In today’s digital world of modern business, digital disasters are very real disasters. Consider how terrible it would be if one day your CRM was wiped clean, if your production data was corrupted, or if a hacker stole your employee files. Even a simple power outage or internet interruption could turn your entire company on its head for a few hours, a few days, or even longer depending on the timing.
Website disasters can interrupt your online service to customers. Digital service failures can stop work in the office for the duration. Lost data or documents can set back your project schedules, and hacked or stolen data can even put you at risk of lawsuits. And this, in turn, makes investors nervous. It is vital to have backup recovery and business continuity plans in place that can be devised and then shown to investors to show that even if the worst digital disaster strikes, your company will be ready to minimize damage and get IT problems repaired without a moment’s hesitation. This will show that your company, and thus your investors, are safe.
One of the biggest threats to a modern business is website failure. Whether a page crashes or your entire site fails to 500 errors, website crashes are fatal to your customer relations. Even a few seconds of website failure can cause you to lose sale conversions and longer lasting failures can cause customers to lose faith in your brand’s technical reliability. Website uptime seems like a simple problem and no big deal to fix every now and then, but strategically, every modern business needs to stay on their toes and have a plan in place to ensure 100% website uptime and responsiveness.
Ensuring Website Uptime:
- Host websites on cloud servers
- Work with a reliable server hosting service
- Have a backup server (or serveral)
- Load balance between servers to avoid traffic overload
- Uptime monitoring
- MSP support for immediate problem solving
ISP Internet Outage
Your office needs internet service to function. Research, communication, management, and customer service all need constant internet access. but sometimes, the office internet goes out. In the worst possible situations, this is an ISP outage and the source is your Internet Service Provider. A line may be down, maintenance may be ongoing, or it’s some other temporary cause. When this happens, traditionally businesses wind up on their cell phones or powered down for the day. But rather than letting your ISP define your day’s productivity, you can enact a backup plan.
ISP Internet Backup Plan:
Believe it or not, it’s not that hard to have a backup internet source on days when the internet goes out. It may not be as fast or reliable as your high-end business network, but it will keep the office running. All you need is a wireless hotspot or some other form of secondary internet plan. Ideally, from a completely separate internet provider. This way, you can get 4G internet signal into the office and project it through your local wifi network even if your normal ISP is out of commission.
Local Network Outage
Then there are local network outages. This can be just as disastrous, if not more so, than an ISP service interruption. When your local network goes out, this is either your service router or one of the following wifi routers that allows everyone to connect wirelessly. Local network outages can cause cloud-based work to be lost, data to be corrupted, and malfunctions in ongoing computer processes or transfers. It also cuts your team off from customers, suppliers, and remote team members. So it’s important to have a quick action plan on how to get the local network back online ASAP.
Local Network Recovery:
When a local network goes out, it could be at one of several stages. There may be a problem with the ISP, with the central router, with the wifi router, or with the internal network management through the router software. Ideally, you will have the assistance of an expert network admin to repair your routers on the fly. However, you can also work with an MSP to build an easily managed list of troubleshooting steps than any employee can follow.
Ransomware and other virulent malware attacks are among the biggest possible digital disasters. Virulent malware that destroys a computer’s files and/or attacks the entire local network of an infected device must be completely irradicated from computers and networks. In most cases, and especially with system-wrecking ransomware, it is necessary to completely wipe the system and reinstall the operating system from scratch in order to make sure there is no lingering malware traces waiting to strike.
Ransomware Backup Recovery Protocol:
The best possible reason to have comprehensive backups is in the case of a corrupting or destructive malware attack. Ransomware, for example, encrypts all your data and demands a ransom. You have no way of knowing if a ransom will even be honored with decryption. The malware needs to be scoured from the system and the system has been rendered useless, so the only functional solution is to wipe the computer and reinstall. Fortunately, if you’ve been taking comprehensive backups of both workstation setups and important files, restoring from backup should be quick and easy with the help of a recovery team or expert IT MSP.
Hacker Infiltration and Data Leaks
Another very serious concern of modern businesses is what happens if a hacker or their malware steals or leaks private data. Data security is vital in the modern business world, both to maintain your business edge and to protect the data and trust of your customers. Even employees and business partners rely on you to keep their private, financial, and business data secure. And hackers are trying everything they can to steal it. If a data leak happens to your business, you will be on the hook to data regulation (PCI, GDPR, etc) and to the customers themselves. You will need to assess how much data was lost, how much risk has been created, and how to prevent this kind of breach in the future.
Data Breach Recovery Plans:
It is very important to have recovery and business continuity plans in place should any critical data be leaked, accessed, or stolen. Network monitoring and other security systems will help you to identify when, where, and how the breach occurred. You will then need to assign a team to close any breaches, scour for malware and hacker entry points, and solve the problems. Business continuity plans are made to encapsulate compromised areas of business data and continue business as usual around the breach. This way, your recovery team can do their work without putting the rest of the business at risk.
Data Loss or Mismanagement
Interestingly, a data disaser can even happen as the result of an accident with employees. If someone saves over a critical file, for example, or clears out an ‘old folder’ that was a vital archive, it’s important to have a backup and recovery plan for these little mishaps. Accidental data disasters can be as small as a single lost piece of paperwork or as large as an entire list customer database. But with the right backups, internal data-management mistakes can never cause more than a day or two of real loss.
Data Loss Recovery Plan:
Naturally, the best way to prepare for lost data is to have that data backed up somewhere else. Any data that is vital to the way your company runs should have a functionally current backup just waiting for a needed recovery. These can be broken down into smaller targeted recoveries or an entire section of your business data can be restored from a recent backup depending on how much data you need to repair after an accident. And having these backups to show investors will prove that you are ready for any kind of data disaster, big or small, internal or hacker-attack.
Failed Software Upgrades
Another surprisingly common source of data disasters is the humble software upgrade. It is actually vital to keep your business software updated to ensure it has all the most recent security patches and modern defenses. However, updating software usually involves writing over current files and that write-over doesn’t always work. Some of the most devastating business data losses have been during software updates when your key business software and all the data inside corrupted because of a simple computer file-management accident. The good news is you an prepare for that, too.
Failed Update Recovery Plan:
Backup recovery is also the answer when it comes to software updates. You may note that many update instructions ask you to ‘backup any important data’. Well they don’t just mean your most important client files. Make sure you have a plan for a full system backup before any planned or scheduled software update. This will ensure that any corrupted updating can be immediately restored to the previous undamaged version. From there, you can re-try the update or report a problem and wait for a response from the software provider.
Digital disasters can happen to any company from a wide number of avenues. Whether your website is so popular that it crashes from high traffic or a hacker infects the entire internal network with ransomware, your business can recover quickly and smoothly with the right plans in place. Using a combination of troubleshooting protocols that any employee can use and strong backup-recovery plans, you can show your investors that your company is ready for anything. For more IT security insights and solutions your investors will approve of, contact us today!