I have been thinking recently about the number of natural disasters that have happened in recent years. Earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis, aside from the devastating consequences to human life, have resulted in widespread damage to infrastructure.

Businesses are inevitably affected by these types of disaster, with damage frequently occurring to data centres. To make things worse, many are not adequately protected against data losses that occur following this type of damage. A major new survey released by CA Technologies touches on this subject, and found that a significant majority of companies across Asia Pacific do not have comprehensive disaster recovery (DR) plans in place to prepare for disasters such as these. Spending on data protection and DR does however appear to be increasing. This is a great sign and shows that companies are serious about keeping their data safe – especially since the amount of data kept by companies is increasing. But to make this investment completely worthwhile, these companies must ensure they have a full DR plan.

Many experts believe that the frequency of natural disasters is increasing. But this is not the only threat to organisations: a huge number of events and occurrences can disrupt businesses and cause data loss. The survey identified the types of incident that have led to data and application loss throughout Asia Pacific in the last year. Natural disasters are one (and one that often leads to significant damage and data loss) but the major causes of data loss were such wide-ranging incidents as IT systems failure, external attacks on IT and human error.

We have talked to a variety of companies about these incidents and most said that they had a significant impact on the company. Many mentioned loss of revenue and customer dissatisfaction resulting from the data and application loss.

Keeping hold of your data and making sure it is protected can be complicated. As well as the data deluge touched on already, and the wide variety of causes, data can be kept in a variety of ways and in a variety of locations. As well as physical data, there is virtualised data and data kept in the cloud (whether private or public). Data protection and disaster recovery plans need to take this into account to ensure ALL data is properly protected. Disaster can strike at any time, but with a proper plan in place major data loss can be easily prevented.