According to the most recent government cyber security breaches survey, almost half of businesses have suffered cyber security breaches in the past 12 months. As we become more reliant on digital data to support the products and services that we supply to customers, the risks involved increase significantly. Given the likelihood of an incident for any business – whether as a result of a malicious third party, such as a hacker, or just a simple mistake – it’s essential to prepare for a potential data disaster.
Start planning for a data disaster now
The process of creating a plan for a data disaster situation has two purposes. The first is to ensure that you’re prepared well before anything like this actually happens. The second is that it’s an opportunity to take a long look at the business, evaluate the existing vulnerabilities and risks and identify the issues that a data disaster could present to the ongoing delivery of services.
Start with a business impact assessment so that you can establish how – and where – the business would suffer in a data disaster situation. Analyse the risks and then find ways to mitigate them by asking key questions, such as how to avoid data loss and where to store data between the point of the last backup and the present day.
Hope for the best but plan for the worst
It’s important that your data disaster plan is as comprehensive as it can be. However, even where that is the case you may still find that you lose some data – accepting this inevitability now can help to ensure that it doesn’t overwhelm you when it happens. Identify your mission critical data that you must protect against all the odds and then look at the ways that the rest of your business data could be preserved or recovered in a cost effective way.
There may be alternatives for recovering this data – for example, might certain data might have been downloaded by a different part of the business that could be used to restore what has been lost centrally?
Don’t wait to act
Having early warning systems and monitoring in place can quickly alert you to the first signs of an unfolding data disaster. Where this is happening, it’s crucial to act fast. The more quickly you’re able to take steps to deal with a data disaster the less extensive it is likely to be. That’s why a data recovery plan is essential to create before anything actually goes wrong.
It will also be useful to allocate responsibility for certain tasks and actions to specific individuals and provide training so that everyone in the business can be responsive if a situation starts to unfold. Acting quickly can both halt a data disaster and also trigger the data recovery planning that will ensure business continuity.
The threat to data is very real today for every business, from SMEs though to multi national corporations. Preparing for data disaster is an essential part of the process of minimising the potential impact that this can have.
Our Data Management software can help you to stay on top of your data to ensure your business is fully compliant at all times. Find out more by giving CFM Systems a call today on 0208 959 0041.