Being a business owner or a leader within a company can be challenging. You often have to solve multiple problems at once and have the foresight to arm your organization with the right tools and solutions to deal with any issues that might arise in the future. As a responsible leader, you must prepare your company to deal with unexpected interruptions that cause downtime and productivity dips. This type of preparation requires a comprehensive Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plan.
If you’re wondering why ensuring a solid BCDR plan should be a priority, take a look at these statistics:
- For SMBs, per-hour downtime costs could be as high as $50,0001 and much higher for larger organizations.
- One-third of customers will end their association with a business following a severe disruption or data loss incident.2
- Failure to protect data can draw penalties of up to 4% or more of company net sales.3
Data Loss Disasters Come in Many Forms
Now is the time for companies, both big and small, to take steps to ensure business continuity and disaster resilience. In an increasingly digitized world, this must be a top priority for businesses because the repercussions of even a single data loss incident could be fatal to the company.
Imagine if you were a health service provider, for example, and you lost all patient data after a fire burned away your on-premises backup device. An incident like that could cause irreparable damage to your business.
From natural disasters like hurricanes and floods to cybersecurity threats such as ransomware and malware infections, data loss disasters come in many forms.
Let’s analyze 5 of the most common and learn how to prepare for them.
1. Natural Disasters
Natural disasters cover everything from storms, hurricanes, and floods to fires, tsunamis, and volcano eruptions. In most cases, you can expect infrastructural damages, power failures, and mechanical failures, which could then lead to data loss.
2. Hardware and Software Malfunctioning
Software and hardware failure can cause data loss if you don’t have a BCDR plan in place. These types of failures could be due to bugs, glitches, configuration errors, programmatic errors, component failures, or simply because the device is at its end of life or the software is outdated.
3. Human Factor
Aberdeen Research found that everyday human errors cause nearly 64% of data loss incidents.4 These errors range from accidental file deletions and overwriting existing files to naming convention errors, forgetting to save or backup data, or spilling liquid on a storage device.
Your business may fall prey to malware, ransomware, and virus attacks, which could leave your data and backups corrupt and irrecoverable. Additionally, data loss could be caused by malicious insiders with unauthorized access, which often goes under the radar. A recent study shows that employee action is involved in up to 23% of all electronic crime events.5
5. Unforeseen Circumstances
Data loss can happen due to random, unexpected scenarios. For instance, a portable hard disk held by one of your employees gets stolen, your server room has a water leak because of a plumbing issue, or there’s a pest infestation in one of your data centers.
As you can see, data loss disasters can manifest in a wide variety of ways. The key is to be proactive and plan for these disasters.
Don’t wait for disaster to strike.
What Is a Comprehensive BCDR Plan?
A comprehensive BCDR plan emphasizes the need for various technologies to work together to deliver uptime and even highlights cybersecurity-related technologies. Such a plan should address the following components.
- Protect All Systems, Devices, and Workloads – Managing all systems, devices, and workloads efficiently, securely, and consistently can be challenging. Mistakes, errors, mishaps, and outright failures across backup and recovery systems could happen at any time, leading to severe downtime or other costly business consequences. That’s why it is essential to have a reliable and secure solution to back up and protect business data and information, as well as business systems, devices, and workloads.
- Ensure the Integrity, Availability, and Accessibility of Data – The complexity of IT, network, and data environments that include multiple sites—cloud, on-premises, and remote—makes monitoring and protection challenging. It negatively affects the integrity, availability, and accessibility of information and all IT network assets. As such, it is vital to deploy tools or systems that cover all IT and network infrastructure (remote, cloud, and on-site) simultaneously, with the same level of protection and security.
- Enable Business Resilience and Continuity – A comprehensive and realistically achievable BCDR plan prioritizes, facilitates, and ensures the continuity of business operations. It represents a business’ resiliency against downtime or data loss incidents.
- Prioritize Critical Protection and Security Requirements Against Internal and External Risks – An effective BCDR plan must proactively identify and rectify internal and external risks. This requires tools focusing on internal and external threats through constant monitoring, alerting, and tactical defense to empower your BCDR plan.
- Optimize and Reduce Storage Needs and Costs Through Deduplication – Experts estimate that humans produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day.6 From a business perspective, enormous amounts of data pose serious storage and budgetary challenges. What makes things worse is the existence of multiple unnecessary copies of the same files. Therefore, adopting the process of deduplication can identify data repetition and ensure that no identical data is stored unnecessarily.
- Manage Visibility, Unauthorized Access, and Fulfill Data Retention Requirements – Your business data must never be visible to every employee in the same way. There must be policies and tools to ensure that an employee accesses only data essential to complete their tasks. Also, unauthorized access must be identified and blocked immediately. This isn’t just essential for the success of BCDR but also necessary to maintain compliance with regulatory mandates related to data protection and retention.
Not Sure How to Get Started?
Adopting a comprehensive BCDR strategy is not optional but necessary because data loss disasters are inevitable. Minimize the impact of these types of disasters by making BCDR a critical component of your strategic IT roadmap.
Want to learn more? See our checklist, BCDR Essentials: Prevent Business Downtime and Data
Disasters, which walks you through all the aspects your comprehensive BCDR solution should include.
Are you ready to approach the concept of comprehensive BCDR practically? It isn’t as difficult as you think. All you need to do is collaborate with an expert partner like us with the knowledge and experience to take care of your backup and BCDR needs. Contact us today to schedule your no-obligation consultation with one of our BCDR experts.
- IDC Report
- GDPR Associates
- Aberdeen research
- The CERT Insider Threat Center at Carnegie Mellon University