5 Steps for Saving Your Data in a Disaster

When Hurricane Sandy finished blasting through New York and New Jersey in 2012, she left in her wake billions of dollars in damages to homes and businesses. Fires, power outages, storm surges, flooding, and gale-force winds gut-punched many companies, highlighting their vulnerabilities when it came to recovering data and restoring their technology systems after a disaster. [caption id="attachment_28598" align="aligncenter" width="900"]
Damage done during Hurricane Sandy in New York City, NY; 2012.[/caption] While not every business will face something on the scale of Hurricane Sandy, there always will be unforeseen disasters that can make any organization’s data vulnerable. Without a solid plan for a speedy recovery, businesses that already face intense competitive pressures may never be able to recover from such a blow – the Federal Emergency Management Agency says that 40 percent of businesses don’t reopen after a disaster. Businesses cannot afford to face 2019 – and potential disasters – without a data recovery plan. Some ways to protect your organization:
  1. Devise a plan. Any truly effective recovery plan requires as much work as any other strategic business plan. It must be clearly written, understood and embraced by key players. Responsibilities and action steps must be clearly laid out and readily accessible when disaster strikes.
  2. Use cloud storage. Gartner predicts that the public cloud market will grow 3 percent in 2019 to $260.2 billion. Those investments are drive by cloud computing’s greater scalability, lower costs, better flexibility – and its ability to help businesses recover after a disaster. By keeping data off site, businesses aren’t as vulnerable if hit by a natural disaster, and can use cloud services as backups that can be tapped to get the business back online as quickly as possible. It’s also a good idea to store data redundantly in different geographic locations so that one disaster – such as an earthquake – doesn’t impact more than one area.
  3. Organize the data. A protected and secure cloud is a solid option to store data – but what data will you store and in what order? Data needs to be collected from sources like email and surveillance cameras, as well as vendors and customers. You want to make sure that when you collect and store the data that it’s a clear roadmap of how your business functions.
  4. Follow the 3-2-1 rule. The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team suggests keeping 3 copies of any important file (1 primary and 2 backups); keeping the files on 2 different media types to protect against various kinds of hazards; and storing 1 copy offsite.
  5. Tap into secondary market hardware. Organizations can save from 30 percent to 70 percent if they choose to use secondary-market products such as previous generation backup systems, switches and routers. Many third-party vendors offer support level agreements to aid in customizing a data recovery support solution for a main or remote office location.
No business can afford to sit idle for long as it seeks to recover from a disaster. Those that can quickly retrieve data and begin functioning will be the ones to survive a calamity – instead of becoming another victim.

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