Thursday, March 10, 2011

Data Loss

If a fire where to occur at your business it is relatively easy to replace desks, chairs, decorations and even computers and network systems. The part that is very difficult to replace is data. Every business has data. Whether it is your computerized bookkeeping, client management data and software, important electronic documents or your Outlook calendar, they all serve as a vital part of your business and would leave you at a loss without them. With items like office furniture and computers you can go out and purchase replacements with very little difficulty. Data, however, is something that is specifically created over time and when lost is very difficult to recreate or replace.

There are two suggestions that I would like to share in this blog article. The first is securing your data either through backup tapes, off site backup or cloud computing. The second is insurance protection to help pay for the cost of recreating your data or extracting your data from damaged computer hardware.

The first suggestion of securing your data is probably the most reliable and sure fire way to prevent the nightmare of lost data. There are so many offerings out there of companies like Mozy that help to back up your business servers and data off site. If a fire destroys the server in your office all you would need to do is buy a new server, download your data from the offsite backup system and you are up and running again. Cloud computing is another offsite way to secure data. Instead of your data being stored on computers in your office they are stored on specialty servers throughout the country. All you are doing each time you access the data is pulling up the information via online so if a fire renders your computer useless you just purchase another computer, login to your online cloud and access your data. Backup tapes are probably the least effective because they require you to remember to take them offsite and require you to remember to update the tapes on a regular basis.

Insurance is the second suggestion on how to prevent data loss. One caveat about this topic is that technology is constantly changing and insurance companies are always trying to catch up with how to best insure this moving target. There are currently specialty coverages out there that help an insured pay for the costs of salvaging lost data. Coverage can be added to business policies that help pay for the forensic work that would need to be done on a fire damaged hard drive that possible still stores your company’s data. Some insurance products help you to repurchase lost software programs that can be very costly to replace. There are times when you need to hire extra staff for a short period to help reestablish your bookkeeping after a fire. Insurance can help pay for this extra cost.

In future blog post we will be sure to focus on what the actual insurance products are that can help protect the loss of your data and we will also write more on data backup services as well. In the mean time, work with your IT departments or consultants to figure out the best cost effective way to secure your data as well as talk with your insurance agent to figure out how to best insure your data.