Feb 2, 2011

Majority of SMBs Have No Disaster Recovery Plan

With a foot of snow dumped upon us during this blizzard and a state of emergency declared in the area, it made me think about planning for disasters. As someone who has experienced losing data firsthand, I can appreciate the value of having a secure plan in place to prevent it. That is why I find a recent study about disaster recovery plans pretty surprising. Symantec found one out of two small- to mid-size businesses (SMBs) surveyed have no recovery plan in the event of a network outage, loss of data or other IT disaster. The study identified a disaster as anything that causes an outage or data loss, whether it is natural or human-made. It is amazing to see how expensive those outages are. Do you know what physical security is in place in your hosting provider’s data center for backups?

Symantec’s study stated $12,500 disappeared from the business’ bottom line each day of downtime. Over a period of days, that could be devastating to a small business.

Another surprise came when I read the study also showed that one in four of the small- to mid-size businesses surveyed do not view their computer systems as being critical to business.

There seems to be a perception among SMBs that cyber attackes are something only bigger enterprises should be concerned over. But if SMBs are using e-commerce heavily, protecting and securing data should be a priority. So as you grow your online presence, you should grow your security. A disaster recovery plan can be a real competitive advantage in fact.

Disaster recovery normally involves backing up all of a company’s data on backup servers which are easily accessed. Regardless of whether you own your own backup servers or leasing them, companies should develop a system that creates automatic backups of all data inputs, from current data to modified existing files. The disaster recovery plan should include a strategy to recover the lost data and to bring the entire system back online in a short amount of time.

What is your attitude towards disaster recovery? What have you learned from your own data loss experiences?

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