Jul 20, 05:00 AM

The annual arrival of hurricane season in the Atlantic reminds of the threat that severe weather and natural disasters can be to data and a business’s very survival. Every year beginning in June and lasting until November the Atlantic Ocean experiences an increase in hurricane activity resulting in storms and landfalls that impact life both on the U.S. East Coast and inland. While the intensity and danger of storms varies, the potential for even small weather disturbances to impact computer systems and digital storage is big.

That season again

Digital failures and destruction can result in significant data loss. When a business relies on data, from financial records to customer databases to corporate documents, losing data can have a grave effect. Statistics show small and medium-sized businesses are particularly vulnerable in the event of losing vital information, with 43% of enterprises never re-opening, and 50% not lasting beyond two years after an incident. Despite the low chance of a hurricane or large-scale natural disaster directly impacting a business, lack of attention to implementing any sort of disaster recovery plan could be very costly. The good news is when it comes to losing data from storm-damage we find that data is usually pretty resilient. In this season of severe weather disaster recovery measures can go a long way to increasing chances of recovering critical business data components.

Though history shows us data is resilient, surviving incidents is challenging and when it comes to weather and disaster-related threats to computer systems hurricanes are just the tip of the iceberg. Hurricane Sandy in 2012 left a trail of destruction on the Atlantic that economically cost approximately $72 billion dollars. Amidst all the physical damage suffered, businesses lost years of data due to storm damage from winds and flooding. One thing can lead to another: storms bring water damage that often turns into electrical outages and can result in short-circuiting and fires. Companies may find themselves caught between piles of debris and inaccessible hard drives, backup tapes floating in a water-logged closet or servers buried under downed power lines. When the city of Calgary, AB in Canada was threatened by severe floods two years ago, companies with faith in backups found systems had failed, but they too can often be recovered even if they have been submerged in flood waters or impacted by moving objects.

These sorts of impacts are felt globally as well. It is estimated that Asia-Pacific region companies have suffered $60 billion in economic losses due to natural disasters in the past year. Having a plan in place is the first step to preparation but also being able to execute that plan in times of disaster is key to effective recovery for businesses that depend on data to operate.

If you want to check out some tips on how to respond to storm-damage and get data on the road to recovery when the clean-up begins (with our help if you need it), check out a storm tips post we made awhile back

Category: data loss prevention

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