No one can accurately predict when a disaster is going to strike, but flash floods, power surges, fires and other catastrophes can severely cripple a business for days, weeks and sometimes permanently. In fact, 25 percent of businesses never reopen after experiencing a major disaster. The permanent loss of critical data is cited as one of the leading reasons companies close their doors forever after an unexpected calamity. Fortunately, a simple strategy based on data backup redundancy can help ensure that critical information remains safe and secure no matter what kind of disaster a business may endure.
Data is the Lifeblood of a Business
In the modern era, it is widely accepted that a company’s data is critical for the uninterrupted continuation of daily business operations. In addition to the corruption of customer records and financial information, data loss could force a company into noncompliance with federal and state regulations, which can result in fines and penalties.
A well-conceived data backup and recovery strategy that includes local backup, online backup and offsite backup in three geographically different locations will significantly reduce the risk of downtime and customer service interruptions. Offsite tape storage, vaulting, online backup systems and data restoration facilities serve as excellent hedges against unanticipated disasters while adding lasting value to a business.
Backup Data Storage Challenges
Many companies store redundant file backup systems in the same place where the original data is located. If the business experiences a major event, both the backup and original are often destroyed. In fact, the chances of losing locally duplicated data can be as high as .25 percent, which is still too risky for critically important proprietary information. However, when data is stored in three separate geographic locations, the probability of data backup survival rises to 99.99 percent, virtually ensuring that the company’s data will remain completely intact regardless of the situation.
Since no solution is entirely foolproof, security experts recommend a diversified and comprehensive approach to backup storage that includes:
* Identifying Data Threats: Threats to digital content come in a variety of forms including accidental loss or deletion, theft, content degradation, damage and disaster.
* Considerations for Data Protection: Designing a successful data preservation strategy is based on identifying where critical digital content exists and who is authorized to access it.
* Deciding What to Store: Most companies choose to backup unique and irreplaceable files, legal documents, archived files, proprietary data and certain personal files.
* Selecting Storage Mediums: Since diversification is the key to data preservation, industry professionals suggest a combination of external hard drives, network attached storage, cloud storage services and tape drive backup.
* Where to Store Redundant Backup Data: The key to successful data preservation is selecting at least three different offsite locations. Files are less likely to be compromised if there are multiple copies stored on various media. If a disaster strikes, duplicate copies in separate and distinct locations can help prevent a permanent data loss.
An Inexpensive Solution to Data Protection
Disaster-proofing data requires planning and some cost, but it is a fraction of the expense a business will encounter as it tries to rebuild its data systems from scratch. Taking a few precautionary steps to ensure data survival in the event of an unexpected catastrophe can help maintain business continuity while the company’s owners and managers rest easier at night.