Data backups are a critical element in any sound business model. They serve to mitigate several potential risks that could harm your business’s health, security, and function. There has been significant growth and expansion of the digital world over the past ten years. More industries, businesses, and services come online every day than ever before, and they are all leveraging the internet. A recent IBM study has found that 90% of the world’s data has been created in just the past two years. From simple mistakes and ransomware attacks to Acts of God, a robust backup and disaster recovery plan is more necessary today than ever before.
The costliest IT mistakes you can make are the ones you cannot “Ctrl + Z,” and those costs can be devastating. According to Consolidated Technologies, Inc., 94% of companies that experience severe data loss do not recover. 51% of these companies close within two years. 43% of these companies do not reopen again. What’s more, according to data recovery specialist Ontrack, human error is the second most common cause of data loss. Mistakes happen. Moreover, mistakes can be a good thing, because mistakes are also opportunities for learning new skills and refining best practices. The associated opportunity cost of that learning, however, is not a direct relationship. Many local businesses can tell you; a good backup plan is worth the cost. Backups provide the means to undo many mistakes that will inevitably occur throughout your business, while also providing the peace of mind that you never have to start over completely.
If the above reasons were not enough to convince you, then I have one more factor for your consideration: ransomware. All the various forms of malware and their potential impact on your business should provide enough motivation for having a viable backup plan, but ransomware takes the cake. Ransomware is designed to encrypt a victim’s file system completely, potentially causing an irreversible loss of data. An increasing number of cybercriminals are utilizing ransomware to extract money out of victims.
A ransomware attack offers you only two realistic options: pay the attackers’ ransom (at the risk of not receiving the decryption key) or rebuild your infrastructure from your backups. The sheer prospect of lost production and the associated cost of rebuilding an IT infrastructure from backups forces many companies to pay the ransom or risk bankruptcy. Malwarebytes reports that over 40% of companies have paid ransoms to cybercriminals. Even more sobering, ransomware attacks are not slowing down. According to McAfee and Emsisoft, ransomware attacks increased by 56% in 2018 and 41% in 2019. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts ransomware will cost $6 trillion annually by 2021. Chances are, if you or someone you know has not yet encountered ransomware, you will. Be prepared for it.
Something is infinitely better than nothing. A backup plan does not have to be robust in terms of cost or footprint. It can start as simple as using an external hard drive to save a copy of your most important documents. Most modern operating systems provide built-in ways to create backups of your data. If you are not familiar with or do not have a backup plan, let us help you create one. There truly is no better time than now.