The Different Types of Data Disasters

We thought we had it all figured out, but COVID-19 has proven that's not the case. It wasn't just us as a species who were vulnerable to this virus, our systems and devices were, too. Natural and human-made disasters as well as other events can cause significant damage and bring businesses to a screeching halt. Now is the time for companies, both big and small, to take the necessary steps to ensure business continuity and natural-disaster resilience. In this digital world, backup and disaster recovery (BCDR) must become a top priority for businesses because the effects of even a single data loss incident could prove fatal. Imagine if you were a health care provider, for example, and you wound up losing all your patient data after a fire burned away your on-premises backup device. An incident like that could cause irreparable damage to your business. In this blog, we will break down different types of data loss disasters, how to prepare for them and how to leverage BCDR to meet and maintain regulatory compliance obligations.

Data Disasters Come in Many Shapes & Sizes

We thought we had it all figured out, but COVID-19 has proven that's not the case. It wasn't just us as a species who were vulnerable to this virus, our systems and devices were, too. Natural and human-made disasters as well as other events can cause significant damage and bring businesses to a screeching halt. 

Now is the time for companies, both big and small, to take the necessary steps to ensure business continuity and natural-disaster resilience. In this digital world, backup and disaster recovery (BCDR) must become a top priority for businesses because the effects of even a single data loss incident could prove fatal. 

Imagine if you were a health care provider, for example, and you wound up losing all your patient data after a fire burned away your on-premises backup device. An incident like that could cause irreparable damage to your business. 

In this blog, we will break down different types of data loss disasters, how to prepare for them and how to leverage BCDR to meet and maintain regulatory compliance obligations.

 

The Different Forms Data Loss Can Take

From natural disasters like hurricanes and floods, to cybersecurity disasters such as malware or ransomware, data loss disasters come in many forms. Let’s analyze each type and learn how to plan and prepare for them.

 

Natural Disasters

This covers everything from storms, hurricanes and floods to fires, tsunamis and volcano eruptions, and any naturally occurring event that can cause damage to your physical business. In most cases, you can expect damage to your infrastructure, or power and mechanical failures, which could then lead to data loss. 

 

Hardware and Software Malfunctions

Software and hardware failure can cause data loss if you don’t have BCDR measures put in place ahead of time. It could be due to bugs, glitches, configuration errors, programming errors, component failures or simply because the device is at its EOL (end of life) or the software is outdated. 

 

Unpredictable Situations

Data loss can happen due to random, unexpected scenarios. For instance, a portable hard disk held by one of your employees could get stolen. Maybe your server room has a water leak because of a plumbing issue. Perhaps there could even be a pest infestation in one of your data centers. Anything could happen, so preparing for life and ensuring your data is backed up outside of your physical devices is important.

 

Human Error

Aberdeen Research found that everyday human errors cause almost 70% of data loss incidents. These errors range from accidentally deleting files or overwriting existing files, to naming convention errors, forgetting to save or backup data, or spilling liquid on a storage device.

 

Cyberthreats

Your business may fall prey to malware, ransomware and virus attacks, which could leave your data and backups corrupt and unable to be recovered. Additionally, data loss could be caused by malicious insiders with unauthorized access, which often goes under the radar for long amounts of time. A single ransomware attack can cause an entire business to close down, simply due to an employee accidentally clicking a bad link or downloading a bad file, allowing the hackers to live undetected in the background for months, until reaching the perfect hostage point. A recent study shows that employee action is involved in around 25% of all electronic crime events.

How to Plan and Prepare for The Worst

As you can see, data loss disasters can manifest in a wide variety of ways. The key is to be proactive and plan for these disasters before you have to worry. Don’t wait for disaster to strike, because when in that situation, you need to be prepared. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Perform a business impact analysis and draft a plan on how to recover important and necessary functions in the event of a disaster. 
  • Figure out an appropriate RPO (Recovery Point Objective) and RTO (Recovery Time Objective.)
  • Set up a business continuity team that will take charge of key operations during a disaster.
  • Train your staff in proper backup management and data recovery practices regularly.
  • Back up critical business data off-site and in the cloud. 
  • Conduct a threat analysis and determine recovery steps for each threat.
  • Perform frequent security audits and be sure to frequently test your backup systems as well as perform mock run-throughs to review the efficiency of your disaster response plan.
  • Keep the plan up to date and make sure everyone on the team knows their specific role. In the event of a data disaster or emergency, time is important and trusting your staff to know their responsibilities at that time is crucial.
  • Banking information should be stored in a way that it can be accessed quickly and securely in the event of a disaster.
  • Invest in a strong and efficient backup and disaster management solution that is continuous, secure, offers SaaS data backup and doesn’t require extra hardware or network bandwidth.
  • Make sure you have a remote monitoring tool.
  • Employ waterless fire protection systems, moisture sensors, surge protectors and backup battery systems.

 

Leverage BCDR to Achieve and Maintain Regulatory Compliance Obligations

Data loss prevention is not the only upside to taking backup and disaster recovery seriously. Getting a robust BCDR solution that offers constant monitoring of backup activity, advanced threat detection, immutable audit logs, access control requirements, data retention rules, and infrastructure or storage controls will make it much easier for you to meet compliance obligations necessary to your industry and business.

Data loss disasters are basically inevitable. But you can minimize their impact by making BCDR a critical component of your business continuity and resilience plans. Not sure how to get started? Tekie Geek can help! Contact us to get more information on how to build a reliable disaster recovery plan and make sure your business is able to continue on after a breach!


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