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Did you know that 93% of all businesses – that don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place when they experience a data disaster – go out of business within a year of that disaster? And yet, 68% of businesses don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place.
Losing access to your business’s data in this day and age could very well mean losing everything. That means that as data becomes an increasingly important commodity to businesses of all types and sizes, so does having a plan for if or when your business experiences a data disaster.
The thought of protecting your business against a data disaster
might be daunting, but don’t worry. By following the steps listed below in this article, you can make sure that your business is ready to take on the challenge.
However, before we actually get into those steps, there is one distinction you should understand: the difference between a business continuity plan and a disaster recovery plan. A business continuity plan is primarily proactive, in that it is a strategy by which a business can continue to operate no matter what kind of disaster or setback befalls it. A disaster recovery plan is primarily reactive and has to do with how a business acts immediately following a disaster of some sort – in this case, a data disaster.
So, now that we’re clear on what a disaster recovery plan is, here are
the steps your business can take to create one that works for you and your employees.
Step 1: Rally The Troops And Assess Your Equipment
In the fight against data disasters, everyone has to be on board. Otherwise, there will always be holes in your defense plan. That’s why executive buy-in – getting everyone in the company, from the CEO to the entry-level employees – is crucial. You need everyone to collaborate cross-functionally in order to fully protect your business.
From there, you need to thoroughly analyze each of your business’s systems, applications and data sets, as well as how they’re physically accessed, in order to suss out any potential vulnerabilities. Then you should determine which systems are absolutely critical to the operation of your business and for getting products and services to your customers. These are the functions that will need to stay up and running, even after a data disaster.
Step 2: Create Your Disaster Recovery Strategy
Once you have everyone on board and an understanding of your equipment and assets (as well as their vulnerabilities), it’s time to actually formulate your disaster recovery plan. To do this, you should take a look at your budget, resources, tools and partners in this endeavor. When you understand how long it takes your business to get back online and the cost for doing so, you’ll have a good idea of how to move forward.
Step 3: Test Your Strategy
No great plan is complete without first testing it to see if it will work. Put your disaster recovery plan through a trial run to see how quickly your team responds to solve the problem and see if there are any improvements that need to be made to the process. Then, by the time an actual data disaster occurs, your business will know how to shut it down and keep running with no problem at all.
While the steps themselves aren’t difficult to understand, preparing your business to combat data disasters takes a lot of work. In the end, though, the work is worth it if it means protecting your data. As a recap, here are the four main action steps that you need to take in formulating a disaster recovery plan:
Follow these steps, and your business’s data will be safe from any threat that comes your way.
Don't Give Up On You No Matter What Anyone Says
At the office, in our shipping area for our books, there’s a little shelf on the wall, displaying a copy of each of the six books
I’ve written. However, technically, there is one book missing from the display: my book Profit First.
Now, there is a copy of Profit First on the shelf. However, it’s not the first copy that I published – it’s self-published, actually. Profit First was the third book that I wrote, the first two being The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and The Pumpkin Plan, both through Penguin Random House Publishing. When I pitched Profit First to them, however, their exact words to me were as follows: “No one needs another accounting book.”
And they declined to publish it – at least at first. Not too long after facing that rejection, I spoke with someone who was mentoring me at the time about my frustrations at not getting Profit First into the hands of business owners everywhere just because my publisher didn’t have faith in it. After I finished explaining all of that, my mentor left me with the words that I would actually follow: “Make them regret it.”
I had to make them see that in refusing to publish Profit First, they were making a huge mistake. I had faith in my book. I knew it could help so many business owners out there. All I had to do was prove it.
So, that’s why I initially had to self-publish Profit First. And guess what? It sold so many copies that Penguin Random House eventually came back to me and said that they wanted to buy the book and republish it in a revised and expanded edition. Profit First is by far my most popular book, and it’s helped more than 600,000 business owners apply the profit first method and mentality to their business.
It’s my hope that sharing this story leads to a wake-up call for you. Don’t let the few naysayers who are scrunching their noses at your big ideas dictate the direction you take in your business and in your life. If they don’t share your vision (at least at first), that doesn’t mean you have the wrong vision – it just means you have to double down and press forward. You have to believe in your idea even more than you already did.
If I hadn’t stuck to my guns and published Profit First, regardless of what my publisher said, there would be thousands of business owners out there who would not be nearly as successful as they are now. They’ve grown, curated their clients and automated their business in ways that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
What’s your next big idea? Does the thought of how it could help people fire you up? Are there people in your life, even people who care about you, who tell you that your idea won’t work? Don’t give in. Don’t give up on your dreams. Keep pushing forward, and I promise you that eventually, you’ll see the success that you already know is possible.
Mike Michalowicz is a very successful author, entrepreneur and lecturer. He has written several successful books, including his latest, Get Different. He is currently the host of the Business Rescue segment on MSNBC’s Your Business, and he previously worked as a small-business columnist for The Wall Street Journal.
Being Cyber Smart means having strong security practices & cyber hygiene. In this blog, you'll get 3 tips to be Cyber Smart without breaking the bank on products & services.
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Classify your data so you can more effectively secure it
Many people think about backups and data management as a big blanket. They have a bunch of servers, or Cloud services, or other data locations, and they just want to make sure they have access to those files and that they are backed up. While this is certainly one approach to protecting data, it presents a few problems…
A one size fits all approach may leave you lacking when it comes to compliance.
In the event of a breach, you may have a hard time identifying what your exposure was.
An overly aggressive approach to data management from a one size fits all approach could be more expensive or technically difficult to manage.
Rights management limiting access to sensitive data to specific people who need it is very difficult.
The way to address this is by classifying data using a logical standard. This could be:
The point is that classification can be used to identify where specific types of data sits, how it flows throughout an organization, and how that data needs to be protected. From there, technology experts can design and build data protection and management solutions that match your goals. But it all starts with the non-technical, logical classification of data by management.