Small Business Backup & Disaster Planning – Are you Prepared?

Most small businesses are woefully unprepared should a disaster strike. The following statistics highlight:

  • Gartner estimates that only 35 percent of SMBs have any comprehensive disaster recovery plan.
  • Touche Ross estimates, the survival rate for organizations without a disaster recovery plan is < 10%

Disaster recovery is the process, policies and procedures related to preparing for recovery or continuation of technology infrastructure critical to an organization after a natural or human-induced disaster. Disaster recovery is a subset of business continuity. While business continuity involves planning for keeping all aspects of a business functioning in the midst of disruptive events, disaster recovery focuses on the IT or technology systems that support business functions. DR is complex and multifaceted but often the most simple things such as backup are ignored by small business owners.

Server & Data Backup

Backup is not optional. Backups should happen both on the server itself and the mission critical data it contains. Servers should always be backed up in two ways. Locally and then online. Local backup can be accomplished to a tape drive, or external hard drive. Online backup is data backup using the Internet or the cloud and is a critical part of your disaster recovery efforts. Images of all required system software such as Operating System, Applications should be burned to ISO image files and included in these backups in both local and online forms.

A Diffusion Group Study Found:
  • 40% of Small and Medium Sized Businesses don’t back up their data at all
  • 60% of all data is held on PC Desktops and laptops
  • 40 – 50% of all backups are not fully recoverable and up to 60% of all backups fail in general
Online Backup

Online backup is another critical requirement to ensuring the possibility of recovery. Without online backup, in the instance of a regional disaster, (where your office computer and backup drive are destroyed) there would be no way to restore your systems. Offsite tape storage or online backup are required for any real disaster recovery option. Data store with almost any vendor will also allow for encryption of this data while in transit to their servers and while on them.

Herein we have only scratched the surface of the planning needed for an effective disaster recovery plan.  Is your organization prepared?

6 thoughts on “Small Business Backup & Disaster Planning – Are you Prepared?”

  1. I make it a priority to always perform regular backups to my server locally. I do online ones less regularly as I question how reliable it is for successful backups of data, however I may start utilising this form of backup more just in case.

    1. Matt,
      Great to hear you are doing both online and local backups. Hope you explore some of the many the cloud backup or online backup options. Please feel free to drop by and add any questions or comments you may have.

  2. Wendell Freeman

    I agree with Matthew as I always make backups through both local and online means. Currently, I have never had the misfortune of a crash or server malfunction to the extent that I have needed any of the backups I’ve made, but as to avoid any future complications I still think that it is very important.

    1. Great to hear that you are doing IT best practice. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to find new clients that are NOT doing backups in this day and age. Keep sharing your comments, questions and feedback– it is much appreciated.

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