WHY IS DATA IMPORTANT?
You, and businesses just like you, spend vast amounts of time and money collecting this data, making it highly valuable. Whether it’s user behaviour data, personal data, transaction data, web data or big data, all of it takes a vast amount of resources to harvest, analyse and craft into meaningful information.
HOW DATA LOSS AFFECTS BUSINESSESWithout data, your marketing efforts are little better than a town crier...who’s deaf...and blind. The consequences of data loss or a data breach can be critical to business operations,
DID YOU KNOW? 94 PERCENT OF COMPANIES THAT EXPERIENCE SEVERE DATA LOSS DO NOT RECOVER
HOW TO PROTECT DATANow that we all understand the benefits and agree that data protection & correct use of data is important, the next step is identifying how to go about doing this. The most effective way to prevent data loss and ensure that the business is able to remain operational, is to invest in an effective business continuity plan that incorporates disaster recovery, known in the industry as BC/DR. To understand the building blocks of a good BC/DR plan, we need to first identify the main causes of data loss.
WHAT CAUSES DATA LOSS?According to an article written by consoletech.com in July 2018, the following have been identified as the top 10 most likely reasons for loss of data within a company, with hard drive damage accounting for 67% of disasters.
- Hard Drive Damage
- Power Outages
- Human Error
- Viruses & Malware
- Computer Theft
- Liquid Damage
- Software Corruption
- Hard Drive Formatting
- Hackers and Insiders
PREVENTING DISASTERSWhile there are some steps that can be taken to reduce these risks, such as staff training, regular maintenance and replacement of hardware, no company is immune to all disasters. Therefore, companies need a plan B that means if the worst should happen, there is a reliable, speedy, cost effective and simple contingency plan in place, so that business can continue as usual regardless of the scenario. A BC/DR plan will factor in RTO (recovery time objective) which declares the maximum amount of time that can pass following a major incident, before data loss reaches a critical point and breaks continuity guidelines.
All BC/DR plans for data management are segmented into 3 key areas;
DATA BACKUPSimply put, backing up data is quite literally the process of copying and archiving the data you own, especially data that cannot be replaced easily. Data Backups must be taken at regular intervals (usually daily or hourly), to ensure that data is fresh, and it is also recommended that backups are stored in more than one location. Keeping several historic files will also help your BC/DR plan, in the event that some of the more recent data files have been corrupted.
DATA STORAGEOnce you have a backup, it is important to store company data in at least one location that is in no way reliant on the hardware that stores the original backups. This is to ensure that should a hard drive fail, you don't lose the original files along with the backups. Again, we would recommend creating multiple files on both the cloud and other devices, keeping historic files in the event that a rollback is required. Data backup files are usually compressed into zip files, so they can make efficient use of hard drive space, thus increasing backup capacity.
DATA RECOVERYThere are 2 sides to data recovery, the first is the simple restoration of stored data and the second is the recovery of lost or deleted data. The data recovery process is specific to whatever system or operating system you are using, and additional support on recovering this manually is readily available online. If you have a company that looks after your data, chances are they will be the ones to manage the entire process. If your data is stored in the cloud, then restoring and recovering data will be fairly simple and straightforward as it can be accessed from just about anywhere with an internet connection.
Don’t forget, testing out the plan is just as important as the plan itself. At Solar Communications, we are so confident in our ability to provide effective BC/DR recovery solutions that we decided to test our own plan, check out our video on YouTube!
Data management isn’t a particularly hard, costly or challenging thing to so and there are plenty of tools, systems, software and companies out there that will help you. At Solar communications, we use cloud-based data management provider Rubrik. To find out more about data management and how to make the most of your data, check out our data management E-book. If you are looking to learn more about BC/DR, check out our ultimate guide to business continuity & disaster recovery.
Heard all you need to hear? That’s great, get in touch with an expert today to hear more about the solutions we provide to help support your BC/DR plan.
TLDR (Too Long Did't Read)
- Data is important
- 94 percent of companies that experience severe data loss do not recover
- The main cause of data loss is hard drive failure
- Protect data with BC/DR solutions