We saw a lot of devastating wildfires in Australia in the 2019-20 season, taking out more than 18 million hectares of land and nearly 6,000 buildings. A lot of the destroyed properties were homes and farms, but it’s also reckoned that more than a quarter of Australian businesses were lost. Government estimates of the financial losses are over $100 billion.
What if this were you? We sincerely hope it wasn’t, but the last thing anyone wants to hear is that their business is on fire. Not only are you looking at serious destruction of property, but you also stand to lose your company records and critical data. This includes not only financial information, but also sensitive client data which is crucial to the success of your business.
Business critical data
We call this business critical data (BCD), and for a good reason. Without it, your business stands a 50% chance of going into administration after a fire, flood or other disaster. 70% of companies struck by fire will fold within five years, with almost half of those collapsing in the first year. If you lose access to your BCD for 10 days or more, whether it’s by fire or data breach, you’re looking at a 93% chance of going under within a year.
Protecting your data is more important than ever. It’s under threat both from cybercriminals and from the environment itself. But before you start to panic about the worst-case scenario, take a good look at the way your BCD is currently managed, and what measures you’ve taken for its security.
The most important of these is backup. You should always keep a copy of your BCD in another place, separate from your business premises – either somewhere external or in cloud storage. This backup should contain all the data from every one of your client accounts and business projects, as well as your website content and email. If you’ve any doubt in your mind about whether to back something up or not – do it! You can always delete unnecessary material, but you can never get it back if you didn’t back it up in the first place.
Backups and verification
Once you’ve established a secure backup, make sure you back your BCD up constantly, at least once a day. Furthermore, you need to ensure that the backup is actually working. The last thing you want to discover when your first line of defence is down is that you forgot to check the second. Verify your backup regularly; every day is best.
For insurance purposes, you should also maintain an up-to-date inventory of all your hardware, including portable devices, and migrate as many of your paper records as possible to less flammable electronic data storage. Then you can initiate protective measures to give you the best chance of withstanding a fatal data loss. We’ve talked elsewhere about data protection and the three Ps (Policy, Protocol and Procedures), so you’ll know how to ensure that your BCD is safe.
If you need advice about data protection and how to withstand natural and cybercrime disasters, give us a call today at Perigon One and we’ll be happy to help.