Backing up your data is a fundamental part of using information technology. Whether you are a student backing up essays and assignments, or a lawyer in a law firm, all technology has the potential to fail you once in a while. However, when your business depends on it, an IT failure can be disastrous, meaning IT backup routines and preventing any potential losses is crucial.
The Cost of Data Loss
According to statistics, 98% of businesses do not backup all of their data on a routine basis. Data loss can be caused by a wide variety of things, whether it is a natural cause (storms causing power outages or surges), a virus or cyber attack, a technological glitch, or the usual suspect – human error.
The financial implications of data loss can include litigation costs, contract penalties, non-compliance fines, and loss of contracts and business. In the worst-case scenario, it can even result in bankruptcy.
The British Airways Example
Over the recent bank holiday, British Airways suffered a huge meltdown. Passengers were grounded for hours on end. The cost to BA is expected to be in the millions, with compensation costs alone accounting for around £120 million or more. This was all thanks to the failure of a backup system following a power outage, affecting almost all areas of operation. It is thought that a cyber attack is highly unlikely to have been the cause, and there is a suggestion that an attempt to cut costs by outsourcing to India could have been at the root of the problem. Whatever the cause, it would appear that British Airways relied on a backup system that, at the crucial moment, failed them.
The error has served as a stark reminder for all businesses of the importance of having a robust IT backup system in place. Law firms, in particular, should be aware of the problems which can arise without a proper IT backup routine, particularly in relation to the loss of personal data. Errors relating to personal data can cost firm thousands in compensation, while the loss of documents can result in a multitude of wasted hours.
IT Backup Routines – Working Against IT Failures
IT failures are, to some extent, unavoidable at times. The key is damage control.
IT backup routines exist for that very purpose. In the event that something in your system fails, you can be confident in the knowledge that your data has been regularly saved and backed-up, allowing you to carry on from a point much closer to where you left off. A full back-up of a PC will fully restore it to a previous state with minimal loss to original data. Operating systems and applications can easily be reinstalled at any given time, but original data would be a hard loss.
One key point to remember with IT backup is to ensure you have both local and off-site backup. That way, if anything should happen to your local servers or your offices, there is always another backup available. Both of these sites would need to be scheduled for regular, routine backups. One useful way of backing up data off-site is by using the cloud.
In addition, many systems including Windows and Mac include built-in software which regularly back-up your computer. This is a useful addition, but in the case of businesses and law firms, this should never be relied upon entirely.
Experts in Cyber Security and Data Protection
At CBSIT, we are experts in putting together fail-safe IT backup routines. CBSIT can help you manage all areas of your cyber security and advise you on the best way to ensure you are protecting your data and working within legislative guidelines. To find out more about how we can manage your data protection and cyber security, contact us today.