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Why A Disaster Recovery Plan Is Vital For SMBs


August 2, 2019

Disaster Recovery Facts That Every Business Owner Should Know

As the landscape of digital transformation drastically changes the presence and operations of SMBs, having a solid disaster recovery and business continuity plan is essential for a growing organization.

SMBs are putting more of their data, work processes, and business operations on the cloud, enabling bigger possibilities for growth than ever. These new opportunities have given unique advantages to businesses in virtually every field.

Whether it’s process automation, improving efficiency in the workplace, or easier ways to develop complex applications for customers and staff, modern companies are finding new ways to grow their organizations and improve their competitiveness.

With this growth, however, comes new challenges. Gone are the days of cyberattacks being just a thorn in the side of large corporations. Nearly half of all cyberattacks target SMBs.

Cybercriminals are more sophisticated and more willing to go after vulnerable small businesses, many of which are newly digital and may not have the expertise or strategies in place to properly defend their organization.

What this essentially adds up to is: when an SMB is hit by disaster, it gets hit hard. It’s more vital than ever to have a plan in place to appropriately deal with operational failures within a business.

Let’s take a look at some of the key reasons it’s important to protect your organization by mitigating the effects of a data loss disaster.

Why Is a Disaster Recovery Plan So Important to SMBs?

Downtime is expensive

This is one of the costliest things a business can deal with, and figures have been rising steadily in recent years. Estimates indicate that 80% of SMBs that experience downtime lose at least $20,000 per hour, according to IDC.

This, of course, is a difficult cost to accurately measure, but there is no doubt that downtime is an incredibly problematic circumstance for a small business to find itself in, and they can on average spend 200 minutes resolving a single incidence of downtime.

It’s one of the reasons that we at Impact Networking restore our clients’ servers in a predetermined amount of time (typically 180 minutes or fewer). We’ve been there, we know how much it hurts and how important it is to get things up and running again as soon as possible.

Cyber threats are becoming more frequent for SMBs

As we mentioned, cybersecurity is one of the leading concerns for IT decision makers and executives of SMBs today. As small business becomes more at ease with integrating advanced technology into their organizations and more and more people are storing their information digitally, the threat of cyberattacks becomes stronger.

With 71% of SMBs not prepared for modern cybersecurity risks, this should be a genuine concern for decision makers who are serious about the safety of their organizations. For many businesses, the prospect of a cyberattack is a question of when, not if

Being aware of the need for protecting your organization so it stands the best chance of avoiding threats and imbuing a strong sense of positive culture in a digitally transformed-business are essential aspects of a company that respects the consequences of cyberattack.

Reducing the risk of data loss and reputational harm

In the modern SMB environment, we’re used to large amounts of data being generated, stored, and received throughout the day. Loss or corruption of data can occur through any number of ways; whether it’s hardware failure, cyberattacks, or human error. The complications that loss or corruption can cause a business are devastating.

Having a plan in place for dealing with compromised data is an absolute must. Our solutions involve image-based backups of the entire OS, including all applications, configurations, and data—restored exactly how it was prior to the emergency.

We wouldn’t recommend having a disaster recovery plan that doesn’t meet these conditions, as the implications can be drastic. Aside from the organizational damage a data breach can cause you, there’s the resoundingly negative effects a disaster can have on your brand image.

Research suggests that 70% of consumers would stop doing business with a company if it experienced a data breach, while 27% feel that businesses take their data security seriously. For digitally transformed SMBs dealing with sensitive data, having a data security and recovery strategy is essential for your operations and your customer relationship.

10 Disaster Recovery Stats You Should Know

Now we know how significant a disaster recovery plan is to a business that has embraced digital transformation. The adverse threats and problems that can occur in the modern SMB landscape are clear, and having a comprehensive plan to counter and mitigate any issues that come your way is increasingly necessary.

We’ve pulled some stats to demonstrate how serious not having a solid strategy for disaster recovery can be:

  1. 93% of companies without a disaster recovery plan who suffer a major data disaster are out of business within one year
  2. 54% of companies have experienced a downtime incident that lasted longer than one full work day
  3. 27% of organizations believe they are prepared to ensure business continuity
  4. 28% of businesses have experienced a data loss in the past 12 months
  5. 8% of businesses have a mature disaster recovery plan with a recovery time of 5 hours or less
  6. Human error is the number one cause and responsible for 52% of incidents
  7. 94% of ransomware victims had antivirus software—round-the-clock monitoring is more and more important
  8. 12% of businesses lose data that cannot be recovered during outages
  9. 26% of organizations rely on hardware-based solutions for disaster recovery
  10. 36% of businesses don’t test their disaster recovery plans at all

If at least one of these stats isn't enough to make you spit out your coffee, then it’s going to be difficult to demonstrate how important disaster recovery is to an organization.

If some of them did surprise you, then you’re probably curious about the actionable aspect of disaster recovery: having a strategy to combat it.

Disaster Recovery Strategy: What to Expect

Risk analysis and business impact analysis

A disaster recovery plan requires a lot more than simply outlining procedures. When a comprehensive strategy is in place, it will help a business recover from an outage or data loss quickly and effectively.

In formulating the strategy, an audit to draw up a risk analysis and business impact analysis will be conducted. This means identifying pain points for an organization and possible threats that could impact business processes.

Once the potential risks to an organization have been determined, a business impact analysis can be created. This will help decision makers understand the effects that an unforeseen event will have on their business. This could be an inability to retrieve data, no access to the organization’s operational processes, or a complete system shutdown.

Recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO)

This is where objectives are set for how long a business will need to wait to get their systems back online and what the organization’s tolerance will be in the midst of a disaster.

RTO refers to how long an organization can be down before lasting damage has been inflicted on the business. This varies from company to company; some can be down for no longer than a few hours; some can be down for days without causing extensive damage.

RPO refers to the tolerance of a company with regard to data loss—how much can be lost before the business incurs significant damage. This value is determined by a time measurement from the disaster to the most recent backup. For example, if your organization has an RPO of 6 hours, then there will be a maximum gap of 6 hours between the restored backup and the disaster when the systems are brought back online.

The Benefits of Partnering With an MSP

These outlined steps show business leaders the threats and measures taken when dealing with the prospect of a disaster recovery. When an organization is dealing with the entire process on its own, there are a multitude of steps in the plan that extend well beyond simply waiting for your MSP partner to restore your business back to a state of normal functioning.

In these cases, there needs to be a much more substantial role in the delivering of a disaster recovery plan. For example:

  • Response strategy: Guidelines for staff that cover every step in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, including the implementation of third-party disaster recovery solutions
  • Communication procedures: Who is responsible for announcing, communicating, and coordinating the procedures when a disaster is happening
  • Response team: Having a dedicated team that can efficiently respond to a disaster and get the systems up and running. This can mean hiring new staff or putting decision makers and business leaders in charge for whom disaster recovery isn’t in their regular remit

This is where MSPs are becoming a huge help to growing SMBs that increasingly have to have an extensive and comprehensive disaster recovery plan. At Impact, for example, we run our model on the premise that businesses can focus on their organization and offload the heavy lifting of security and disaster recovery to us.

We have experts who monitor clients’ systems 24/7 and we offer all the solutions an SMB will need. Full image data backup frequency can be as often as every 15 minutes and restorations are conducted in a predetermined amount of time—though typically in three hours or less.

If an organization wants to take its disaster recovery and business continuity seriously, these are the kinds of terms that should be expected.

As more SMBs shift their organization’s data onto cloud systems, the threat of a disaster can be paralyzing. Make sure you have a strong plan in place with a trusted partner who can provide you with a strategy that will keep your business running smoothly if the worst happens.

With the threat of disaster becoming an ever-present danger to SMBs, decision-makers in IT are concerned. If there was a time to invest in a strategy to help defend and protect your organization against these threats, it’s now.

Want to Learn More?

Imapct’s CompleteCare program provides vital cybersecurity protection for clients, keeping their minds at ease in the knowledge that their IT infrastructure is being monitored and maintained by our cybersecurity experts. Learn more about Impact’s offerings here.


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