If your company is like most, you build your worth around information. Client records, research material, inventory data, and financials are all heavy hitters. Now imagine if just one of these critical pieces of information became totally compromised or irretrievable, disappearing in the blink of an eye.
How far back would this set your company? How much profit would you sacrifice? Now imagine if you lost access to multiple sectors of this central information.
To compound an already terrible situation, what if this confidential information was not only lost, but stolen? Now imagine the stolen information included your company’s plans for potential patents or large research projects containing trials for a new and innovative drug.
How would this affect your bottom line?
The Worldwide Data Breach Epidemic
Time and time again, hackers have breached the security of well-known companies, stealing millions of personal records, including banking and credit-card information.
We may not hear as much about smaller companies being targeted, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. And when it does happen, it can be devastating. According to one report, sixty percent of small businesses never recover from a cyber attack.
In 2013 the seeds of the largest retail hack in U.S history were being planted in the security and payment systems of merchandising giant Target. In all, hackers made off with more than 40 Million credit card numbers and 70 million identities.
Why IT Is More Than an Expense
Unless your company sells IT services, you probably see IT as nothing more than a cost to subtract from your bottom line. When you think about IT, you think about its straightforward components: infrastructure, personnel, maintenance.
But don't overlook the value of a good defense. To be sure, companies like Target wish they hadn't.
It is not always easy to prepare for something to go wrong. It raises tough questions like:
- “What is more or less likely to go wrong?”
- “What is the chance that a given scenario could happen?”
- “Is it worth investing the time and money needed to be proactive against a given threat?”
But in my experience, doing too little – or nothing – creates a situation in which your company and is data are left vulnerable to theft or, at the very least, to becoming the victims of an unlucky accident.
When in Doubt, Ask for Help
To protect your company's valuable data, you need to know two things:
- When something could go wrong – before it does.
- When you need an expert's help.
That’s why we are here. We're fortunate to have clients that understand how data integrity, recovery, and security will help them when that rainy day comes, and their due diligence exemplifies this.
But the reality is, not all companies are created equal. To stand head and shoulders above your competition, you need to practice exceptional stewardship of your client data. This is what we strive to help our clients achieve, and it is what we strive for ourselves.
A Cautionary Tale
Earlier in my career, I worked for a large company that neglected some of the best practices of data stewardship. After a full year building and fine tuning an e-commerce site, creating planners for the managers and salesmen, and constructing a business analytics dashboard from scratch, the company's file server and application (Web) server were compromised by the dreaded and infamous “Crypto virus”, locking all information held within these resources inaccessible – held hostage for ransom.
We needed to do a full recovery, but all we had were backups from several months prior – before we began work on the newer version of the now-vital analytics dashboard. A couple of sleepless nights in the server room running restores brought back the data from that time period. And this was the “least” painful solution.
My superiors seriously considered paying the hackers for the key to restore the compromised data – all because IT management never seriously understood the importance of consistent, reliable data replication and backups. They had pushed off or ignored my repeated requests to implement responsible disaster recovery and prevention.
My former company managed to endure, but it incurred heavy costs: months of aggravation and hundreds of thousands of dollars in production, marketing, and sales.
(Oddly enough, a similar virus took hold of their data before I was part of the company. Fooled now twice, shame on them. Needless to say, it was time for me to find myself in better company, where important IT issues were not ignored or overlooked.)
4 Recommended Backup Solutions
Here at Data Evolution, we offer a wide range of high-quality backup solutions, including:
- Veeam Backup & Replication Software paired with CloudBerry Backup to Amazon.
- Datto comprehensive file and image backup.
- KeepItSafe personal PC and Mac file backup.
- CrashPlan PRO Mac backups.
In addition to these popular methods, we provide the right support and infrastructure tailored to meet the specific demands and needs specific to your company.
It's Time to Act
With a comprehensive backup strategy, you can be sure your data will be protected in the event of a breach. Hackers will not be able to hold your vital information hostage or render it useless. If an end user mistakenly deletes an important file or folder, you can retrieve it easily from the most recent backup.
In short, you will gain the peace of mind that, if a system were to fail, you would be back up and running in minutes.
If you still have not made the decision to back up your data, arm yourself. It’s not too late.