Every business requires data to run effectively. Product and service data, customer data, partner data, and even competitor data all inform your strategy and feed into your infrastructure of processes.

Without big data from mobile devices, building sensors, the growing Internet of Things, and a host of other sources it’s difficult to strategize effectively. But data is also the little things required for the day-to-day running of your company, like the alarm code, supplier addresses and phone numbers, or the login details for your software systems.

Data is so vital that it can be described as business DNA. It enables your organization to survive and grow. But it’s only when you can’t lay your hands on that data, that its true worth is revealed.

Catastrophic data loss

No business wants to believe it can happen to them, but data breaches are common and can prove incredibly costly. With an average cost of $141 per data record, according to the Ponemon Institute’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study, the total cost of breaches can quickly run into the millions.

In the immediate aftermath of a data loss or theft, organizations focus on getting up and running again as quickly as possible. Downtime brings everything to a halt, making customers anxious and partners angry.

Punitive fines for failing to adhere to regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), can be very high. It’s also vital to close whatever loophole allowed your data to be exfiltrated before you can work on repairing damaged relationships and reputations.

Obscured by cloud

While the drive to be innovative and agile has driven widespread cloud adoption, the pursuit of new cloud services and tools has often fallen outside the purview of beleaguered IT departments. Shadow IT is a very real security concern, because all too often the due care and attention required to protect company data has fallen by the wayside in the rush to realize an edge.

Failing to take the potential pitfalls of cloud data management into account can spell disaster. Data must be highly available and fully recoverable if you want to get your business back on track after an incident.

Placing blind trust in cloud vendors is a mistake you’ll only make once.

Lay the groundwork for a swift recovery

The longer your network and systems are down the more money you lose. If you lack storage snapshots that can be rapidly cloned, or even recent backups that can be restored, your business will permanently lose data. Even if you locate an older backup the information will be out of date. Login details may have changed, configurations will be different, and some business accounts could be lost forever.

Do you have a plan in place to cater for an irrecoverable data loss? Consider the potential expense. Even if it transpires that a third-party was to blame, which is often the case, your business will still be on the hook with customers and regulatory bodies. Ultimately, your business will pay the price and if it’s too high, you may not survive.

Don’t be short-sighted, get regular backups in place and protect your business data properly.

For a more in-depth look, please see Network World’s “Skimping on business data protection could be a costly mistake.”

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