Data Disasters: Are You Ready?

Few businesses that experience a service impacting disaster will escape unscathed. Such disasters may result in a loss of power to their IT environment, interruption to their network or hardware failure, which all may result in the loss of critical data as well as downtime or unavailability of key applications and IT environments. The solution? Ensuring your company has a comprehensive disaster recovery plan that is designed to minimize damages and mitigate risk. Without this, an outage can often result in significant financial losses, gaps in operations, and a negative impact on customer trust and loyalty.

Loss of data and access to key applications due to an outage can result in a 24% reduction in customer trust and loyalty, while 14% of your customers are likely to take their business elsewhere. Perhaps more concerning is that 7% of businesses investigating disaster recovery services, indicated that a disaster had resulted in a permanent loss of data. Take a look at the DR facts Infographic.

Despite these risks, approximately only a third of businesses have an adequate disaster recovery plan in place, with many companies claiming they lack the time, skills, or budget required to establish and implement a plan. However, the question is not whether a company can afford to create and put a disaster recovery plan in place, but whether they can afford not to.

What causes data outage?

According to this report, the most common cause of an outage is due to hardware failure (53%). This is followed by loss of power (39%) software failure (38%), data corruption (29%), and user error (26%). About 10% results from natural disasters.

Creating a disaster recovery plan

A disaster recovery plan will:

  • Perform a risk assessment to identify and analyze potential threats and risks.
  • Formulate a risk mitigation strategy designed to minimize the loss of data and access to key applications due to a disaster.
  • Develop a response strategy that dictates what immediate action should be taken if a disaster occurs.
  • Devise a recovery strategy that is designed to recover data and resume operations in the fastest possible time.

Here are 6 steps to take to improve your disaster recovery preparedness.

You may be forced to consider your data retention policies: how and where critical data is stored, and whether there is a more suitable place for it to live. The plan will also establish how much data must be recovered for normal operations to resume, which will dictate a time scale for data backup. Meanwhile, your company’s day-to-day operations will be monitored and analyzed in order to establish how long each department can operate when critical systems are down. This will ensure the recovery of key systems is prioritized accordingly.

The reality is that no company can predict when a disaster will strike. The only solution is for your business to be prepared. The creation of a disaster recovery plan is the first step to ensure business continuity.

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