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Why every business needs a disaster recovery plan

Going without a disaster recovery plan is a risky business that can leave you bankrupt, untrustworthy and non-compliant.
15 April 2021 Michael Holtzhausen

According to Clutch, a US research firm, nearly two-thirds of small businesses that suffer data loss close within six months. Data is at the core of all modern business operations, regardless of industry type. Whether it’s caused by a natural disaster, human error, a system failure or cybercrime, data loss is more of an inevitability than an anomaly. Despite this, we still encounter more businesses without disaster recovery plans than those that have them. While this is good for our business, it could be catastrophic for yours.

Here’s why every business can’t afford to go another day without a disaster recovery plan.

The sky-high cost of downtime

Datto reports that one hour of downtime can cost anywhere between $10 000 for small businesses and $5 million for enterprises. Downtime due to ransomware attacks can last for days and sometimes weeks, which is why many businesses cave in and pay the ransom demanded by cybercriminals. Either way, your business is losing an exorbitant sum of money for which it hadn’t budgeted.

A disaster recovery plan ensures business continuity in the event of a breach. You save money and time and don’t have to negotiate with your data captors.

People aren’t perfect

The most insidious threat to your business’s data is not cybercrime or natural disasters – it’s the behaviour of your employees. Humans will always be prone to error despite your rigorous efforts to train your employees about the importance of data security. The recent development of remote working spurred by the global pandemic exacerbates this problem. Your employees use their work devices with personal devices (sometimes on unsecured home networks), creating an expanding data surface area with unknowable endpoints. These are the perfect conditions for permanent data loss because there isn’t a robust data recovery and data back-up solution.

Customer retention’s easier than reacquisition

Today’s customers are more demanding than ever and even an hour of your systems failing is enough to turn them away for good. The situation is worse if personal customer data has been leaked. It’s expensive and time-consuming to try to win back dissatisfied and irate customers, which is why it’s better to ensure you never have to. A disaster recovery plan means no downtime, no data leaks and, most importantly, no hashtags on social media taking your business to task.

The prohibitive cost of non-compliance

Data privacy legislation is becoming tighter and the consequences of non-compliance are severe. With the Popi Act now in effect, all organisations have to keep the personal information of all stakeholders protected at all times. Organisations that fail to comply with this Act will face fines of up to R10 million and possible jail time. One of the eight conditions of lawful processing of personal information outlined in the Act is an obligation for organisations to identify and plan for any foreseeable data risks. A comprehensive data protection strategy that includes a data recovery plan is the best way to meet that obligation.

Malware tactics evolve every day

Cybercrime is a lucrative trade with millions of cybercriminals dedicated to improving intrusion techniques every day. While security companies work tirelessly to update their systems as often as possible, the bad guys are always a Trojan Horse or two ahead. The detect-isolate-and-destroy approach to malware is an excellent start but is not sufficient. You have to prepare for the fact that one day something will slip through your defences. But this shouldn’t be a catastrophe because you were smart enough to have a disaster recovery plan in place. Right?

To learn even more about disaster recovery and how it can benefit your business, download our myth-busting guide below.

Don’t be fooled by these disaster recovery myths
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Don’t be fooled by these disaster recovery myths
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