaster.
Cause: Human Error
In a perfect world, business processes would be automated to the point where no human intervention is required, ensuring no room for human error. However, most operations have steps that require manual execution by a human. And as is human nature, you can expect people
to accidentally overlook an important step, which can sometimes result in the loss of important data. Even something as simple as overwriting an important file without having a backup in place can cause huge problems.
To ensure human errors are kept to a minimum, it is important to have iron-clad processes in place, which ideally detail every possible step, including steps to check and double check whether previous steps have been executed properly. However, the best way to minimize the effect of such errors is by implementing a solid disaster recovery plan, especially one with regularly scheduled backups.
Cause: Natural Disasters and Power Failures
Mother Nature—she’s a powerful and unpredictable lady, who should be treated with the respect she deserves. It is extremely hard to predict when a natural disaster can hit. Some disasters like cyclones, floods and tropical storms can be anticipated; however, others like fires and earthquakes can strike at any time. And if you do not have a proper plan in place to recover lost data, chances are your business is going to be severely crippled for a long while.
No business is immune to natural disasters. However, having a disaster recovery plan will ensure that damage is minimized and operations can resume immediately after the disaster has abated.
Cloud-based backup services are a huge boon for small business. The major advantage of using cloud-based services is that even if your business id geo-locked (all your operations are located
in the same physical location) you can still rent out space in facilities that are located in a different country. Business can use a local provider for one primary set of backups and sign up with a cloud service in another country to double down on redundancy. Keeping data on such “offsite” locations ensures minimal downtime in the event of natural disasters that can affect both the original data and the backups maintained by your local service provider.
Another way to ensure reliable disaster recovery is by implementing a high availability system, which is a term used to refer to systems that have been designed and tested to operate at a high level of performance. High availability systems are “fault tolerant”, which means they have multiple redundancies and checkpoints in place to ensure that the failure of one particular component does not affect the operations of a system.
Servers Australia provides Veeam solutions and can help you devise a specially tailored high availability system as part of a comprehensive disaster recovery plan. Get in touch with us so we can craft a plan that best suits your business.