2020 Isn’t the Year to Skimp on Data Backup Plans

Do you need a disaster recovery plan that backs up your data and restores your critical operations? Any other year, the decision would be based on a careful analysis of weighing the cost savings you might be able to amass by standing pat. This year? Disaster recovery is a no-brainer – for several reasons.

2020 Isn’t the Year to Skimp on Data Backup Plans

One, the global pandemic has increased the risks businesses face as they share information both inside and outside the traditional four walls of a data center. During the pandemic, we have seen a dramatic increase in cyberattacks and phishing schemes, making the need to back up critical information even more important. 

Two, hurricane season is revving up in the U.S., and climatologists at NOAA’s Climate Protection Center are projecting above-normal activity along the Atlantic coast. They’re expecting 6-10 hurricanes in 2020 – 3-6 of them in the “major” category. This is at the high end of what we see in a normal season. If your business has operations and/or data stores in this region, now is the time to protect your critical data.

On top of this, businesses face the usual sets of risks – everything from human error to failing equipment to internal attacks, data center shutdowns, fires, power outages, tornadoes and floods. Downtime caused by any one of these factors can set a business back considerably.

The numbers tell the story. If systems go down and data is lost, the business impact is often businesses lose revenue, alienate customers and potentially even shut down altogether. A quarter of global businesses reported the average cost of enterprise server downtime this year is between $301K and $400K. When their infrastructure is impacted, enterprises face an expense of $5,600 per minute or $2.7 million per work day. An estimated 68% of small businesses do not have a written disaster recovery plan, and 25% of all businesses never reopen after a major disaster.

Enterprises should pay particularly close attention to backing up data and shoring up data recovery practices during the pandemic and the recovery period. As workers continue to log on from home businesses are faced with higher security risks, causing them to protect themselves with more frequent backups. This increase in compute resource usage can put a strain on their environment. Staffing challenges can also put backup operations in jeopardy, with many businesses having limited staff to manage backup or needing to focus staff resources elsewhere.

Protecting your data starts with a few essential best practices. 

  • First, companies should make sure they have identified the data they can’t live without and make plans to protect it using both automatic and manual data backups.
  • Employees need to tap data resources from remote connections. Make sure you go over best practices for data backup and recovery outside, as well as inside, the office. 
  • As you focus more attention on plugging cybersecurity vulnerabilities, make sure you don’t neglect to perform repeated backups in more than one place.
  • Then, if a disaster does happen, have a plan in place to deal with it. A professional services team with experience in the field can help you design a plan and make sure it’s been thoroughly tested if it’s ever needed. You don’t have to go it alone.

Another way to manage data continuity risks during these uncertain times is to take advantage of Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) in the cloud. For businesses that don’t want to manage backup, a fully managed services option handles data backup, security systems, compliance requirements and hardware, eliminating the need for internal IT staff to interact with or monitor backup. For companies who are experts in data backup, a self-managed option gives them the ability to leverage a vendor’s infrastructure while assuming responsibility for solution management themselves.

Preventing data loss should always be a top priority, but during these precarious times, it’s even more important. Shoring up your data backup and recovery practices now will protect your company from having to deal with more problems that could threaten your business’ viability going forward. 

What worries do you have about protecting your data during the pandemic and upcoming hurricane season? Let me know in the comments – I’d love the chance to work with your company to make sure your data is safe.

Patrick Doherty, Chief Revenue Officer

Patrick Doherty

Chief Revenue Officer

Patrick leads sales, sales operations, marketing, solutions engineering, channel and commercial management for Flexential and is responsible for the company’s focus and revenue growth investments.