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70 percent of companies go out of business after a major data loss*. The sentiment is not lost on the majority of business owners, but the practical realities of how to successfully avoid such a crisis are often missed.

Business continuity, and thus survival, is reliant on being ‘always on’ – the digitisation of the majority of workplace operations (or at the very least, the systems which underpin them) has set a high expectation for employees, clients and customers alike.

Your services can only provide supply to demand if they are available as anticipated.

Any period of downtime is a potential threat to continuity, reputation and budget. The truth is, no business can truly afford it. Bad news travels fast, and even a brief period of inactivity which didn’t seem to directly hit your cashflow could easily damage you long-term; how long will it take for a disgruntled client to spread the word that you couldn’t help?

The only failproof way to ensure that your business is protected from unnecessary downtime is to have a sturdy backup and disaster recovery plan – and many do believe themselves to have the necessary measures in place.

Unfortunately, many in-house strategies simply aren’t sufficient. When was it last tested? And under what circumstances?

In a fast-paced landscape of digital threats, it’s vital to be prepared for the dangers of today – and what’s potentially lurking tomorrow.

Black hat hackers are cunning.

They’re au fait with the lengths that people will go to, in order to stop them accessing data; and overcoming them is all in a day’s work. After all, there would never be a data leak in history if it wasn’t for a hacker’s ability to fleece regular methods of data protection; and the perception of ‘regular’ becomes outdated extremely quickly.

Malware is becoming so sophisticated that, unless you are in the business of protecting data (bearing in mind that it really is a 24-hour job), you really can’t consider your own company to be immune. It would be incredibly naïve to do so.

Every reliable disaster recovery plan needs to include the 3-2-1 backup rule; keep at least three copies of your data, store two backup copies on different storage devices with at least one located offsite. With malware having the potential to completely ravage your internal IT system, having an external copy of your data is essential.

Even for major organisations, data loss can have devastating consequences – yet an adequate defence is still not taken.

WannaCry, the 2017 ransomware attack which managed to encrypt data on more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries, struck one of the UK’s largest agencies – the National Health Service.

Despite being a hub of life-saving technological excellence, NHS hospitals experienced the effect of this ransomware on up to 70,000 devices, including computers and vital medical equipment.

On the 12th of May 2017, when the crisis hit, some NHS services had no choice but to turn away non-critical emergencies and divert ambulances. You’d think that such an internationally-acclaimed institution would have their data protection in check, but this was sadly not the case. Of course, they have data backup – almost every organisation does, of any size, let alone the largest. However, they weren’t staying on top of the latest protection against threats; some machines were still even using Windows XP.

Their backup and disaster recovery system was untested to the required degree, and it failed when they needed it.

External backup precautions are essential.

Only then can you be sure that your data can be returned to you, in the case of a malware attack.

Yes, you could attempt to manage external backup in-house; but the upfront cost in terms of hardware and suitable IT management is huge. In addition, there’s every chance you could still be damaged by the attack if it’s linked to your internal operations. Most likely, they’ll all be affected.

Innovate provides a range of high security cloud solutions which it markets under the Continuous brand name.

Innovate’s Continuous Back-Up cloud storage solutions allow your business to have reliable backup of your company data in all instances. And should the worst happen, Continuous Disaster Recovery will have your company back in operation in minutes not days.

But Storage and retrieval are not the only things this service does. Continuous cloud services will also ‘continuously’ action penetration tests on our servers, to ensure that data is always protected from the latest threats. Similarly, the Continuous services also regularly test the backed-up data to ensure it has not become corrupted or infected at all.

All this testing is fully reported, so you can see tangible evidence to ensure compliance; similarly, data is backed up multiple times a day, to ensure the preservation of multiple versions of your files.

Better yet, the cost is entirely flexible depending on your business requirements; the amount of service you use can expand and contract whenever you need it to. There’s also no upfront cost, allowing complete peace of mind for a fraction of the price of attempting the strategy in-house.

Our data security is second to none, with a fully managed service; you can contact our data experts anytime, and if necessary, deploy disaster recovery within 15 minutes. This can be to any device, in any location, while still mirroring your original desktop.

Major data loss could devastate your business. The only solution is to be pragmatic.

You’ll never truly appreciate how important disaster recovery is, until the second you need it.

Taking a risk with in-house strategies for the sake of cost-effectiveness is counterproductive. It’ll bear a heavy price, if or when it fails; and any money or manpower you’ve spent to create it will be wasted.

Don’t allow your business to become this year’s data crisis statistic. Contact our team today and find your perfect cloud backup and disaster recovery plan.

[* – UK DTI]