Recovery plans begin before a disaster has occurred – and cloud-based solutions can help

When it comes to recovering from disasters like power outages, network failures, hacking, and data breaches, cloud-based solutions, including data backup and other services, can go a long way towards ensuring operational continuity for your business’s network.

Cloud-based data backup can protect valuable information

To make sure your network is ready when disaster strikes, it’s essential to have a plan to prevent and mitigate issues when they arise. Most of the time, this means backing up your data securely, and a cloud-based system is often the best way to do this. There are multiple cloud-based backup options, with the right choice usually depending on your company’s individual needs (and your budget).

Disk-to-disk-to-cloud is a simple and comparatively inexpensive option for companies and organizations that want an additional level of backup for their valuable data. Data is backed up onto a disk and then it is uploaded to the cloud. In many cases, this is only slightly more expensive than the traditional physical data storage model.

While disk-to-disk-to-cloud may be great for some companies, it’s not for everyone. For organizations with complex disaster-recovery needs and a large budget, replicating entire virtual machines (VMs) may be a more appropriate solution. With this process, if an emergency occurs, companies can access and operate a virtual replica of their entire computer system from the cloud, even if their entire data center and company is inaccessible due to a natural disaster or other emergency.

Cloud-based tools can help identify and prevent data theft, breaches, and digital blackmail disasters

While protecting your data and systems from acts of God, network errors, and human mistakes is a must, the biggest disaster your company may face could be man-made: Viruses, data breaches, and other cybercrimes cost companies around the world billions of dollars a year.

To create a plan to prevent (and recover) from cyber-attacks, it’s important to look for signs of suspicious network activity that could indicate a data breach (or an attempted breach). These signs could include your computers, systems, or networks running very slowly or crashing unexpectedly, strange transfers of data to unfamiliar destinations, or visits from large amounts of foreign IP addresses (i.e. lots of visits from Asian IP addresses, when all your customers are in Florida).

Therefore, part of your disaster prevention plan should involve training IT and networking personnel to become aware of how your networks and systems work normally so they can more easily see when something may be going awry. Cloud-based networks and associated security systems may be able to streamline this process by providing up-to-date data on network data usage, uploads, downloads, file transfers, and other statistics which could hint at a possible breach or intrusion. On a traditional, non-cloud-based network, it could take significantly more time to collect and analyze this data – and every minute counts when detecting a possible data breach.

When it comes to breaches and data theft, quick detection is key to an effective disaster recovery plan

While time may be of the essence, some data suggests that it takes most companies approximately 14 months from an initial attack to actually spot a data breach – and taking so long to discover one could have serious consequences. For example, if a major data breach has occurred, customers and business partners may begin to see suspicious activity on their own networks, become the victims of identity theft, or may even be approached by criminals pretending to be customer service representatives from your company – a type of digital confidence scheme known as “phishing.”

While some of these incidents may never be directly traced back to your firm’s data breach, if it’s later shown that it took months or even years for your firm to even realize that one had occurred, this could severely damage your company’s reputation.

Small businesses may be at increased risk for digital disasters, both natural and man-made

Several years ago, mainly big businesses had to worry about potential data breaches. Hackers and other online criminals often wouldn’t go to the trouble of expending their limited resources to attack smaller targets. More recently, however, several trends have converged that may leave smaller businesses vulnerable.

For one, bigger businesses have upped their game when it comes to cybersecurity – hiring teams of consultants to protect their digital assets – which makes them less-desirable targets for data and identity thieves, blackmailers, and other online criminals. In addition, the basic tools that allow hackers to infiltrate businesses have greatly decreased in cost and complexity; in many cases, abilities that used to be the sole purview of experienced hackers are now available to even relatively untrained criminals.

But it’s not just criminals small businesses have to worry about; they should also be concerned about natural disasters, blackouts, and system failures, especially if they don’t have robust backup systems.

Cloud-based backup and security systems provide reliability and ease-of-access, even during emergencies

While making the shift to cloud-based computing and data storage can be a big change, it pays dividends for companies that truly value their data. Hard-drives can be lost and computers destroyed, but it’s much more difficult to destroy cloud-based data – making it a lifesaver during accidents, data breaches, and other unforeseen disasters.

To learn more about how cloud-based solutions may be able to help your company secure its data, contact CloudHesive today at 800-860-2040 or through our contact form for a free consultation.