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Disaster recovery tips for every business

by Stuart McCreath (Sydney IT Consultant) | Apr 26, 2016

Whether it be a natural disaster like a flood or fire, or a cyberattack received via an innocuous looking email, the outcomes could be the same if you have not thought about how you would cope with such an eventuality.

Try and imagine what effect it would have on your business if you couldn’t access company files or emails for an extended period of time, or even worse, lose this data forever.

All this has increased the need of having an effective disaster recovery strategy. New technologies are making it much easier for smaller companies to have such a strategy in place.

It is also important to understand that disaster recovery does not simply mean backing up your data on a daily basis. A backup is just a copy of your data that is then stored somewhere safe. Disaster recovery is a plan for recovering that data and anything else lost in the disaster so that your business can function again.

Tips for every business:

  • A good backup strategy, with offsite storage, is one of the first things you should have in place to ensure successful recovery from disaster
  • Perform test restores of your backup data
  • Identify potential risks and the impact that they could cause on your business
  • Ensure that your DR plan is updated and relevant
  • Work out how long your business can survive before coming back online. Can you afford to wait 1, 2 or 3 days? If you can’t be offline for more than 3 days then your DR plan must respond accordingly

There are of course many other aspects to consider and if you wish to discuss this further, your team at Dorchester Computing is here to help.

A worst case scenario example could be the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand in 2011. Hundreds of businesses were affected, many of whom shut their doors permanently or are still struggling to survive. Many companies had their premises destroyed and all their paperwork lost. So think about not having access to anything to do with your business for days, weeks or months? Would the company survive?

Although this is an extreme example, a flood or fire at your premises could have a similar impact if you are not prepared.

Some interesting facts about disaster recovery:

  • 93% of companies that lost their data for 10 days or more filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster, and 50% filed for bankruptcy immediately. (Source: National Archives & Records Administration in Washington)
  • 20% of small to medium businesses will suffer a major disaster causing loss of critical data every 5 years. (Source: Richmond House Group)
  • This year, 40% of small to medium businesses that manage their own network and use the Internet for more than e-mail, will have their network accessed by a hacker, and more than 50% won’t even know they were attacked. (Source: Gartner Group)
  • About 70% of business people have experienced (or will experience) data loss due to accidental deletion, disk or system failure, viruses, fire or some other disaster. (Source: Carbonite, an online backup service)
  • The first reaction of employees who lose their data is to try to recover the lost data themselves by using recovery software or either restarting or unplugging their computer - steps that can make later data recovery impossible. (Source: 2005 global survey by Minneapolis-based Ontrack Data Recovery)
  • Gartner estimates that only 35 percent of SMBs have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place
Click here to find out more on how Dorchester can help you with your DR plan.
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