The Necessity of Offsite Backup and Disaster Recovery

Columbus Chamber
The Columbus Chamber provides connections, resources and solutions that help small businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises grow Central Ohio's economy.

Member Insights by thinkCSC

Data security in an increasingly wireless age must be a top priority for every organization, but the rapidly morphing technologies involved in everyday business and systems protection make cybersecurity a daunting task. In fact, for many CEOs and top-level managers (especially in small to medium-sized businesses), making good security decisions can be a daunting task. At the most basic level, however, any solid approach to security must begin with one fundamental component: offsite Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR). The risks of not having offsite BDR simply are too great to ignore:

  • Barely half –  57 percent – of medium-sized companies reopen after suffering catastrophic data loss.
  • Less than half – 49 percent – of those companies are still open after two years.
  • Only 6 percent of those companies financially recover to their pre-loss levels.

With statistics like these, one might believe that every small business owner would have already implemented plans to combat catastrophic data loss. The reality, however, is quite different – according to a Wakefield Research study completed one year following the landfall of Hurricane Sandy:

  • Only 33 percent of businesses had a disaster plan in place.
  • Only 34 percent were backing up all their data.
  • 75 percent were using traditional electronic backup systems, 63 percent of which were at heightened risk of catastrophic loss.

What keeps business owners from having off-site backup? Two issues were prominent in the survey: a lack of awareness about the power of offsite BDR, and the firmly-held belief that offsite BDR is cost-prohibitive.

Every business is at risk

Offsite BDR is the only option available for data recovery in the event of catastrophic loss – and every organization is at risk. Traditional loss through natural disasters occurs frequently, so companies that operate in high-risk areas are particularly vulnerable – but natural disasters can and do occur unexpectedly in many locations. Most business owners and top leaders in the highest-risk areas are aware of the risk and have some level of insurance to help deal with such events, but many leaders in lower-risk areas essentially gamble on not being impacted by catastrophic loss from natural causes. This roll-the-dice approach is the largest reason for the dismal statistics cited above.

Cyberattacks are getting more sophisticated

Of additional concern is the rise in cyberattacks from phishing, social engineering, malware, and ransomware. Having data compromised and held for ransom is unthinkable for many leaders of small to medium-sized companies, since there is a widespread assumption that such attacks target only large companies with vast amounts of sensitive financial data. Hackers, however, have found that small and mid-size businesses are often easier targets.

Offsite BDR is not a luxury

Offsite BDR is critical for every organization. This need is every bit as real as flood insurance in a Gulf Coast flood plain or tornado insurance in Oklahoma. The cost of effective offsite BDR pales in comparison to the cost of lost or compromised data that cannot be restored. While data loss alone can be crippling, decreased customer confidence also can cripple or kill a business. Offsite BDR systems can keep your customers from knowing about attacks altogether – of, if they are aware of the attacks, increase loyalty. Gratitude for successful protection can be an amazing word-of-mouth marketing advantage. Viewed as business insurance, the cost of a good offsite BDR plan is negligible.

Customized solutions control costs

If budget constraints are your main concern, then realize that the cost of implementing BDR is miniscule compared to the financial impact of an attack. Datto’s Ransomware Report estimates down-time costs at $8,500 per hour – up to $75 billion per year. BDR allows you to:

  • Automatically back up and store data
  • Minimize downtime quickly after an attack
  • Avoid paying ransoms if an employee inadvertently introduces ransomware into your network

BDR makes it easy to maintain several copies of your data; as well as backup and store your data somewhere physically separate from your network. With the assistance of a managed service provider, your business can take extra steps for protection:

  • Testing backups to ensure that data is recovered properly
  • Manage passwords and user permissions
  • Take all necessary steps to ensure that your cyber security practices are air tight

There are different options available, at different price points, so don’t let price be the deciding factor without serious consideration of your needs. In the end, the decision of which offsite BDR approach to take boils down to a classic risk analysis. What is not in question is the need for offsite BDR.

At thinkCSC, we believe that in order to achieve maximum success, regardless of the size or type of organization, security must be an integral part of your overall business strategy – inlcuding offsite backup and recovery. Partner with IT professionals who not only understand how to leverage technology to your advantage but who are also committed to understanding your business goals and aligning your IT strategy to them. At thinkCSC, we pride ourselves on having the best business-savvy technical experts in the industry. If you would like to learn how to create an IT security strategy aligned with your organizational goalscontact thinkCSC for more information.