Disasters will happen and get caught without a plan will cost you dearly. If you knew disaster was coming, you would take measures to prevent it from happening to you. But you don’t know when it is going to happen and that is what makes a disaster especially harmful to your business.
Whether you operate a small business or a large organization, you have to stay competitive. Most businesses must use technology to both be productive and to protect their precious client data at all times— and there’s no better test of your capability to do so than following a disaster.
Because restoring IT is critical for most companies, most businesses will have some type of back-up and antivirus software in place. But this type of planning is really no planning at all. What happens when the backup tapes fail to work? What happens when the data stored off-site cannot be uploaded, or an encrypted link infects your entire database, leaving you venerable and offline?
Being able to handle any incident effectively can have a positive impact on your company’s reputation, and it can increase customer confidence. Adversely, customers not being able to contact you, you not being able to access your client’s records and your internal team’s inability to service clients can bring any business to their knees.
3 Disasters that Happen
Disasters happen. You can avoid them, but you can plan for them. These types of disasters tend to wreak the greatest havoc on business:
1. System Disasters
Last year, over 66% of companies experienced at least 1 cyber incident caused primarily by social engineering, phishing and malware links (2016 Cyber Resilience Report). In the case of the Crypto-Locker Virus, shadow copies of data that typically provide a quick backup checkpoint were turned off by the virus and the data files infected. As a result, many businesses were not able to recover their backed-up data because the data was never “backed-up “as a result of the virus unchecking the box and infecting the system. Many businesses are caught without a plan when their systems go down leaving the organization at a terrible loss in terms of time, staff productivity and customer confidence in their ability to do business.
2. Natural Disasters
This is one type of disaster you cannot predict. Natural disasters, floods, and fires have cost the global economy $2.5 trillion since 2000. Natural disasters are everywhere and impact everything inside of your business. According to Kiplinger.com, the State of Arizona is ranked as the 10th most at-risk state for natural disasters. Employee productivity and the safety of your data will not stand up to a wildfire, thunderstorm and flash flood. But a good disaster recovery plan can ensure you are prepared when it happens.
3. Human Error
Humans make mistakes and while this disaster is often unintentional, it is the most common disaster impacting mission-critical applications that bring productivity to a halt. Unfortunately, hackers know that humans are the weakest targets. Social engineering tactics target your employees, baiting them into downloading infected code onto the network. With growing expectations of high availability and zero to no downtime, how will your business recover from the significant negative event?
Businesses Fail to Plan for Disaster
According to a recent study completed by the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council, 73 percent of organizations are not doing enough to insulate themselves from disaster. Unfortunately, many businesses who fail to plan for disaster, will not recover and will go out of business as a result of not planning.
So, why do businesses fail to plan? According to Blue Fox Group co-owner, Eric Wood, “most business owners fail to plan simply because a disaster of some type has never happened to them. Often when we are faced with doing something or waiting, we will choose to wait.”
Some of the most common reasons business plan to fail:
- They think the process of putting a Disaster Recovery plan into place is too difficult and time-consuming to set up.
- Many businesses are concerned that a Business Continuity Plan or Disaster Recovery plan will cost too much money and require extensive resources to maintain.
- Many businesses (especially small businesses) rely on their internal back-up and antivirus systems and software to protect them from a data loss.
Last year alone 78% of companies reported losing one or more mission-critical application and 28% lost the use of a data center for more than a week. The trickle-down impact of lost productivity from lost data has an enormous impact on every organization.
Read our next blog: Attention All Businesses: Plan to Fail in developing a set of actionable steps (plan) to keep your business up and operational event when disaster strikes. Don’t miss your opportunity to be prepared because disasters will happen.