Your business depends on its IT infrastructure to exist, even if you’re in a more traditional industry. You’re relying on computers, mobile devices, spreadsheets, documents, and mass stores of data to keep your business running effectively. Have you thought about what might happen if everything was suddenly wiped out? What if a fire took out the majority of your physical storage devices? What if a cyber criminal was able to seize control of your servers and hold them hostage?
As many as 50 percent of small businesses have been breached in some way within the last 12 months, yet an astounding 82 percent of business owners believe they would never be the target of an attack or breach because they don’t have anything worth stealing. It may be true that a small business doesn’t have access to the capital or resources that a large business does, but cyber criminals are opportunists—they look for easy work, not for big paydays.
With both cyber crimes and natural disasters having the potential to cripple most businesses, why don’t more business owners have a disaster recovery plan?
These are some of the biggest reasons why disaster recovery plans are so rare:
1. Not understanding how security and data recovery work.
First, business owners may not understand the nature of the threats that are out there. They may not think about physical disasters, or they may believe threats like hackers and ransomware are few and far between. They may also fail to understand how easy it is to back up their data or institute basic security policies, with most modern solutions happening automatically and routinely. This lack of understanding of disaster recovery solutions keeps them from moving forward with any solution.
2. Believing they aren’t targets.
Like we mentioned in the introduction, many business owners believe they would never be the target of a hacker. Unfortunately, this simply isn’t the case. In fact, 43 percent of all cyber attacks specifically target small businesses—and that doesn’t account for the simultaneous threat of natural disasters. Believing it’s not important is the single most prohibitive mindset in cyber security.
It may be that an entrepreneur knows it’s important to have a data recovery plan and increased protection, but they’ve de-prioritized these protocols in favor of other work. Data protection doesn’t seem important until it’s been compromised—but by that point, it’s often too late. It’s like thinking about health insurance after you’ve already had a medical emergency. If you want to protect yourself, you need to have a plan early, and be as proactive as possible. It may not take priority over any emergencies that your business is currently struggling with, but it needs to be high on your list. Don’t keep moving it down indefinitely. Schedule a day and a time to get it done.
4. Not knowing where to start.
Some business owners may not know where to start, since “data protection” and “disaster recovery” are such broad topics. A good first step is to find a reliable provider of data backup and recovery, two services that will protect your digital information in case it’s ever held hostage or physically destroyed. From there, you can gradually ratchet up your security protocols and enlist other services to complement your core structures.
5. Decision procrastination.
Of course, some entrepreneurs are simply procrastinating the decision because they don’t want to make it. They may feel insecure in their understanding or may not want to pay for any additional services, but in any case, they’re taking their sweet time moving forward on any new policies.
All of these motivations are seemingly legitimate on the surface—it’s perfectly understandable that an entrepreneur who doesn’t feel threatened wouldn’t want to improve security—but believing you’re a good driver doesn’t make you less likely to have an accident. Threats to your data, your assets, and your entire technological network are very real, and unless you have a proactive plan to mitigate or deal with them, you could suffer the consequences. Put together a disaster recovery plan; think of it as an insurance policy to protect your business’s interests. You’ll be glad you did.