As a small business owner or manager, you’re faced with many challenges.

Disaster recovery for small businessesWith narrow margins and competitors at your heels, you need to move faster, work smarter, and serve your customers better to maintain your position in the marketplace.

But quite often, small businesses are so focused on developing the business that they neglect one of their most important assets – their company data.

Small Business Spotlight

This article is the first of a 6-part series that will explore the importance of IT support for small businesses. We’ll cover topics like mobile device management, cloud computing, VoIP, managed services, and small business IT support solutions. Today we’re focusing on the importance of disaster recovery for small businesses.

Is Your Business Prepared if a Disaster Strikes?

When disaster strikes, the integrity of your data is at risk. A business disaster plan could be the only thing standing between the success and failure of your business.

Natural and man-made disasters happen in an instant, but the impact on small businesses can be as long lasting, as it is devastating. From natural hazards like tornadoes and floods, to man-made disasters like viruses and data theft, the risks are widespread and significant.

Why Small Businesses Have the Weakest Cyber Security

small businesses weak cyber securityFor small businesses in particular, the stakes are high because they typically lack the personnel and budget to protect their organization from these risks.

Unfortunately, small businesses are a “sweet spot” for hackers because they’re aware that it’s common for smaller organizations to be riddled with weaknesses in IT infrastructure. To make matters worse, cyber criminals who engage in ransomware realize that many small businesses will pay handsomely to get their files back.

5 Shocking Small Business Disaster Recovery Statistics

If you’re not worried about the security of your company data, you’re playing Russian roulette with your business. Consider this:

  • 43% of cyber attacks are directed at small businesses (Small Business Trends)
  • 60% of small businesses victimized by hackers are now out of business (The Denver Post)
  •  Cyber attacks aimed at small businesses are still rising (Fox Business)
  • Lack of awareness is a major risk when it comes to online attacks (Security Magazine)
  • Just 31% of small business owners take active measures to protect themselves and their data (Security Magazine)

There’s no denying, the risk is real. Given those daunting statistics, it becomes increasingly clear that every small business needs a solid disaster recovery plan.

Disaster Recovery vs. Business Continuity: What’s the Difference?

Disaster Recovery vs. Business Continuity: What’s the Difference?These two terms are often used interchangeably in context with small business data recovery, but in fact, they are different.

  • Disaster recovery is a process. It serves as a sort of road map, a path that small businesses can follow, should disaster strike.
  • Business continuity is about comprehensive planning. It is the strategic planning a business puts into place to ensure their IT infrastructure functions in the event of a disaster.

Preparing Your Small Business for Disaster

“How do I Write a Business Continuity Plan?”

Every small business, regardless of industry or size, should have a business continuity plan in place. Writing that business continuity plan should be a major action item, one that should not be put off until tomorrow.

Your business continuity plan should outline the threats you face as a small business, as well as the steps you can take in response to both natural and man-made disasters.

To prepare for a disaster, the first step is developing your business continuity plan. You can find some excellent reference material, along with disaster recovery plan templates here.

Once you have the basic template developed, it’s time to create the actual business continuity plan. From there, putting the plan into place will require a number of critical steps:

  1. Getting approval for the plan
  2. Implementing the business continuity plan
  3. Backing up your data
  4. Testing your backups (something you should do frequently)

Your small business may have avoided a major disaster up to this point, but when it comes to business disasters – man-made or natural, it’s not a matter of IF, but when.

No Time? No Excuses

In a small business, it’s common for employees to wear multiple hats. But when it comes to the security of your data, “no time”, is simply no excuse considering what’s at stake.

Consider all the time your staff has spent developing company assets, customer information, and internal company files. Now imagine what it would be like if suddenly everything was POOF…gone. Just like that.

  • What would your customers think?
  • Would your business still be able to function?
  • How would that impact cash flow?

Remember those small business cyber security statistics? This scenario is very real, no matter how large or small your organization is.

The time spent developing your business continuity plan is nothing compared to how long it will take to recover (if you can even recover), should a disaster strike.

In the end, the cost of recovering your data will be far greater than the cost of developing a business continuity and disaster recovery plan.

60% of Small Businesses Hit by Hacking Attacks are now out of Business

Do you really want to play those odds? Developing a small business disaster recovery plan should be at the top of your to-do list.

Ready to Stop Gambling with Your Small Business?Ready to Stop Gambling with Your Small Business?

Whether you need assistance developing your business continuity and disaster recovery plan, or you’re interested in data recovery services, Ontech Systems is here to help.

Connect with us online or call us at (262) 522-8560 with questions. We’ll help you ensure that your small business survives and thrives, no matter what comes your way.

Request a No-Strings-Attached Free Network Discovery

As a first step to see how Ontech can best assist you, you could also request a Free Network Discovery where we will identify existing or potential security vulnerabilities within your IT network. If security is a concern for your business, this 100% complementary service is a great option to get a grasp on areas for improvement within your network.

Our experienced and qualified team of IT consultants can answer questions and help you ensure your business is positioned for growth and productivity, regardless of size and budget.

We hope you have enjoyed the first issue in our 6-part series designed to educate small businesses about various aspects of IT support. Check back or follow us on Facebook for more information on Milwaukee area IT solutions.

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