When evaluating potential business threats, most entrepreneurs only think of theft, fire, and hacking. Unfortunately, most people overlook the dangers of hurricanes and floods to the business and crucial data. A recent survey found that nearly half of all businesses cannot survive a disaster because businesses don’t protect their data, test disaster recovery environments, or have already established automated disaster recovery processes.
With hurricanes occurring commonly in most U.S states, businesses can lose property, employees, and business operations. That said, below are a few tips to protect business data during floods or hurricanes.
1. Keep sensitive data in secure locations
Storing data in your business premises makes it convenient to run business operations. However, computers and most electrical components are very sensitive to water, just like paper records. Storing data in filing cabinets or electrical devices makes them vulnerable to these threats, and recovering anything as you clean up after a flood is difficult or impossible.
Unfortunately, natural disasters cannot be predicted or prevented, including earthquakes, fires, floods, and hurricanes. If a disaster strikes, you risk losing everything by storing all important or sensitive data in one location. As such, storing sensitive data in multiple locations or on multiple devices is prudent.
Even though creating digital backups for sensitive data is important to prevent data loss, they should be stored off-site to protect them from similar threats that befall your workplace. Creating digital backups is easier and more affordable than retrieving information from damaged hardware.
Off-site storage also eliminates downtime incurred in restoring information if your office computers and other on-site data storage devices are damaged. With proper off-site storage solutions, restoring information to new devices eliminates the downtime required to resume business operations after the disaster. Purchasing Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a safe option too.
2. Make use of the cloud
Another unbeatable strategy of protecting data from flood damage is uploading important information to the cloud. The main advantage of cloud platforms is that you can access and retrieve information from other devices, even if the disaster damages your PC and other devices. The cloud protects data from floods, hurricanes, and other physical threats.
However, you should ensure that the cloud service providers don’t have servers in areas likely to be affected by the disaster. Cloud platforms, such as Flickr, are excellent for backing up images. Dropbox is also good for important files and documents. However, you should encrypt sensitive documents, such as social security numbers and tax forms.
3. Ensure remote working data security
If your business is affected by flood or hurricane damage, the high chances are that your employees will have to work remotely for some time. In such situations, you should prepare for additional data security risks associated with remote working. Being a new concept, remote employees often overlook the importance of data security.
Most remote workers rarely secure shared spaces and connections with sensitive data, which makes them a primary target for hackers and malicious individuals. Remote working inadvertently exposes vulnerabilities and weak points in your IT infrastructure. That said, you should proactively implement various cybersecurity measures to prevent data breaches.
Apart from the secure cloud options, encourage your remote teams to use virtual private networks. Educating your remote workers, installing reliable firewalls and anti-malware tools also improves data safety.
The Bottom Line
Creating efficient disaster recovery options is the best way of protecting your business and client data from floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Keeping important information in multiple data centers, utilizing cloud storage platforms, and engineering business facilities to meet industry regulations can safeguard your data regardless of the prevailing natural disaster.
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