For almost any business, information is critical: documents, contacts, contracts, correspondence, accounts, and so on. Modern technologies help not only to manage business-critical data, but also to lose it in the blink of an eye. For most companies, losing access to data means the suspension of all business processes, inevitably leading to lost profit, damage to reputation, and recovery costs.
Rest assured, there is no shortage of data loss scenarios out there waiting to happen — and almost none of them has anything to do with the quality of your equipment. Here are just a few.
An employee might click a malicious file downloaded from the Internet or an attachment in an e-mail sent by cybercriminals. Doing so doesn’t just encrypt data on the local machine; ransomware has a nasty habit of corrupting everything that the victim’s computer communicates with (connected network drives, external media, etc.). In theory, paying the resulting ransom demand will return your data. In practice, there’s no guarantee.
Last year, a simple ransomware infection paralyzed the IT systems of the city administration of Baltimore, Maryland, which, deciding not to pay up, suffered $18 million worth of damage.
SMBs often store (sometimes all) business-critical information on the CEO’s hard drive. And it’s a rare and lucky instance if this is a desktop in the office. But modern business is all about mobility, so it’s more likely that this drive sits inside a laptop and travels with the CEO to meetings and on business trips. That means it can easily be stolen — from a hotel room, a taxi, you name it.
In hot weather, the load on any computer hardware increases, often pushing cooling systems to the limit. Not all manufacturers provide separate ventilation for hard drives, and some even design laptops such that the air flows from external cooling pads do not reach the storage media. That can lead to hard drive failure due to simple overheating. Owners of furry pets are in a special risk category. As the proud owner of several cats, I can testify that my laptop fan has to be cleaned at least once a year or else it’ll overheat, even in the winter.
Conflicts at work are hardly uncommon. A colleague who disagrees with a management decision might resign and delete critical information. And the fewer backups there are, the more likely that the sabotage attempt will succeed.
How to store business-critical information
According to our colleagues, the average cost of a data loss incident runs to $1.23 million for big businesses and $120,000 for small. Therefore, we recommend:
- Backing up your most important data at a minimum, but preferably all of it;
- Making backups regularly, ideally automatically; otherwise, it’s very easy to get stuck in routine tasks and forget about backups;
- Making at least two backups — preferably one stored on a physical medium at the company, and the other in a reliable cloud.
Our solution for protecting small businesses can back up important data to both local and cloud storage. It also lets you configure automatic backups. You can learn more about Kaspersky Small Office Security on the solution’s dedicated page.