As practically any manager in business will tell you, business continuity is a very important concept, one that is crucial to maintaining a solid company presence regardless of all external influences. However, even though practically all businessmen admit the importance of business continuity, not all of them take adequate steps to provide for it.
Some businessmen in fact, prefer to ignore the situation and hope that nothing ever happens to their business which could result in extended downtime. There are a number of things in today’s world which can cause major disruptions to your business continuity, including all the possible natural disasters, as well as intrusion from cyber criminals, bent on earning money for their own profit.
It seems that no matter how many times some managers hear about disasters which befall other companies, they just never think it can happen to their own. And then one day, the unthinkable does happen, and your company experiences some kind of disaster, and there’s a question about whether you can even recover adequately to stay in business. Here are some of the things that can happen to your small business which should have you thinking about disaster recovery and business continuity.
Malware is something which is much more likely to strike your small business than a flood, hurricane, an earthquake, or a tornado – but the damage done by malware can be just as bad as any of those natural disasters. Cyber attacks from malware have been growing by leaps and bounds over the past five years, and hackers have been focusing much more attention on small businesses.
Whereas corporate giants were once the chief target of cyber attacks, criminal-minded operators on the Internet have discovered that the cumulative profits which accrue from attacking many small businesses can be just as lucrative as targeting a single corporate entity. Ransomware is a favorite approach taken by cyber attackers, wherein they gain entry to your computer system, and a virus locks up all your corporate data by encrypting it.
Then, you are asked to pay a specified amount of money in order to receive the key that will decrypt the data and make it usable again. If you haven’t backed up your data very recently so that you have a usable version, you’ll probably have only two choices – pay the ransom, or go out of business.
Daily Business Disruptions
Apart from criminal attacks, there are a number of possible disruptions to your business which can occur on a daily basis, which are of the perfectly normal variety. For instance, you could have an infrastructure problem with your network which cripples the network for a day or two, until repairs can be made.
Meanwhile, your business is off-line, and you have no choice but to close your doors until your computer systems have been restored, and you can resume business operations. These kinds of daily disruptions have affected at least half of all small businesses in this country, and although recovery is generally within two days, it still means a loss of business for the time your computer system is off-line.
Statistics Concerning Business Disasters
It is known that more than 80% of all businesses which undergo some kind of major disaster, usually to the computing network, end up having to go out of business within three years of the disaster. At least 40% of all businesses which experience a major IT failure are obliged to close their doors within one year of that failure.
A full 44% of all companies which have been subjected to a fire or other disaster are never able to reopen and resume business, and of the 56% of those companies which do reopen, only 33% of them managed to survive for a period longer than three years.
Despite these chilling statistics on disaster recovery, data compiled by the Hughes Marketing Group suggests that over 90% of all companies sized at 100 employees or less, spend as little as eight hours a month considering business continuity and disaster recovery.
Another Source of Disasters
Apart from natural disasters and attacks from cyber criminals, there’s another major source of disasters which can plague small businesses. Statistics provided by disaster recovery solution experts tell us that between 60% and 70% of all disruptions to small businesses occur as a result of an internal failure.
The most common kinds of such failures are hardware failures from servers or other components in the network, software failures such as key applications becoming corrupted, and plain old human error. In this country alone, there are approximately 140,000 hard drive crashes each week, and many of those crashes certainly contain business-critical data. Despite all this, is known that at least one third of all small businesses never bother testing their backup or recovery procedures, even if they do have a formalized process in writing.
Among those companies which do test their backup and recovery routines, 75% have found flaws in the strategies, which would have prevented a full recovery in the event of an actual disaster. One last statistic about how serious a problem can be when you can’t retrieve your company data – 93% of all businesses which have lost access to their data center for at least 10 days, were forced to declare bankruptcy within a year of the events causing the loss of access.
Give some serious thought to business continuity and disaster recovery.