With the rash of cyber attacks that have occurred in 2017, more than ever businesses are walling off their servers and taking the proper precautions against nefarious hackers. Unfortunately, cyber attacks aren’™t the only danger to your business. Natural disasters, like Hurricane Harvey which put half of Houston underwater, can also wreak havoc on people’™s lives as well as the health of your business. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy, according to Time Magazine, caused approximately $25 billion in lost business. Some of these losses were unavoidable; people huddled inside their homes without power are unlikely to be productive. However, there are a number of steps companies should take to minimize their potential losses, especially related to data.    

Have A Detailed Plan

Natural disasters can sometimes resemble a slow motion train wreck, allowing companies hours, even days to decide the best course of action regarding their data. Other times businesses aren’™t as lucky: lines of communication are lost when you absolutely need them most. Therefore, creating a set plan that doesn’™t require a senior leader giving the go ahead to take the proper precautions is best. Clear chains of command in a disaster situation give companies the best chance of retaining valuable information and minimizing losses.    

Multiple Data Centers

For many companies data is beyond invaluable. Losing any amount can lead to lost clients or worse, compromising the company as a whole. In these cases, having multiple data centers, in different areas, can be a godsend when the worst hits. After 9/11 many companies decided to move their data centers closer to their businesses, in the event that flights were grounded. Unfortunately, that would leave said businesses out of luck when a storm hits, taking out both data centers. It also pays to have data centers protected from high probability disasters. For example, in Mississippi flooding is a legitimate concern, while in Oklahoma tornadoes are far more likely.     

Be Familiar With Your IT Company Operating Procedures

Too many businesses rely heavily on their IT cloud to solve any and all issues relating to lost data.  Unfortunately, the cloud isn’™t a foolproof invention. Whether it is a lack of access or availability, not all IT cloud services are equal. Understanding what your IT cloud capabilities are before an emergency leaves nothing to chance.

Knowing your own disaster recovery plan isn’™t sufficient. To have all your bases covered you also have to know your IT’™s recovery plan as well. No one likes surprises when it comes to data loss, especially in a moment of crisis. Understanding your IT company’™s plan takes the guess work out of natural disasters. Also, as with any disaster plan it should be tested. Running through procedures and how everything will be handled in case of emergency makes everything run that much smoother once the stuff hits the fan for real.

Data is the 21st century are the veins of any business. Having it the moment it’™s needed allows for a profitable, smooth and well functioning entity. Lose that data at the wrong moment and everything can be lost. Ultimately, whether the disruption is from a hacker or a natural disaster, the end result is the same.