Why Your Disaster Recovery Plan Could Save Your Business

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If there is one thing COVID has taught us, it’s that we cannot predict what the future will bring. Unfortunately, there has been another lesson: Hackers love when people and businesses are vulnerable. The FBI recently reported that the number of complaints about cyberattacks to their Cyber Division is up to as many as 4,000 a day. That represents a 400% increase from what they were seeing pre-coronavirus. 

Why To Have A Backup Plan & Disaster Recovery Plan for Small Business

According to an article by ProServeIT, “Many small businesses don’t want to acknowledge that this can happen to them too, instead thinking that larger enterprise businesses will be the target of hackers. This is not the case, small businesses are just as much of a target. They may, in fact, be more vulnerable to the effects of having a disaster taking your business offline.

It’s no longer a matter of if but when. As such, preparation is key. Whether you’re dealing with hackers, natural disasters, or simply human error, you cannot let events such as these derail your business. You need to have a backup plan for your small business. By having a disaster recovery/backup plan in place, you are protecting your business and ensuring that you can recover quickly.”

An article by CMIT added, “Electronic data is the lifeblood of any business, and with threats from hackers, accidents, and human errors, a data breach of any kind can pose a serious risk to your day to day operations. Keeping your data safe means having a plan in place in the event of a worst-case scenario. If you’re looking for a way to avert disaster and keep your information secure, here are some of the benefits of having a data backup and recovery plan.

Avoid Disruptions and Keep Your Information Safe

Because of the growing threat cyber-attacks pose to small businesses, a loss of data can mean a serious loss of revenue and a disruption to your business. Because disaster can strike at any time, data backup and recovery plans are designed as preventative measures to keep you up and running. Here are some direct benefits you’ll see when your business implements a data backup and recovery plan:

Less Downtime Means You Won’t Take a Hit– Whether it’s a cyber attack or technical failure, data loss can lead to downtime, which disrupts your operations and can lead to loss of revenue. A data backup plan keeps your information safe and gets you up and running quickly.

Keep Your Reputation Intact– Downtime is more than just an inconvenience to your business operations, it can lead to unhappy customers and hurt your reputation. A backup and recovery plan will mean little downtime, helping you maintain your reputation and keep your customers happy.

Avoid Losing Business to the Competition– The longer your business is out of operation due to lost data, the higher the likelihood customers will look elsewhere for goods and services. Quick recovery of the information you need means you’ll be able to keep serving your customers.

They’re Customized to Your Needs– Your data backup and recovery plan begins by identifying high-risk areas in need of attention. Once they’ve been identified, your data is professionally managed with regular tests to make sure your data is safe.” 

23 Shocking Statistics About Cyber Security Breaches

According to an article by InvenioIT, “Business continuity technologies have come a long way over the past decade, making enterprise-grade data protection accessible to small and mid-sized businesses. But the latest disaster recovery statistics reveal that today’s organizations still face costly interruptions, due to a wide range of threats.

As businesses rely more heavily on their data, IT disruptions have become more costly than ever, leading to idle workers, production stoppages, and revenue losses. 

Here’s what the numbers say…

1) 54% of companies have experienced prolonged downtime

Operational downtime can happen to any company, at any time. A recent survey found that more than half of businesses have experienced a downtime incident in the past 5 years that lasted at least one full workday (8+ hours). 

2) 40%-60% of small businesses never reopen after a disaster

This is one of FEMA’s most startling disaster recovery statistics. That includes events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding and even IT incidents, like massive data loss. These disasters can permanently close the doors of smaller businesses that don’t have the resources to sustain a prolonged recovery.

3) 90% fail if they don’t reopen quick enough

Recovery after a disaster needs to happen fast, or the consequences could be too great to overcome. Among small companies that survive a disaster, 9 out of 10 fail within the following year if they’re unable to restore their operations within 5 days after the disaster. In other words, the longer the recovery takes, the greater the risks of permanent closure. 

4) 1 in 5 companies don’t have a disaster recovery plan

Despite the risks, businesses are not taking adequate precautions. FEMA found that 20% of companies have no disaster recovery planning in place. To prevent and respond to a disaster, every business must have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan (DRP). A DRP helps companies understand the risks that threaten their operations and identify solutions that help to avert disruptions in order to recover quickly when they occur.

5) Downtime costs between $10K to $5M per hour

This eye-popping statistic illustrates why so many businesses do not survive a disaster. The downtime alone is extremely costly. Depending on the size of the company, a downtime incident can cost anywhere from $10,000 per hour for smaller businesses to more than $5 million per hour for enterprises. 

6) Only 2% of businesses recover in less than an hour

Even with the best disaster recovery systems in place, recovery can still take time. For less prepared businesses, it can take days or even weeks, depending on the incident. And as we established above, even that single hour can translate into a 5-figure loss.

7) 28% of companies have experienced data loss recently

Data loss is one of the biggest causes of downtime. When data becomes inaccessible—whether due to server failure, ransomware encryption, accidental deletion or other causes—operations can grind to a halt. And, it’s extremely common. 

8) 19% of businesses have had a recent security breach

Data doesn’t have to go missing for it to cause a disaster. If hackers break into your systems, it can lead to all kinds of security problems, including data theft, privacy concerns or delivery of harmful malware. Nearly 1 out of 5 businesses reported having a security breach in the previous 12 months. 

9) 43% of data breaches involved small businesses

Data breaches overwhelmingly occur at small businesses. There are a few likely reasons for this. Small businesses typically don’t invest enough in cybersecurity, and hackers know this. So, the vulnerability makes these companies a target. 

10) 34% of breaches involved ‘internal actors

Here’s another shocker from Verizon’s report. Out of 2,013 reported data breaches, a third of them involved internal actors. In other words, the company’s own employees. This is compelling evidence that companies need much stronger security controls on their data, not just for outside threats, but also for their own users. 

11) 1 in 3 organizations have been infected by malware

Malware can cause a break in continuity when it corrupts your data, crashes your applications, or bricks your servers. A third of surveyed companies reported a malware infection in the previous 5 years.

12) 45% of companies reported downtime from hardware failure

The most common cause of downtime is hardware failure. Server drives, network devices, and other components don’t last forever. And when they fail, everything stops.

13) 22% of downtime caused by human error

Human error is another top culprit for downtime. We all make mistakes, and unfortunately, sometimes those blunders can bring down the whole business. According to figures from Seagate, 22% of downtime events are caused by human errors, including inadvertent data loss, device mismanagement, and other accidents. 

14) 5% of disruptions caused by natural disaster

Natural disasters get the big headlines, and they are indeed a dangerous threat that every business needs to be prepared for. However, they are not as common as other downtime events.

15) 1 in 5 small businesses infected with ransomware

Ransomware has become a leading cause of operational disruption due to the way it spreads laterally across a network, rendering servers and workstations useless.

16) 200% increase in downtime costs from ransomware

Downtime caused by ransomware can be extremely expensive, in part because it can disrupt the entire organization. And those costs are rising too. According to figures from Datto, the costs of ransomware-caused downtime have increased by 200% over the past year.

17) 37% of SMBs have lost data in the cloud

It’s not just your physical on-site servers that you need to worry about. Data loss happens in the cloud too – whether it’s at your data center or in SaaS applications, like Office 365 and G Suite.

37% of small to mid-sized businesses reported losing the data in the cloud, due to incidents such as accidental data loss, overwrites, ransomware and other causes

18) 20% of SMBs experience catastrophic loss every 5 years

For many businesses, it’s only a matter of time. Research shows that 1 in 5 small to mid-sized businesses will experience a “major disaster causing loss of critical data” every five years. 

19) 93% of companies went bankrupt after prolonged data loss

The longer businesses go without their data, the lower the odds of survival. For small companies especially, an extended loss of critical data is often too difficult to overcome. 93% of businesses that were unable to recover their data within 10 days after the disaster were forced to file for bankruptcy within a year.

20) 70% of small companies say that any data-loss event could hurt the business

Small business owners agree that their data is extremely critical to their operations. In a survey, 70% of businesses admitted “that a single loss in data could have a significant and costly impact on the business.” 

21) 60% of backups are incomplete

This is one of the more shocking disaster recovery statistics we’ve seen. Too many businesses are relying on outdated backup technology that is notorious for failure. To make matters worse, 50% of backup restores fail.

22) 43% of companies experiencing major data loss go out of business if they have no disaster recovery plan

Above, we mentioned how 20% of businesses have no DRP or business continuity plan. This follow-up statistic illustrates why that’s so dangerous.

23) 96% of businesses with a disaster recovery solution in place fully recover operations

We end with a more hopeful statistic. 96% of businesses are able to fully restore their operations after a data-loss incident if they have disaster recovery solutions in place. It’s proof that good data backups and recovery planning are extremely effective, when you use the right systems.” 

Summary: Don’t gamble with your brand — neglecting a disaster recovery plan for your business isn’t worth the risk

According to an article by Nexstor, they write, “A disaster recovery plan is not just about protecting data, processes and applications. It is about retaining customer confidence and preventing losses in productivity and missed business opportunities. It is about protecting your brand.

Customers have come to expect digital perfection. IT failure can create reputational damage that is greater than the costs of ‘technical’ recovery. Customer acquisition can be expensive — re-acquisition is next to impossible. Think about how you would react if a business you used lost personal data or failed to deliver needed services at a critical moment.  

Neglecting a comprehensive disaster recovery plan is not a risk worth taking to avoid the limited costs of being prepared. Ultimately, the ability to operate online from remote servers has enabled firms to have full and immediate redundancy of all their processes, data and applications. 

Failure to take advantage of this opportunity is nearly as negligent as a failure to maintain a web-presence or utilise the flows of digital data that make using such a backup system a necessity. It is not worth gambling your brand, business and reputation to save a little bit of money. The risks are too high.”