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Disaster recovery and its importance to small and medium sized businesses

Jun 14 in News

The thought of data loss and corruption strikes fear into the hearts of many small and medium sized business owners. Such a disaster could be due to natural, human, or mechanical factors and can have a devastating effect on any business in addition to the data loss itself, including downtime, critical delivery interruptions and costly repairs.

But there is a way to plan for computer system failures, protect your valuable data, and ensure swift recovery of information in the event of data loss – with an IT disaster recovery plan

Disaster recovery uses a set of tools, policies, and procedures to enable the recovery of vital information and technology systems following a disaster. These services are essential because they provide insurance against unpredictable events affecting your computer system and negatively impact your business. Read on to find out why your small business cannot afford to ignore the need for a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.

Ensures compliance

In our digital age, small and medium-sized businesses are receiving an ever-increasing amount of data in their daily business operations. At the same time, businesses are facing increasing regulations regarding data protection.

In the event of a disaster, sensitive information can be damaged or lost forever, causing major issues for any business. This is why data backup and disaster recovery is so critical for small and medium-sized businesses – it helps you stay compliant and safe.

Improves network security

According to the Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey of 2017, just under half (46%) of all UK businesses reported at least one cyber security breach or attack over a 12-month period. The average cost of putting the breach right was over £1,500.

Remember that hackers don’t discriminate and all businesses, regardless of size, are at risk of cyber threats. It’s therefore vital that businesses do everything they can to prevent security breaches, while at the same time having procedures in place to recover data and minimise the effects of a cyber attack. Often, businesses can reduce their susceptibility to threats, simply by undertaking this planning exercise.

Allows data backup

A managed service provider helps your business in the event of a disaster because they make sure that all of your critical data is backed up automatically to an offsite data facility, to protect you and prevent you from losing valuable data. In this way, you can delete any infected files and restore clean versions from these backups which is the best way to get your data restored quickly.

How to create a disaster recovery plan

The first step to creating an effective disaster recovery plan is to identify all the critical assets that you need to access on a daily basis in order to stay in business – this can include data and physical assets.

You then need to establish a list of all possible disasters that could affect your business. This will largely be determined by your location, for instance – businesses in the UK are unlikely to be affected by severe weather like hurricanes, but could be at risk of things like blackouts.

You should then plan to protect your critical assets in each of these scenarios, for instance – you could plan for a blackout by installing a backup generator.

The next step is to think about your employees and decide what they should do in the event of a disaster – think about where they should go, and how they should keep safe in the event of each possible disaster.

An effective disaster recovery plan will consider:

  • prevention measures like anti-virus software
  • detection measures such as a unified incident response platform for advanced threat detection
  • corrective measures like utilising backup to get business systems back online as quickly as possible following an attack.

Finally, you must test your disaster recovery plan to make sure that it’ll be effective in the event of a disaster. According to the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council’s report, one in four businesses never test their disaster recovery plans. It’s vital for businesses to thoroughly test their disaster recovery plan regularly, so they can assess its effectiveness and make changes to any areas that need improving.

Outsource disaster recovery and backup

When it comes to disaster recovery, a business’s cyber resilience can mean the difference between staying up-and-running and being completely shut down during and after a disaster. Nevertheless, many businesses don’t think about their disaster recovery protocols until it’s too late. Having a disaster recovery and data recovery plan in place is vital and outsourcing this responsibility is the easiest way to ensure that your business has the highest level of protection. To discuss how we can help you plan for a disaster and provide an experienced recovery service contact our professionals here.

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