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Thinking about the Unthinkable

Disasters Happen—Preparedness Is Key

The map below highlights in blue the states where the threat is worst for four natural disasters: floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfire.

Be prepared: Click on a state to learn more.
Photo of hurricane from above
You never know when disaster will strike or in what form.

Downtime caused by a disaster—whether its hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, wildfires, or something else—results in loss of productivity and revenue. Moreover, it causes damage to an organization’s brand and reputation. The average cost of downtime is estimated at around $5,600 per minute, rounding to about $300K per hour, according to Gartner.

What you can do is anticipate your biggest risks and prepare for the worst. At the end of the day, disaster preparedness is the key because preparedness could be the difference between making it ... or not.

Five Tips for Preparedness

The following tips can help your business prepare for the worst.

Person looking at watch - downtime hurts

Downtime and lost data can cause nearly as much damage to a business as the disaster itself. A recovery time objective (RTO) is a critical tool for disaster recovery planning. It helps you understand the kind of recovery strategies and technologies you need to have in place to successfully recover from a disaster.

RTO is a measurement of your tolerance for downtime that enables you to assess how long you can go without access to your data before the impact on your organization is too great. Once you determine that metric, you’re in better position to plan your recovery.

Photo of people in meeting

A disaster recovery (DR) plan outlines the processes and procedures to recover critical IT business data, with the prime objective of minimizing downtime after an emergency or crisis so that your business can be up and running as soon as possible.

A business should work with its IT team or managed service provider to create a DR plan to list the steps necessary to recover networks, servers, laptops/desktops, data, and connectivity.  

At the most basic level, a disaster recovery plan are the steps needed to ensure data is always safe, accessible, and optimized when needed and instantly recoverable in the event of an outage.

City viewed from above

When it comes to protecting and recovering data, organizations have always been more focused on the data center—not the edge. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this has changed: a large number of employees now work remotely. The need to manage backup and recovery across remote office and branch office (ROBO) locations—as well as an increasing number of home offices—is more important than ever.

In the wake of a disaster, ROBO locations put corporate data at greater risk. Security on remote networks is typically far weaker than security on corporate networks. Furthermore, remote employees have a habit of leaving their workstations unattended and their data unsecured, making organizations more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Fortunately, with the right tools and mindset, companies can easily and effectively manage their data protection in remote locations.

IT person in computer room

You need to know if your business can survive a data outage and quickly recover lost data. Regular testing of your backup system is critical to assuring your ability to recover in case of data loss. The reason is simple: You don’t want to find out that your backup wasn’t set up correctly on the one day that you really need it.

At too many businesses, this testing never happens. Organizations and IT staff must periodically test their backup copies to ensure they can reliably restore data.

DR cloud icon

Local backups are usually enough to recover IT systems from server failure and other common problems. But a site-wide disaster will destroy those backups and result in major downtime and data loss for a business. 

When disaster strikes, ensuring business continuity is the most pressing issue for all organizations. Yet, the results of a recent survey showed that only 15 percent of organizations can recover from a severe data loss within an hour.

The cloud is theoretically as far away from your primary data storage as it gets, making it your best and last line of defense. And it doesn’t matter where your infrastructure is located if your data is backed up to the cloud. With a cloud purpose-built for disaster recovery, your data is always safe, encrypted, secure, and available.