Hurricanes, flooding, blizzards …Oh my! Natural disasters come in many forms and can devastate a small business. While the obvious losses are often at the forefront of risk assessment, not many consider their IT infrastructure as a vulnerable asset. However, loss of your network, data backup, financial records, employee/customer information, and more can be more catastrophic than physical damage. Here are 3 steps you can take to prevent your business from losing the ability to rebuild and restart once the storm clears:
- Utilize the Cloud
Today, cloud storage and backup are essential for operating a business. Financial records, customer information, sales information, product/inventory – the list goes on and on, all integrate with the cloud. However, most businesses don’t know how often their backups are running. Do you know if your data is encrypted? In the event that you need to do a full system restore, do you know if your provider can do this, or how long it will take? Do you know if your information is safe? What about your network – when information goes out, does the door securely shut to prevent hackers and ransomware from coming in? These are all key to having a secure and accurate cloud-based system.
- Preparation is Key
Often, when a storm is closing in, preparation and steps are taken to minimize loss. Making a plan ahead of time that includes protecting your network and data enables your office to reset as quickly possible once you return to business as usual. Your plan should include the following steps:
- Cash in on all those brain-boosting Candy Crush hours: know your passwords. Whether you can memorize them or not, find a way to keep those in another safe place aside from your computer.
- Print the next two weeks of your scheduled appointments. If contact information is not included, locate and print phone numbers for your scheduled appointments as well. In the event that your office is not up and running, you’ll be able to call and notify those who need it.
- When you leave, shut down all computers, workstations, and servers. Take this a step further and unplug these devices too. Additionally, if you are concerned about flooding, remove any equipment from the floor and place on an elevated surface.
- If your worst fears are actualized, and your office experiences catastrophic damage, remember computers and equipment can be replaced; however, having a secure cloud-based data backup will enable your network to resume right where you left off. Invest in the assurance of a comprehensive IT infrastructure.
- Smartphones are Your Friend
Have you ever unplugged something like a cable box or modem, then tried to plug everything back in again? It’s like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube. One way to prevent this from happening in the panic of prep is to snap as many pictures with your phone as you can. Take pictures of cable configurations, connections, and setups. When it comes time to boot up your network and reconnect your cables, you won’t be left scratching your head on where the blue cord plugs in.
While storms are quite unpredictable, staying ahead of the curve and having a plan in place, regardless of the accuracy of the storm forecasts, leaves you with a better state of mind as you hope for the best. Making sure adequate, secure backups are in place for your data should be an everyday practice, but in the case where you could lose all of your hardware, it is especially essential.
To find out if your network and hardware could survive the natural disaster test, schedule an Onsite Technology Evaluation and know where your business stands before it’s too late!