Cyber advice to business leaders: Data security is critical to your success

You can’t tune into the news today without hearing or reading about the latest cybercrime that has impacted organizations around the world. Look at what happened not long ago with the WannaCry ransomware attack that disrupted businesses globally and caused billions of dollars in damages. The malicious use of software to obstruct access to a computer system until a ransom is paid was a wake-up call for businesses and consumers alike, as many are still operating on luck and hoping today is not the day our number is called for disruption.

Protecting our personal and business data should be a new priority for everyone. The best way to protect data is to have a recoverable backup when data is compromised. Everyone has some sort of backup, but do you know how to recover must-have data from your backup? Can it be done within a reasonable time frame to avoid significant business production and revenue loss? Do you have the option to continue operations while primary application servers are restored by rolling to an off-site instance on a virtual server? Performing routine data backups isn’t enough anymore. I recommend having a modern backup solution that is managed and can be restored within your determined recovery-time and recovery-point objectives.

Here are four critical reasons why every business leader should take a second look at his or her backup procedures:

1. Cybercrime is here to stay: The question is not if, but when will a cybercrime knock at your front door. The only way to ensure that you can immediately handle an attack is to implement a regular backup schedule so that your company can get access to the files it needs without having to deal with the cybercriminals.

2. It’s insurance: Every business is required to have insurance to protect itself — liability, property, workers’ compensation, to name a few. So, why don’t we look at data backups the same way as insurance policies? A backup is more than a way to restore a lost or damaged file. Your backup should be a critical part of your overall business plan, and it should scale to make sure you can meet your business objectives.



3. Human error is inevitable: Most IT downtime is a result of common, everyday actions, such as accidental data deletion, damage to computer hardware, and poor security habits. For example, a recent CompTIA study found that 94% of respondents routinely log into public Wi-Fi despite security risks, and 69% of this group accesses work-related data over public Wi-Fi. Having technology in place that allows your business to continue operations following these cyber disasters is vital.

4. Downtime is expensive: If your employees or customers lose access to business-critical applications and data, there will be a direct impact on productivity and revenue. Many organizations don’t consider the actual costs of downtime. Costs from extended interruption of services and, in turn, lost revenue can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars — and possibly more. Some modern backup products offer the ability to run applications from backup instances of virtual servers. This allows users to continue operations while primary application servers are restored.

Brian Oppermann is a senior systems engineer with SRC Technologies in De Pere, Wis.

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