Summer in Rochester, NY is providing us with the usual neverending events that give Rochester the proud designation of “Festival City”. This not only means thousands of additional people enjoying the sights that Rochester has to offer, but also signals the important emergency preparedness drills that are valuable in preparing people for natural and man made disasters. But one aspect of preparedness often goes overlooked: how will your technology survive a major event?
How to Reduce Your Risk of an IT Outage
Many business owners overlook data backup solutions, cloud backup services, disaster preparedness, and business continuity planning because they assume a natural disaster will never impact them. In fact, annual surveys by the National Small Business Administration show that nearly 66 percent of small business owners don’t have a disaster recovery plan—or access to a backup generator. But why?
Many say it’s because they don’t live on the coast, or near a river, or in Tornado Alley, or on a fault line. But the NSBA estimates that 65 percent of US businesses are situated in geographic areas that regularly suffer from natural disasters. And the data centers that house the bulk of US business information are primarily located in populous states like right here in New York, as well as California, Texas, Florida, and Washington—coincidentally, these are the same five states that lead the country in FEMA disaster declarations.
Even when we’re equipped for an emergency, things sometimes don’t go according to plan. This is especially true when talking about business data backup on computers, servers, networks, smartphones, hard drives, and other IT devices.
You can implement many data loss prevention strategies to reduce the risk of an IT outage before, during, and after a disaster. Maintaining your hardware infrastructure and keeping software patched is job number one, along with educating your employees on the importance of network security and keeping data safe.
So what can you do to give your business a leg up when it comes to disaster preparedness?
CMIT Solutions recommends the following 5 critical steps:
1. Implement off-site, redundant, and encrypted data backups
The vast majority of business backups are done on-site—often on drives located directly next to the computers they’re backing up. If fire, flood, or theft affects your business, you can’t expect those backups to be spared. Cloud backup solutions are an effective way to ensure your data is protected, even if your physical location is compromised.
2. Prepare risk assessments that plan for the aftereffects of any crisis, not just specific threats.
Instead of getting bogged down in the details of a particular disruption, comprehensive disaster recovery planning addresses the steps necessary to get your business up and running, no matter the event.
3. Formulate a business continuity plan
One of the most harmful assumptions a business owner can make is thinking that even if a disaster strikes they’ll only be affected for a few days.
Take Hurricane Harvey, which rocked the Houston area, displacing residents from their homes for months at a time. The local businesses that were able to maintain communication with their clients via mobile phone, laptop, or even traditional face-to-face communication were the ones that saw their reputations as pillars of the community strengthen in the wake of that devastating storm. Data loss prevention is integral to maintaining communication when your community needs you the most.
4. Create (and test!) a virtualization strategy before disaster strikes
The best disaster preparedness plans include virtualization, which takes the data you have backed up remotely and rebuilds it on existing or secondary equipment in case of disaster. But if you haven’t tested your solution to see how quickly it can retrieve information and get you back up and running, you could suffer.The best disaster preparedness plans include virtualization, which takes the data you have backed up remotely and rebuilds it on existing or secondary equipment in case of disaster. But if you haven’t tested your solution to see how quickly it can retrieve information and get you back up and running, you could suffer.
Top-tier offerings like our data backup solutions CMIT Guardian can perform a full restore in less than 48 hours—and those hours can mean the difference between weathering a storm and succumbing to it.
5. Understand incident management
This focuses on employee responsibility and communication—how everyone will be notified in the wake of a disaster; who handles which parts of the recovery plan; what lines of communication will be relied upon; primary roles vs. backup roles etc. Testing these in advance is crucial to success.
CMIT Helps Businesses Weather the Roughest Storms
Even if this information convinces you of the critical nature of disaster preparedness, you may not know how to implement such a plan. That’s where CMIT Solutions comes in: we specialize in helping small- to medium-sized business prepare for and weather even the roughest of storms.
We have helped businesses survive hurricanes, floods, wildfires, ice storms, along with the day-to-day perils of human error and hardware failure with our business data backup services. As fellow business owners ourselves, the best feeling we get at CMIT Solutions is when we can help you overcome these obstacles.
Over the last few years, we’ve helped scores of businesses survive hurricanes, floods, wildfires, ice storms, along with the day-to-day perils of human error and hardware failure. As fellow business owners ourselves, the best feeling we get at CMIT Solutions is when we can help you overcome such obstacles.