Having a plan in place for technology risks, sometimes known as a disaster recovery plan, is something that every business needs — especially in today’s day and age. A disaster recovery plan, if you’re unaware, is a document which outlines all the specific cyber risks your business is susceptible to, and what your plan of action is in the event that these risks come to reality.
Because almost every business uses technology in some way or another in order to operate, almost every business is open to technology risks. And if you and your team do not know how to handle the risk event properly, then the risk will end up costing you a lot more than you bargained for. In fact, did you know that the average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per MINUTE? Depending on the size of your business, this can end up costing you anywhere from $140,000 to $540,000 per hour.
Now, if you can afford to throw away $540,000 per hour for no reason, then you can stop reading! However, if you’re like the majority of us in business, you like to keep the money you earn.
To help you better plan your risks, here are the top 3 events that I see happen all the time to business owners, and what you can do to help limit the damage done to you if they ever happen.
Ransomware is a term you’ve probably heard before in the past. It refers to the act of hackers taking over your entire system, effectively locking you out from your computer, server, network, etc. The only way to get access again is to either pay them some ridiculous amount of money (aka, a ransom), or to restore your network to a date prior to the attack.
According to a report by Datto, ransomware was the #1 attack SMBs faced in 2018. With 55% of IT service provider’s clients having faced a ransomware attack in the first 6 months of the year. These attacks cost SMBs on average, $46,000.
However damaging and costly ransomware attacks can be, if you’ve thought ahead and planned what to do in this event, the damage can be almost non-existent par for a few hours of work rebooting all your systems and network.
The best way to plan for a ransomware attack is to ensure all your data is regularly backed up to a secure location. You should also check on the status of your antivirus software, as well as any critical updates for your computer systems, firewall, server, etc. By ensuring everything is backed up, up-to-date, and running properly, you can minimize your risk of a hacker breaching your systems.
You can also train your employees on how to recognize spam emails, and what to do when they receive one. Finally, in the event that you do get ransomed, please make sure to tell your employees to immediately disconnect from the network, and shut everything down until IT gets to it.
This is a relatively simple problem to solve which happens more often than you’d expect. Almost regularly someone comes into our office with a dead computer, dead hard drive, dead server, etc. Usually they were smart enough to have a proper backup in place, so no major damage was done. But sometimes, there is the one unlucky individual who lost all their data, never to see it again. I’ve seen entire businesses shut down because owners didn’t think to save their data in multiple locations.
Planning for this event is easy. Have a backup. That’s it. Don’t save all your data to your computer and nowhere else. Today there are multiple solutions available at all sizes and price points to help keep your data safe. We at MicroAge recommend data be stored in 3different locations: on your computer, on a backup device, and in the cloud. This way you have a layered security approach, and will never have to fear losing all your data. If there is a flood or fire in your office, the cloud will save you. If for some reason, your cloud storage is compromised, then your on-site backup device will save you.
If the power goes out in your office, obviously you won’t be able to work. But, an often overlooked problem is hardware malfunctioning when this happens. If the power goes out in the middle of a server backup for example, you run the risk of corrupting your server data. If the opposite happens, a power surge, you may overclock your systems and fry them.
Many people don’t realize just how important electricity is. We’ve all grown accustomed to our 21st century luxuries. Many businesses run many different pieces of equipment which all require power: computers, laptops, workstations, servers, routers, firewalls, switches, phones — the list goes on. When you start to look at just how much of an investment all of these are, the dollars really begin to add up.
Are you prepared to front the cost to replace all this equipment if your location faces a power surge and they all short-circuit? What about the cost of downtime — paying all your employees a salary when none of them can work because of a power failure?
The best way to plan for power/ electricity problems is to make sure you have enough UPS (uninterrupted power supply) units (also known as battery backups), connected to all your devices. Or at least all your major devices. A UPS is an excellent tool to help ensure all your equipment is protected from any type of electric problems. In the event of a power failure, the battery will kick in and allow you enough time to properly shut everything down. In the event of a surge, they have protections in place to absorb that extra electricity instead of sending it to your device and frying it.
These three cyber-risk events: ransomware, hardware failure, power issues, are just three of the countless risk events your business can experience. The best course of action you can take to help protect your business is to sit down with your IT staff, or your IT service provider and work out a plan. Be sure to thoroughly go over all your risks, address those risks, and what you and your staff need to do in the even that those risks come to fruition.
If you’re unsure about where to start, or what risks you might face, please do not hesitate to reach out for help! MicroAge has a fully dedicated staff of technicians, account managers, sales people, and not to mention an entire cross country network to help you with all your needs. Protection is only a conversation away!