When Hardware Fails: What's Your Data Recovery Plan?

Business.com / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Fifty percent of businesses that lose access to their data for 10 or more days filed for bankruptcy immediately. Don't let it happen to you.

When your hardware fails, you realize your worst fears as a business owner. You can no longer access your files and all the projects for your clients may have been lost. In a panic, you send your computer to a data recovery agency. Sometimes they can recover your data and sometimes they can’t. Either way you get stuck with a massive bill and weeks of hassle and wasted time.  

In fact, the disaster of losing access to your data can drive you out of business. According to the National Archives & Records Administration in Washington, 93 percent of businesses that lose access to their data for 10 days or more file for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. Surprisingly, 50 percent of these businesses filed for bankruptcy immediately.

You may think that your business will be fine. What are the chances that your business will be affected by data loss? Well, according to Mozy Online Backup, 140,000 hard drives crash every week in the United States. With statistics like these, you can’t afford to neglect your data recovery plan.

Despite these statistics, many businesses neglect planning for data loss until it is too late. Acronis’s Dmitri Joukovski explained to CNET why businesses neglect their data recovery when he stated, “Businesses don't often see backup solutions as a top priority because they are more focused on increased efficiency or cost reduction projects, but long-term contingency planning is equally important to their bottom line.”

Related Article: Is Your Small Business Vulnerable to Security Threats?

Plan for Data Loss

Why it’s obvious that you should have a data recovery plan, what exactly should be included in your plan? You’re a CEO, not an IT expert, and you don’t have time to research data recovery. Well, below are some basics that you need to know about data recovery and the steps that you need to be involved in as the CEO.

First, invest in disaster recovery solution. While the initial cost of a disaster recovery solution may be intimidating, it is much more affordable than the costs you will incur if you don’t have a system in place.

Second, don’t cut corners with your disaster recovery solution. As the old maxim says, you get what you pay for. Invest in a high-quality data recovery plan to make sure you’ll be able to recover everything that you need and as quickly as you need. Ideally a solution that stores data locally and in the cloud is the best option for redundancy. 

After your disaster recovery solution has been installed, test it on a semiannual basis. You don’t want to assume that backups are being done and find out later that they aren’t. Employees sometimes turn off data backups or don’t save to the correct location and when you test the system, you can find out exactly where there are cracks in your data recovery.

In addition, testing your system will also let you know how long it will take to recover lost items. Test your data recovery solution regularly so that you know you’ll have everything that you need when disaster strikes.

Finally, work with your IT director or IT firm and create a plan for each kind of disaster.

Related Article: 15 Ways to Protect Your Company from Internal Data Breaches

Questions to Ask About Data Recovery

  • What will you do if your hardware is damaged by a natural disaster like a flood, fire, or tornado?
  • What’s the plan if you lose your data simply due to hardware failure, or worse, hacking?
  • What about malware? Do you still need to install antivirus and anti-spyware software to protect your computers and your business?

Malware is the most likely scenario, according to Timesavers International Studies and 23 percent of the world’s malware issues occur right here in the United States, according to the Symantec Global Security Threat Report: Trends for 2008. These are the kinds of questions you need to ask your IT director in order to prepare for the worst and prevent data loss.

As the CEO, you can’t leave data recovery solely in the hands of one person. Your business depends on your ability to recover lost data in the event of a disaster, and as the CEO, the success of your business is ultimately your responsibility. Even if your IT director is primarily responsible, get involved, ask a lot of questions and make sure you see it for yourself.

Don’t wait until it is too late to prepare for disaster. Create a data recovery plan today.

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