What are the True Consequences of Data Loss? (Learn the 3-2-1 Backup Rule)

What are the True Consequences of Data Loss? (Learn the 3-2-1 Backup Rule)

In the early days of computers, when most company files were still on paper, if your hard drive crashed, you might lose a few megabytes of images or small documents (because a computer couldn’t hold much more), and merely be inconvenienced.

But today, most of our files are digital, contained not only on our own computer hard drives (which now hold Gigabytes of data), but also in cloud services, on servers, and spread across other devices. Data loss is no longer an inconvenience, now it’s something that could cause a small business to have to close its doors.

Some sobering facts about the cost of data loss include:

  • 93% of businesses that suffered catastrophic data loss lasting for at least 10 days, filed for bankruptcy within a year.
  • The average failure rate for data backup/recovery is 75%.
  • 40% of small to medium-sized businesses that don’t use an outside managed IT service will have their network accessed by a hacker in the next 12 months.
  • Less than 10% of businesses back up all their data every day.

While most companies know they should be backing up their data regularly, unfortunately, many either don’t or make common backup mistakes that cause them to lose their data anyway. 

Let’s delve into the consequences of data loss for a business and how using some backup best practices, like the 3-2-1 backup rule, can help you protect yourself from losing valuable files.

The Costs of Data Loss & How it Happens 

We’re generating data at a rapid pace in this digital age, and that data is a valuable and vital asset for any company. From customer records to product marketing collateral to accounting records, these digital files can all too easily be lost, and without a strong backup and recovery system in place, that loss can be devastating to a company.

There are several ways that files can be lost, including:

  • Data breach
  • Virus/Ransomware/Malware
  • Accidental deletion
  • Malicious deletion by disgruntled employee
  • Lost or stolen device
  • Hardware failure
  • Software failure
  • Data migration gone wrong
  • Failure of a cloud service provider
  • Natural or manmade disaster (fire, flood, hurricane, etc.)
  • A backup gone wrong

According to IBM Security’s annual report on the cost of a data breach, the average cost per lost record is $150.00. If you lost a single device that had just 1,000 files on it (most have many more!) that would be a cost of $150,000.

What factors go into the cost of lost data?

  • Emergency IT costs to try to retrieve the data and fix the cause of the loss
  • Lost employee productivity
  • Costs of recreating data that can’t be recovered
  • Loss of business opportunities while dealing with the incident
  • Loss of customer trust and your reputation if the loss is due to a data breach
  • Costs from business stagnation while dealing with recovery rather than working on forward motion

Prevent Data Loss with These Best Practices

The costs involved with data loss make it an imperative that proper backup and recovery best practices are made a priority. Here are some of the tips to adopt in order to ensure your office is protected from costly data loss.

Adopt the 3-2-1 Backup Rule

There’s a standard for backup and recovery that keeps you covered in the event of a data loss incident, but not all offices know about it. It’s the 3-2-1 backup rule and it goes like this:

  • 3: Keep 3 copies of all your data (i.e. on your hard drive, and two other backups)
  • 2: Ensure 2 of those copies are on different types of backup media (cloud, disk drive, etc.)
  • 1: Make sure 1 of those copies is off premises (i.e. a cloud-based backup)

Back Up Your Cloud Services

If you think that Office 365 is enough as a backup solution, you could end up with data loss. Microsoft even recommends that you use a 3rdparty service to back up your data stored in their cloud service. It’s important that you’re backing up cloud data just as you would data on your PC’s hard drive.

Test and Monitor Backups

Unfortunately, companies often find out there was a problem with their backup when it’s too late and they need to recover data that was lost. You should regularly check your backups to make sure they haven’t stalled due to a software problem or run out of space.

Make Sure Your Backup Method Includes Easy Recovery

Not all backup media ensures a quick and easy recovery of your data. You want to look for backup services or software that are designed to copy your entire device and easily restore that data back to the same or new one, if needed. Fast recovery is key when you’re dealing with a data loss incident because the costs are adding up every hour.

Get a Solid Backup & Recovery System in Place Today!

Data backup is not something you want to leave until later because you never know when a data loss incident is going to strike. Skillio Networks can assess your current backup structure and help you close up any gaps that leave you vulnerable.

Secure your data now by calling us at 1-888-926-1985 or reaching out online.