Disaster Recovery Planning Save Your Business

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1 Disaster Recovery Planning Save Your Business

2 Your business at risk! Your company is at risk for failure in the event of disaster Your data is at risk for costly loss Your revenue is at risk with lack of planning Your business is at risk for regulatory non-compliance In today s economy, the financial risks for small businesses are greater than at any time in history. The last thing you want to do is put your business at further risk by not having a disaster plan in place. 43% of businesses that experience a disaster but have no recovery plan in place never reopen - that s almost half of all businesses affected. And the risk could be even greater in a tough economy, when it may be even harder to come back from an unplanned blow. Even if you are able survive a disaster, what will the cost be? If you lose critical data, and you can t continue with business as usual, how much revenue will you lose as a result? And what about the loss of trust and confidence you could suffer if important customer data is compromised? Your revenue is also at risk in other ways if you fail to plan for a disaster. More and more often, customers and prospects want to see one in place to protect their interests. If you don t have one and your competitor does, you may be at a serious disadvantage for winning new business. Vendors and partners are also more concerned than ever about doing business with companies that have a solid disaster recovery plan. Finally, a disaster can put your business at risk for regulatory non-compliance. In the health care industry, for example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, requires you to retain health records for a minimum of six years. But what if those records are destroyed? There are similar laws for financial services, mortgage lending, and other industries.

3 What are the risks? Natural disaster System failure Human error Malicious activity Natural disaster System failure Human error Malicious activity So: If the last thing your business needs is a disaster, the first order of business should be to take a good look at what could happen, so you can proactively plan how to deal with it. A disaster can be the result of a natural phenomenon, such as fire, flood, tornado, earthquake, and so on. There s not a lot you can do to control this, so even though it may be rare, it pays to be prepared. A disaster can be the consequence of an equipment malfunction - when critical systems go down through no fault of your business. Maybe the server fails, or a critical employee s PC crashes. On the other hand, human error can also cause systems to fail. Either way, you need to be prepared for the data losses you may suffer. Finally, a disaster can happen when someone intentionally targets your business for harm. Think about someone gaining unauthorized access to your data, for example, or sabotaging information systems through a virus or a denial-ofservice attack, or even physically stealing or damaging your equipment. Whatever the source of the attack, there s always the risk that you won t be able to retrieve the data you lose.

4 Rethink your business processes and strategies Increase Productivity Secure your data Reduce Business Risk Reduce business risk Increase productivity and efficiency Establish a competitive advantage Take simple, small steps Achieve immediate impact Align with your business model Once you acknowledge the very real risks of disaster, it s time to make some changes that will protect and improve your business, to increase your chances of surviving a disaster. One: You need to reduce your level of risk. That means securing your business and the data you use to run it, both to prevent data loss and to minimize regulatory risk. This is why data security is such a critical element in disaster recovery planning. Two: You need to take steps that will not only protect your business in the event of a disaster, but that will also help you run the business more productively and efficiently - all the time. Three: You need to look at how a disaster recovery plan can actually give your business a competitive advantage. Four: You need to start small. The whole idea of disaster recovery can seem overwhelming, but it doesn t have to be, if you know how to make it manageable. Just begin with simple steps that are easy to implement. Five: You need to have an immediate impact with whatever you do. Six: You need change that works with the way you do business. For example, if you have clients that require you to keep paper copies of their information, then moving to an all-digital data environment doesn t make sense for you - except as part of a larger backup plan that includes paper records.

5 Reduce business risk Evaluate your needs based on amount of data and regulatory requirements Establish a plan that s based on policies and processes that fit your situation Get help if you need it Let s look at some ideas for specific things you can do in each area we just went over. To reduce business risk, the first step is to figure out what you need to protect your data. This is affected by many different factors. For example, how much data do you have? How many PCs or other devices contain data that needs to be secured? What about your network - how big is it and how much data runs through it? What regulations affect your business and how do their requirements fit in? You may find it easier to break up data into categories based on its importance, or based on the potential cost to your business if it s lost. Then you can start with ways to secure and backup the most critical data and work your way down. Once you know what you re dealing with, you can make informed decisions about your plan - what kind of technology is best suited to your data backup needs, for example, what processes you will put in place to take advantage of the technology, how you will communicate the plan to your employees, and so forth. If you don t have a full-time IT specialist to take on this work, consider hiring an outside expert to help you formulate and implement your disaster recovery plan, and even to manage it on an ongoing basis.

6 Increase productivity and efficiency Digitize data Automate processes Centralize management The policies and procedures that you put in place to protect your business in the event of a disaster can also help your business to operate more productively and efficiently. Transitioning from paper to digital data assets, as part of your plan for securing and protecting data, also makes it easier for people to store, locate, and work with the data. Automating the processes people use to categorize, distribute, and share data minimizes the time-consuming manual aspects of using data. And having a central point where all data is managed can improve the speed with which your company conducts business on a day-to-day basis, independent of the disaster recovery benefits you ll have.

7 Establish a competitive advantage Implement new processes and procedures Communicate policies and procedures to employees, insurance companies, clients, vendors Use it as part of every pitch Once you ve taken steps toward putting a disaster recovery plan in place, you can use these changes to establish a real competitive advantage in the marketplace. For example, if you lost all your data to a natural disaster, but had implemented off-site backup in anticipation of that, your business would likely fare pretty well in the aftermath. But your competitors who didn t do the same would probably have a much harder time getting back in the game. When customers and prospects realize this, don t be surprised if it has a positive impact on your ability to compete. After all, when it comes down to choosing between you and a competitor, which do you think a customer would prefer - a vendor who s at risk for going out of business after a disaster, or one who has taken steps to protect against that? Because having a disaster recovery plan can be an advantage, you need to make it a point to be sure people know about it. Get the word out about what you re doing - to everyone in the office, and beyond the office. Let your partners, clients, and the vendors you do business with every day know about it. And make it a policy to include this information with every proposal or pitch you present to try to win new business - whether your prospect is requesting it or not.

8 How can technology help you? Data Security Encryption Password protection Virus and worm protection Protection against physical theft Now let s look at some of the technology that s available to help you reduce business risk, increase efficiency, and improve your competitive advantage. These are tools that can be quick and simple to implement and that should have an immediate impact. Start by securing your data to protect against unauthorized access. Data security tools include: Encryption Password protection Virus and worm protection Protection against physical theft, such as LoJack for Laptops

9 How can technology help you? Solid state storage Optical disk storage Redundant hard drives Network Attached Storage (NAS) The next step to prepare for disaster recovery is to back up your data. There are several different options for doing this on-site, depending on the specific needs of your business. Solid state storage, such as secure digital cards and solid state drives, offer portability, but they require manual rather than automatic processes and they have fairly limited capacity. Optical disk storage, such as CDs and DVDs, are a simple solution that almost everyone s familiar with, but they do require manual processes and they can get expensive if used for large amounts of data. Redundant hard drives, such as external USB or internal RAID drives, offer the advantage of automatic backups, and they can handle large amounts of data. Network Attached Storage, or NAS, offers the most storage of any option as well as automatic backups and file sharing. It s also the most costly option, and more complicated to implement than others - but essential for large amounts of data, such as in medical or financial records. An example is HP StorageWorks Media Vault Pro. It provides secure, automatic on-site backup and file sharing, and it s easy to deploy and use without requiring any special IT personnel.

10 How can technology help you? Data Security Online, off-site storage Managed services Local backup is valuable as a way to secure data in-house, but may not be enough in the event of a full-scale natural disaster that affects your entire physical facility. Off-site solutions for online data backup are available that offer highly secure, unlimited, offsite data storage capacity. Online, off-site backup is generally offered as a service-based solution for a monthly fee. A managed IT solution may be the best answer if you have limited internal resources to devote to maintaining a disaster recovery plan. Outsourcing data backup to a specialized, expert team enables you to take advantage of on-site planning support and off-site data backup. This option generally reduces staffing costs, eliminates the need to invest in physical backup solutions, and frees you to focus on your core business while someone else takes care of protecting your data.

11 Get Started Now Assess current processes Read the white paper Get additional help if you need it The sooner you put an effective disaster recovery plan in place, the sooner you ll reduce your risk for data loss, revenue loss, and regulatory non-compliance - not to mention the significant risk of complete business failure in the event of a disaster. Start by looking at your current processes and determining where you can make improvements. The information in this presentation can help you. You ll also find more detailed information in a white paper on the subject, from HP, Microsoft, and SCORE. And you don t have to do it all alone - there are experts here today who can help you, including counselors from SCORE. And your local area resellers of HP and Microsoft solutions can provide you with more assistance in choosing the right technologies for your business model. All these resources are available to you at no cost - start taking advantage of them now.

12 Disaster Recovery Planning Save Your Business

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