An office fire is one of the most horrific things that can happen to a business owner. Once you know your staff are safely out of the building, your thoughts then turn to what else you could lose in the fire. The data you lose can be even more damaging to your business than the physical losses you experience. It’s the phone call that no one ever wants to receive, but it’s something any business owner or office manager should prepare for.
Is Your Data Backed Up?
Whilst you have insurance for these types of emergencies, you might start to think about what needs to be replaced and soon realise there was no backup for your data. Maybe your automated backup stopped working and you put off doing the manual backup or asked someone else to do it. But what happened to the backup in the fire?
The Reality of the Situation
For businesses who experience this kind of data loss, the chance of going under is greater than the chance of survival. 50% of businesses that lose data during an emergency end up going into administration, whilst 93% of businesses that lose their data for longer than ten days will go under within the next year. For companies that experience a severe fire, 70% of them go out of business within five years, with 30% closing within a year. It’s time to take action to protect your future today.
A Reliable, Verified Data Backup
For businesses of any type or size, having a robust data backup is a serious requirement. While a fire is certainly one reason to consider this, there are many other emergencies that will necessitate a backup, from spilling a cup of coffee or losing your laptop to something more extreme like ransomware. Though it takes extra work to back up your data and secure your network, you can feel safe knowing that you are protected during an emergency.
Check Your Backup Is Functioning Properly
Many companies today fail to check that their backup is still working, resulting in panic from business owners who realise it stopped working months ago. It’s critical to check that the backup is going ahead and to verify the data to check it’s backing up correctly. You should back up literally all data, including projects, accounts, emails and website content. Anything that would have a negative effect on your business if it was lost, make sure you back it up.
With so many different ways to back up your data, there’s no excuse not to start the process today. A great IT service provider can help you understand the options available to you and protect you from any emergencies in the future.
Protect Your Devices
Without locking your devices in a fireproof box, there’s no way to guarantee protection of your devices from a fire. However, you can take plenty of steps to minimise the loss you would experience during an emergency. Firstly, we encourage you to make sure every device is fully insured with business insurance or their own insurance. Make sure that the insurance covers accidental damage, theft and damage from disaster. Take the time to run through what you would do if a device was stolen. How would you get the data back and know that you are protected? Create a procedure for your company for various scenarios so everyone knows how to react if this does occur. Ensure that everyone in your workplace knows who to contact if it does happen so the plan can be used and all data can be wiped from the device.
Also, make sure you follow these top tips in your workplace:
- All data on your devices should be encrypted
- Use multi-factor authentication if possible on devices
- Password-protect devices and software
Know What Devices Your Business Has
As businesses grow, it’s easy for office managers to lose track of the number of devices in a workplace. Questions you should be able to answer include:
- Who uses which device in the office?
- What happened to older devices when they were replaced?
- Who in the office uses more than one device?
Make sure you create and regularly update an inventory in your office, which should also be backed up. It will make keeping track of the devices in your office much easier, especially with more people working from home. When someone leaves the company, you can double check that all devices have been returned so there are no issues or security concerns further down the line.
If your business hasn’t already started to reduce its paper consumption, this is something we highly recommend doing. As well as being kinder to the environment, it also offers additional benefits for business owners. During a fire, you wouldn’t be worried about shelves and filing cabinets packed with critical paper records. Make your life easier by creating a digital copy of everything in your office. You can then store this securely online and back it up.
Planning for a disaster is a crucial activity for businesses of all shapes and sizes and those who prepare in advance are the ones with the greatest chance of surviving. By following the tips listed above, you can sleep soundly at night knowing your data is backed up and you are prepared for all eventualities.