Small Business Brief

Safety & Loss Prevention

5 Critical Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Disaster Recovery Plan

You never know when an natural disaster or other emergency can strike. Is your business prepared? Here are five of the most important reasons why you need to create a disaster recovery plan today.

Your business is unlikely to get much warning before a cyber attack, data breach, or natural disaster. The resulting downtime and loss of trust can be expensive, and most likely will shut you down.

Is your business prepared? Here are five of the most important reasons why you need to create a disaster recovery plan today.

Let’s take a look.

What Is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

On hearing the word ‘disaster’ you may be thinking about a fire, flood or weather event that brings disaster to your business. How you clean up, claim insurance, and start trading again. Where you can find bottled water or Generators for Sale.

But in this case, we are talking about something quite different.

A backup and disaster recovery (BDR) combines data backup and resolutions for disaster.

They work together in cases of cyber-attack. Server crashes. Or disasters caused by human error. In some cases, it may well include a fire or flood – but the clean-up we are talking about is in your IT systems and data center.

A BDR helps to ensure uptime, maximize productivity, and diminish data loss resulting from an unexpected disaster.

Disasters Happen When You Least Expect

Just the fire, flood and other weather events, cyber-attacks and human error happen when you least expect. We’ve seen several cases in the past few years of cyber-attacks causing a massive PR and financial fallout.

For companies, you would assume had enough money to be immune.

They have all paid a high cost for these.

Recent Cyber-Security Breaches

Let’s look at three of the bigger examples of cyber security breaches affecting mega companies in recent years.

1. eBay

In 2014, online auction company eBay experienced a hack. The private information of 145 million users of the platform was exposed. Including names, physical addresses and passwords were accessed during a period of 229 days.

User activity on their site dropped.

2. Adode

In 2013, Adobe Systems saw a network breach. Hackers stole the passwords and IDs of 38 million customers, passing them onto the dark web.

3. Target

In the same year, the retail giant Target saw a hack in the point-of-sale (POS) reader system for credit cards.

Customer contact information for 110 million people was also taken. Its profits fell 46 percent, and the number of people entering its stores dropped dramatically.

The ensuing lawsuit cost them $10 million.

Human Error Disasters

Human error makes up 52 percent of security and data breaches. Human error covers a wide array of disasters.

Some examples? Using weak passwords. Opening phishing and malware emails on work IT platforms.

Handling data in careless ways, like throwing client information in the trash instead of shredding.

Purpose of a Disaster Recovery Plan

You can’t see a disaster coming.

But you can certainly plan ahead so that if it happens, you are in a position to recover quickly. To return to business-as-usual in the shortest time possible.

Having a plan in place is the best way to bounce back. It makes your business more resilient.

The 5 Reasons You Need a Disaster Recovery Plan

There’s a ton of reasons your company needs a disaster recovery plan. Let’s look at the top five.

1. The Cost of Downtime

Only 1 in 5 small businesses get back to normal operations after a system breakdown.

An hour of downtime can be hugely problematic. A 7-day downtime is disastrous – 90% of businesses shut up shop within 12 months of it.

We would argue that the issue isn’t the downtime alone, but the total lack of a BDR. A BDR would have helped them bounce back.

2. To Maintain Credibility

Customers only stay with your company if they trust you. After a cyber attack or human error releasing their private information, you need a swift response.

To get the PR going your way, and salvage as many customers as you can following the breach.

3. Compliance

Many countries demand that companies have BDR plans in place as a matter of compliance.

Ignoring this requirement means you at risk of litigation on top of your disaster cleanup should the worst case come to pass.

4. Cyber Attacks Are on the Increase

It’s hard to read the newspaper these days without reading about cyber attacks and data breaches. That isn’t a coincidence – these threats are on the rise.

Companies and individuals are embracing cloud technology for convenience. These technologies can be pretty convenient to increasingly sophisticated hackers, too.

All the more reason for a water-tight BDR plan to ensure recovery of data and smooth business continuity following a disaster.

5. Some Disasters Are Unavoidable

While to a certain degree you can firm up to high security against cyber attack, other disasters are inevitable.

Human error will always be a threat to your business. If you think the growing robotics sector will help, think again – who do you think is programming the robots?!

Natural disasters are also unavoidable and on the rise thanks to climate change. Worldwide we are seeing more wildfires, tornadoes and flood events.

We will all have to be more tolerant of these events. And much better prepared.

Important Elements in a BDR

There are some elements you should demand in a BDR. The business executives will first need to find a reliable partner with post-disaster experience.

Ask to speak to companies they have worked with previously to get unbiased reviews of their performance.

Each business is its own universe, and the BDR that applies will vary too. Our recommendations as basic inclusions in any BDR include the following:

  • 24/7/365 support – your customers demand your services around the clock, so the providers of your BDR should do nothing less
  • Price by usage – The BDR should be scalable, to grow or shrink alongside your company
  • Least possible recovery – When looking for service quotes, ask how fast the company can get data and related systems up and running after a disruption. If it’s more than a couple of minutes, keep looking
  • Cloud security combined with data center – for absolute security, look for a service that has a cloud and data center backup

Get Disaster Ready Now

Now you understand the importance of a disaster recovery plan, and the critical elements of it, for your business.

You know that disaster can strike at any moment and that some factors that cause disasters are on the rise. It’s time you stopped reading and started to get some quotes for BDR services.

Make sure that whatever disaster strikes, and whenever it strikes, your business is back to normal in no time.

For more quality information and business advice, have a look at our website. We have tips for small business and a small business forum where you can share your experiences with us.

Check it out today!