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How to safeguard against data loss

March 27th, 2014 Advice, Backbone Connect, Blog, Cloud Platform, Data Centre

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Crying because all the data was lost

Any loss of data, either large or small, could mean potentially damaging consequences for your business. So you need to guarantee everything is safe with a solid disaster recovery plan.

Your data is arguably your most valuable asset. Losses can be caused by a number of factors from failing equipment to power outages, human error or, like the recent case of data loss from Morrisons it can be caused by security breaches. And it can have potentially catastrophic effects for your company.

Depending on what type of business you operate, it could mean the loss or leaking of sensitive information. You could be liable for the potential damage to client or customer data, which could be costly in both reparations and regulatory fines, and also to your reputation. If important business data is lost, it can also be hard to recover – meaning months of repair work, or even projects having to be abandoned. And there’s also the harmful effect of downtime to your own business to consider.

Time and time again we have seen businesses failing, or suffering severe financial damage due to data loss issues. As little as 6% of businesses have a realistic chance of long-term survival after suffering downtime without an adequate recovery strategy in place. Put simply, if you don’t have a good disaster recovery plan, you’re at risk of losing data, and your business could suffer.

Backing up is not disaster recovery
If your approach to keeping your data safe is backing up to a server housed onsite, your disaster recovery plan is not effective. Servers can and do fail. And no matter how many times you’ve backed up, there’s always the risk of that data being lost, corrupted or stolen.

If your onsite server fails, and your backup server or tapes are corrupted, there’s very little chance of getting that data back. A recent survey blames the high cost of data loss in the UK on senior executives failing to invest in integrated back up and recovery. Data back up is only one step and not an effective recovery plan.

By housing your data in a data centre, or virtual environment, however, that risk can be dramatically reduced. Data centres offer disaster recovery plans built into your package, meaning you’re instantly safeguarded with extra back ups. And if you opt for a virtualised solution, like a Private Cloud or Virtual Data Centre, all of your important data is stored in the cloud, so it’s instantly recoverable should a failure occur.

Expect the unexpected
Data loss can come from a number of sources. From power outages to defective or failing equipment, it’s hard to estimate what might create a system breakdown. So again that onsite server is at risk. A simple power outage could mean your onsite systems are inaccessible, causing down time and potential losses to the business. Until the power comes back on, your workforce could be sitting idle.

But if your data is housed in a dedicated colocation facility, there is greater protection for business continuity. Data centres have built in protocols to safeguard against power loss – with most facilities employing back-up generators, onsite dedicated substations or even their own means of renewable energy. So there’s far less risk of power outages causing data issues.

And if you employ a virtual solution, your data is stored in the cloud. So it’s already backed up and instantly retrievable. Your employees don’t have to rely on accessing the in-house company server – they can log on remotely from wherever they are and carry on working. So you might not be able to predict the unexpected, but you can prepare for it.

Create a disaster recovery plan and test it
Because your data is so important, you can’t simply hope for the best. You may have an ironclad server, an impenetrable cloud platform and back ups for your back ups. But things can still go wrong. As technology develops and new ways of using and storing data come into play, so do new forms of data corruption, theft and failure.

So you need a disaster recovery plan. Map out all of your most important, business critical data and systems, and ensure you have a strategy to keep things safe and running. And if things do go wrong, make sure you can get everything back as quickly as possible.

Most importantly of all, test your plan. And then test it again. And again.

if you are worried about your disaster recovery plan, get in touch with us

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