What do we mean by IT stability? IT stability means your systems, your data and your network are all up-and-running, and stable and secure, so you can go about your day-to-day business without IT hassles. Sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it?
IT stability for your business is possible. Now’s the time to make IT stability your reality—before it’s too late. If your company’s IT infrastructure is unstable, it’s likely you’re vulnerable to data loss and/or data compromise—and both situations can put your job, your company, and even your employees in jeopardy.
FEEDING THE LIONS
One way to prevent data disasters? Take the time to understand exactly how they might affect your business. With this knowledge, you’ll be armed and ready to address these data issues and take action to properly protect your company and your data.
Know your weaknesses so you can address them and grow stronger—and keep those hungry lions at bay.
All data stored electronically is vulnerable. It’s a fact we all have to face. Devastating server crashes are caused by a variety of circumstances, including system (hardware/software) failure, human error, natural disaster or even a freak accident. No matter what the cause, the reality is the same—your company’s valuable and sensitive data can disappear in the blink of an eye.
When your data is lost, it’s the first tip in a long line of dominoes. You can lose clients, employees and even your company. At minimum, you’re going to lose productivity and therefore, you guessed it: you’re going to lose money.
It’s like feeding your people and your business to a pride of hungry lions.
Your Clients: Your clients are your business. They trust you with their sensitive data, so they expect you’ve taken proper measures to protect that data. When that trust is shaken, your clients will not only be unhappy, but they’ll suffer the rippling effects from your loss and lose money as well. Clearly, this is just plain bad business and that valued customer is likely to look to your competitor if they can better ensure their sensitive data will be protected.
Your Employees: At the very least, data loss severely impacts your employees’ productivity and ability to work. A day or more of downtime means your employees are limited in what they can accomplish, or worse, they might not be able to work at all until your data is recovered, reevaluated and reentered into your systems. Obviously, if your employees are unable to work, your company is losing money via wages and a lack of output—plus, your customer service is going to suffer as your employees scramble to address and resolve customer issues with limited resources. In really bad scenarios, you could even lose your employees—especially if they become impatient. No one wants to work under that amount of stress. Just like your clients need stability, your employees also need a consistent work environment.
Your Company: If your competitors have the edge while you’re repairing your systems and recovering your data, you’re not going to be able to recoup those losses if you’re working in emergency mode until all those fires are put out. If your customers aren’t patient enough to wait while you’re in fix-everything mode, they’ll be off to get better, more reliable service elsewhere—and there’s little stopping them. Obviously, this is a terrible situation, no matter what size your business—but be aware that, when it comes to small business, a data loss situation can be catastrophic.
Without a safety net that includes secure data backup and a professionally designed and implemented data recovery plan, it’s incredibly hard to recover from data loss quickly and efficiently. A data loss scenario could force a small business to go under—oftentimes within 6 months of the failure event.
In many ways, data compromise is even worse than data loss. While lost data can at least be restored, stolen data is out there in the wild blue yonder, likely in the hands of data thieves. In the event of a data breach, it’s highly likely your hacked or leaked information will be used for malicious purposes. A compromised-data event can put a company out of business overnight, regardless of size. At the very least, it’s going to cost your company bushels to recover.
When information is stolen, your clients, your employees and your company are going to experience all of the consequences of data loss, PLUS the stresses of dealing with the fallout from misused consumer information. If your company is victim to data compromise, it can affect every individual who has ever interacted with your company, in addition to small and large financial institutions and your business partners—and you’re going to face a whirlwind of bad press. Data compromise is a PR disaster and a logistical nightmare. And if that data compromise was a result of negligence? Legal implications may be at hand.
KNOWING YOUR WEAKNESSES IS YOUR GREATEST STRENGTH
There’s no good reason to ignore or deny the reality of the consequences of data loss and data compromise. Pretending data loss and data compromise are unlikely to happen to you? It’s time to get your head out of the sand.
Knowledge is the best weapon you have against digital threats. When you can see the threat, you can make informed decisions about data protection and recovery. You’ll need a strong IT strategy, backed by an experienced team committed to proactive IT solutions. If you don’t have a SafetyNET to catch you when you fall, don’t worry—those hungry lions are down there waiting for you.