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Protecting Your Data

March 2015

Protecting Your Data

What would be the consequences to your business if your office was destroyed by fire, you had a major power outage, a lightning strike caused a power surge destroying your office computers or a virus made its way into your system destroying all of your data?  Do you have a plan to deal with these problems? 

There is no reason a temporary setback should turn into a permanent failure - if you protect your organisation before disaster strikes. The first and most essential step is to create a Disaster Recovery Plan. Statistics show that on average, over 40% of businesses that do not have a Disaster Recovery Plan go out of business. Good business continuity plans will keep your company up and running through interruptions of any kind: power failures, IT system crashes, natural disasters, supply chain problems and more.

Your Disaster Recovery Plan should cover such items as contacting your local authorities and insurance carriers, re-establishing phone service, sourcing equipment, restoring data, and all essentials needed to restore your business's operational capability. It is often not until disaster strikes that a business mayrealise they are not covered. For example they may assume they are backing their data but the back-up hard drive is sitting next to their computer so when the building burns down their computer and their back-up are both destroyed.  We recommend you plan for the worst and hope for the best.

One of the major problems is inadequate planning. Have you identified all critical systems, and do you have detailed plans to recover them to the current day?

You need to focus on both business processes and data. Backups should be taken off site daily and additional hardware available should you require limiting disruption. Office communications should be reviewed to identify short term alternatives such as email and call forwarding. Office processes should be broken up into those critical to ongoing business and those that could be delayed in a disaster scenario. Additionally, alternate work space including working from home can be considered if appropriate.

In the strata management industry data is continually been collected and manipulated from building information and owners details to levy payments and work orders. If this data was lost or destroyed and could not be recovered, the business would no longer exist so what are the things you can do to protect your data?

A recent article written by Computer Maintenance Australia for the StrataMax online news highlighted many of the problems with data protection and some solutions which can be implemented immediately.

Do you implement a robust back-up system for your data which is tested regularly? Backing up often seems boring and takes a back seat to more pressing issues but think about the potential impact of losing your body corporate / strata managers, owner’s corporation or buildings’ data.  In recent times there has been an emergence of services focused on fully managed backup solutions to mitigate this silent-but-deadly risk.  These solutions provide a fully automated system that ensures your data is secure.  They regularly test that your backups are indeed recoverable and you have full visibility and transparency to validate your operations at any time. These automated processes offer you peace of mind that your data is secure and allows you to focus on business.

What all businesses need after a disaster is real-time recovery so your data does not take days, weeks or months to recover but is available immediately. To be able to recover your data, you need a reliable backup, so a true real-time recovery solution which is ultra-reliable, easy to use, and affordable could be your solution. Databases can be protected as frequently as every 15 minutes ensuring that minimal data is lost after a problem or crash. Files and folders can be restored in literally seconds, and even entire laptops or servers can be restored in minutes - not hours or days - to any available 15 minute recovery point. This gives you peace of mind and total confidence that your data is being protected.

By using the ‘cloud’ combined with the latest in real-time recovery an off-site backup solution can be implemented, simply and cost effectively, totally eliminating the need for changing either tape media or hard disks. Up until now this level of business continuity was only available to large enterprises but is now readily available to small businesses.

So there are solutions available to ensure your data is protected and your business incurs minimal downtime when a disaster occurs. 

In conclusion it is clear that protecting your data is vital to every strata management business.  Your data is precious so it makes sense to invest in expert advice and implement real-time recovery procedures to ensure your business is safe. Do you have a Disaster Recovery Plan?

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Friday, February 27, 2015