Disaster, What Disaster?

Over the past weeks it was reported on the TV news report, a newspaper or internet site announces another natural disaster, flood, storm, or power outages which have devastated towns in the UK, leaving countless homes and businesses in dire straits.  Or you heard that your own business internet line is down or mobile phone or blackberry service has failed for another day.

Almost on a weekly basis on the national news there has been several well published attacks on company websites stopping any internet traffic going to them (this is called a denial of service or hacker attack), and means the company cannot do business through this key channel.

What goes through your mind?  Sympathy immediately followed by the question, “If that happened to me, would my business survive?”

This is a really key question to be asking yourself, regardless of whether you live in an area prone to natural disasters. Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere, and they’re not just physical. Virtual disasters wreak havoc on IT networks and can be just as destructive as physical catastrophes; paralysing businesses and threatening their very survival.

A recent  2011 study released by the UK Security Minister found that cybercrime in the UK cost £27 billion, with businesses taking the biggest hit, losing £21 billion The US Department of Labor estimates more than 40 percent of businesses never reopen following a disaster and, of the remaining companies, at least 25 percent will close in two years.

With fewer resources than larger corporations, small and medium sized businesses have a harder time recovering from virtual and physical disasters than their larger counterparts. Hoping that the small print in your insurance policy will cover the costs is unrealistic, and even if true, it will take many many months before any payout will be available.  In the meantime, your customers will probably have no choice but to find other companies to work with.

I don’t bring this up just to make you afraid, but rather to make you aware and offer resources and strategies that can help get your business get ready for “the worst,” should it happen.  Over the coming blogs I will present some practical, simple and doable approaches to address this.  Also I hope to show how some inexpensive and readily available technologies which will not stop all disasters but should allow you to cope and your business to survive.

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