Small business data backup is an absolute must. And yet, according to Symantec SMB, 50% of SMBs report they have no data backup and no disaster recovery plan in place. 41% of those surveyed confessed that they had not spent any time thinking about or putting in place any disaster planning or business continuity plan.
If you do not have a disaster recovery plan in place, now is the time to reconsider what you stand to lose.
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Questions To Guide Your Small Business Disaster Recovery Planning Needs
These questions will help you decide what level of data backup or disaster recovery planning you need. Every business is different.
1. If your network or computers went down, how would this affect your employees ability to work or serve clients?
If your business is dependent on online or network access to serve clients or be productive, you need some business continuity in place.
If internet access is critical, invest in a failover internet connection.
If your server is critical, invest in RAID arrays and golden images so that your server and server data can be rebuilt in a matter of hours instead of days or weeks. This is a common Disaster Recovery Planning and Services setup.
Do employees have any ability to work offline? If not, can you create some ability now? If not, what alternate arrangements will you employee to continue to serve customers without access to your usual systems and data?
2. How much downtime can your business truly afford?
If your dental office server dies without notice, and you don't have back up or disaster recovery in place, can you afford to be down for 2-3 weeks while a new server is built and configured?
Can you cope with the permanent loss of data?
If not, you definitely need good IT solutions in place.
If you run a cash based coffee shop, you can manage if the computer or POS goes down for a few days.
3. What level of IT support can be accessed to restore IT systems after a data loss event?
Can data be accessed quickly enough to minimize damage? Are you confident that your business can either be back online or be able to access lost data with minimal disruption, no matter what?
Basically, do you have a trusted IT partner, invested in a relationship with you, and familiar with your unique setup? A trusted partner with intimate knowledge of your setup and needs can get you back up and running faster than a stranger or random computer service. This is why hiring and working with a Managed IT Company for small business is a wise IT strategy from day one.
4. Is your most critical data frequently backed up and tested?
Are all backups safely stored off site and quickly accessible in the event of theft, fire or flooding? Are you using any custom installed software and is the supplier still in business should this software need to be re-installed or updated? Are account details and log ins stored somewhere safe?
IT Documentation is an important part of business management and offer security when the unimaginable happens.
Having your backup tested regularly is a small but important safeguard.
Work with a trusted outsourced IT company for small business to help you plan your needs and manage your technology as your business changes and grows.
5. Are your IT systems protected from disgruntled or departing employees? How about from outside attackers?
Network security involves many layers. Consider your physical computers or hardware, cloud access, resource access, user permissions, password policies and more.
Control access to data on a need to know basis. Ensure strong passwords are used. Enable 2 Factor Authentication where available. Have an up to date firewall in place. Use best in class, actively filtered anti-virus software. Work with trained IT professionals to run weekly security updates and respond to issues when they arise.
If you don't have any IT partner, now is the time to look for a local computer support company to partner up with.
If you have someone you call on, consider if they are serving your best interests. Many solo freelancer provide as needed service, after problems arise. They lack the time or resources to invest in professional tools to monitor and support your network.
Work with a Managed Service Provider for small business to get an in depth network review, necessary upgrades to close security gaps, and total network management services to support your success.
TUCU is a team of IT professionals offering affordable, reliable Toronto IT support services. Operating since 2003, we have vast knowledge and experience to draw on when planning and protecting your IT systems. Talk to us today to see how we can help you.