Data loss is a multifaceted problem facing all modern businesses. A proper business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan can help insulate you from data loss. Let’s take a look at how data loss can occur and how you can protect yourself.
How Data Loss Can Occur
Data loss can occur in a number of different ways, some more common than others. Here are a few of the most common ways:
People make mistakes. Someone might accidentally overwrite a file, format the wrong drive, or delete a valuable folder. These problems can be mitigated by segmenting what users can access, automatically backing up key data, and storing deleted files for a period of time. However, worst-case scenarios can occur despite all these safeguards, and it’s best to have a backup plan in place.
Deleting and blocking access to data are two of the most popular tactics used by cybercriminals, especially for ransomware attacks. Malicious actors within your company may also delete or encrypt data to cover their tracks or extort you. A proper data backup plan can help you mitigate the damage caused by these attacks.
All kinds of things can cause a system to fail. Outdated hardware may simply fail when it reaches the end of its useful life, while old software may encounter bugs or incompatibilities that render your data inaccessible. A good BCDR will ensure that your systems stay updated and maintained to prevent the failure of crucial systems.
Someone spills a soda on a crucial hard drive. An earthquake hits halfway across the country and disables the data centre where you’re storing crucial information. Things happen that are completely outside of anyone’s control. That doesn’t mean your business needs to stop operating—your BCDR can insulate you from even the worst luck.
How To Create a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan
Start by determining which pieces of data are the most crucial to your business. Where are they stored? Who has access to them? What would happen if you no longer had access to that data?
By doing this with all of your data, you can assess what you need to back up the most frequently. From there, consider both internal and external threats, using the common threats we explored above. From shoring up the regulations that dictate user access to helping your team identify phishing emails, assessing and tackling threats will help you protect your data.
Conducting a business impact analysis (BIA)
A business impact analysis (BIA) has two components: Determining the threats that exist to your business and analyzing how they might impact it. We completed the first step above—the next step is understanding how data loss might impact your business.
For some businesses, data is everything—without it, they’re entirely unable to operate. Data is even crucial for small businesses, though—imagine if you suddenly lost all of your customer’s data, your vendor’s info, and your pricing models. How long would it take you to get back into business? These are the types of things a good BIA will assess.
Disaster recovery and continuity planning
Once you’ve assessed the risks to your data and understood the impact of data loss on your business, you can build a business continuity and disaster recovery and continuity plan.
This plan should include many details, including:
Testing your BCDR
You’ll need to test your recovery plan regularly to ensure that everything is working according to plan. By simulating data loss, you’ll be able to see how quickly your business can come back online and whether or not your protocols are sufficient for operating your business until data recovery occurs. Additionally, testing your BCDR will allow you to find any weak points—as your company and your data change, so too must your recovery plan.
By assessing how data loss can occur, developing a data backup and continuity plan, and testing and refining it, you can insulate your business from the consequences of data loss.
Looking to implement a business continuity and disaster recovery plan to protect your business from data loss? Call Constant C today!