As a society, we have become accustomed to instant gratification. We want things as soon as possible, and our patience wears thin if we have to wait. This means that there is often a considerable gap between our expectations and the reality of the situation, leading to frustration and annoyance. And this is no different when it comes to disaster recovery.
People often have completely unrealistic expectations of how quickly it can be done — if it can be done at all. In this article, we aim to bridge the gap by setting realistic recovery expectations after data loss, as well as outlining steps you can take to prepare for the inevitable.
Disaster Recovery – How and why does data loss occur?
Data loss refers to the destruction of sensitive information, and it is every business owner’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, it is very common and it will more than likely happen to you at some point.
Data can be lost in several ways, either accidentally or maliciously, and it can have severe repercussions for your business.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the most common causes of data loss:
The single biggest risk to your business’ security is your employees. Research has found that human error accounts for approximately 88% of all instances of data loss, from accidentally deleting a critical file to spilling a glass of water over the keyboard.
It is crucial that you have policies and procedures regarding data handling in place, and ensure that your employees are frequently reminded of backup best practices.
Cyber attacks come in many forms, with phishing and ransomware being the two most common.
If you or one of your employees clicks a malicious link in an email and you don’t have layers of safeguards in place, the security of your entire network can be compromised and data can be wiped clean or encrypted in a matter of seconds.
Malfunction or destruction of hardware
Damage to a computer’s fragile hard drive can happen as a result of an accident (e.g. water damage, dropping it) or due to natural degradation over time.
With many people working remotely either some or all of the time, opportunistic criminals are using this to their advantage.
Working on a train or in a coffee shop means that laptops and other work devices are more vulnerable to being stolen, and extra care needs to be taken in these situations.
Disaster recovery & the ramifications of data loss
The fallout from data loss can be severely damaging, both for your business and for your clients.
Potential repercussions include:
Inconvenience and loss of productivity
Downtime due to data loss is disruptive to your team’s workflow and overall efficiency, and it can last anywhere from a few hours to several weeks. The average downtime for businesses as a result of a ransomware attack was 22 days in Q3 2021.
Research shows that 52% of Irish SMEs have paid a ransom to a cybercriminal, handing over an average of €22,712.
Despite paying the ransom, 27% of those surveyed were not able to restore all the affected data and 60% reported that sensitive data was leaked on the dark web.
Your clients and customers expect you to keep their information safe and secure.
If they believe you have failed in this regard, the trust you worked so hard to build can be lost. They might take their business elsewhere, and you might also lose out on potential new clients as a result.
Setting realistic disaster recovery expectations after data loss
There are some harsh truths when it comes to data loss and the likelihood of any recovery. The National Data Protection Survey found that more than half of Irish companies have suffered a data breach in the last 12 months.
Globally, the average cost of a data breach was $4.24 million, according to the Ponemon Institute’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021.
Preventing data loss
Unfortunately, it is impossible to prevent data loss entirely, but there are steps you can take to mitigate the threat and minimise the potential damage. These include:
1. Employing robust data backups
Data should be backed up regularly to the cloud or a secure off-site location, helping to ensure minimal disruption in the event of data loss. Ideally, you should follow the 3-2-1 rule of thumb for data backups.
2. Developing an effective business continuity plan
A business continuity plan helps to:
- Prevent a disaster from occurring or reoccurring
- Enable ongoing operations during and after a disaster
- Return business operations to normal after a disaster
3. Having a disaster recovery (DR) plan in place
A DR plan is a set of policies and procedures to follow in the event of a disaster, enabling the business to maintain or recover infrastructure and systems. The benefits of a DR plan include the following:
- Operations can continue from a secure and functional external location
- Data is backed up and archived, helping to eliminate data loss
- Improved security and reduced potential of liabilities
- Prevention of further damage from rushed decisions and unforeseen factors
Implementing disaster recovery services in your business
The only thing that’s guaranteed about data loss is that it will happen sooner or later, and the harsh reality is that recovery attempts don’t always work.
However, the impact can be significantly lessened with Calnet IT’s fully managed Data Backup and Disaster Recovery services.
With our experienced team of backup experts behind you, you can rest assured that your data is in good hands. Get in touch with us today to find out more.