Technology permeates all aspects of our lives in such a seamless manner that it is easy to underestimate our reliance on it. As consumers, we’ve all been inconvenienced by the words, “I’m sorry, we can’t do anything right now–our computers are down.” But for a business, this disruption is far more than an inconvenience.
A Business Held Hostage
On the evening of March 19th, 2016, the owner of Hard Times Café in Bethesda, MD, began having problems with their point of sale (POS) system. The following morning, they discovered that their POS system had been compromised by ransomware. They would have to pay $10,000 in Bitcoin for the release of their encrypted files. When the team contacted the FBI, they were told to pay or rebuild their system since the agency was overwhelmed with ransomware cases. The restaurant was closed for seven days before being able to reopen.
Your Data Is Your Business
Underestimating the necessity of a reliable backup solution can be a financial disaster for large companies, but it can be fatal for smaller ones. During the seven days that Hard Times Café was closed, their three dozen full- and part-time employees went without pay, and the business generated no revenue. In addition, they had to replace the software and hardware that was compromised and file an insurance claim.
Protect Your Business by Protecting Your Data
Over the collective 75 years that the senior staff of Assured Data Protection have been delivering backup as a service, we’ve seen every scenario and have come away with a single truth that holds up against them all: a company’s data protection solution is only as good as its ability to return to business as usual. And the only way to know that you have this ability is to test for it.
Test Your Recovery Plan
A good recovery plan is one that you’ve successfully tested. Large enterprises are often required to test their disaster recovery to maintain compliance with requirements such as HIPAA. But with fewer resources to absorb the impact of a data disaster, it’s equally important for smaller companies to follow this practice.
So, what goes into a strong test? Every company has unique needs for disaster recovery. But these are some of the key ideas to keep in mind when creating a plan:
- Know your business: A strong DR plan requires understanding which applications are most critical to supporting your business. In some cases, the most prominent applications may not have the most financial impact when offline. A successful test doesn’t just show that data is recoverable, but confirms that a company can quickly operate after a disaster.
- Calculate the cost of disaster: Compare the cost of investing in strong protection to earnings lost if your business is offline. One approach is to tier your recovery plan and organize your applications by investment priority. This can help you strategize the roadmap of your DR plan and testing procedures.
- Test, test, and test again: Your business changes every single day, and your test plan needs to change with it. Investing in strategies that let you test without interrupting production will allow you to increase the frequency of your testing, ensuring that your documentation can be continuously updated as your business evolves.
Whether your company is big or small, investing wisely in the right level of protection for your data will enable your business to run after the unexpected happens.