If you leave it up to users to regularly back up data, they might get around to it once in a while. Or not. For a business, this is no way to handle data backup, and that’s something solution providers must impress upon clients.
Businesses must back up data regularly, preferably as a cloud-based service that automates the process so they don’t have to rely on individual users to do it. Failure to back up business data can have devastating consequences, including going out of business.
The costs of data loss, as a result of a security incident, natural disaster or some other reason, are very real. A 2014 study by Vanson Bourne for EMC estimated the worldwide cost total of data loss at $1.7 trillion – not too far from the $1.83 trillion gross national product of Canada.
Yes, that’s a big number – so big in fact that clients may view it as more of an abstraction than something they can truly grasp. But there are numbers you can give them that will be more meaningful to them: The average cost of a lost or stolen record increased 12 percent in 2015 to $154 from the previous year, according to a study conducted by Ponemon Institute for IBM. The average per-incident cost rose 23 percent to $3.8 million.
For a small business, that kind of money could mean the end of the line. Going out of business is the ultimate price for data loss, but even businesses that survive it can suffer serious consequences, especially if the loss results from a security incident such as the high-profile cases involving Target, Sony, Anthem and Home Depot.
Not Just Money
Monetary costs from remediation, lost profits and productivity are bad enough. But the effects of data loss, especially if it involves a security breach, can hurt brand image and erode the trust of customers who may take their business elsewhere.
It can also trigger legal consequences. Customers, partners and other interested parties may sue for damages if the loss or theft of data affects them in some way.
Beyond that, a company that can’t recover data lost from a backup may be breaking the law. Regulations at the state and federal level address require the replication and safe storage of sensitive data such as medical records, financial data, human resources files and payment card information.
One such law is HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Portability Act). Violations can incur civil penalties ranging from $100 per violation to a total of $1.5 million, depending on the severity and a determination of negligence. Criminal penalties may include jail time.
In discussing data backups with your clients, it’s important to spell out the consequences. Make sure clients understand they are putting the business at risk if they fail to back up, and do so regularly. Explain to them that paying to replicate and safeguard data costs far less than losing the business.
Marvin Blough is StorageCraft's Vice President of Worldwide Sales where his focus is on expanding the company's global reach by establishing channel partnerships that enhance the profitability for the channel partner.