Protecting Customers and Data During a Natural Disaster

Cindy Jordan-Ford

February 09, 2018


The consumer identifies a business by its brand. That brand is more than the logo and a website. It comprises of everything the business stands for. While IT and data management may often be considered the behind the scenes part of the company, they are in fact, the most vital part of the brand.  Why?  Well, if IT fails, the establishment lets its customers down and the reputation of the brand is damaged – sometimes permanently.

Choosing the best IT solution means defining needs, but these requirements mean more than size and safety measures. Many businesses look at security only through an online lens in terms of hacking threats and malware being the major threats.  While we have seen the damage these online incidents can deliver to a company, natural disasters can be just as equally devastating. Being unprepared for a natural disaster can do much more than result in hardware damage. It can paralyze an entire organization, resulting in massive data loss, harm to servers, lack of website functionality, and ultimately, a deficiency in revenue.

“40% of companies close their doors immediately after a disaster.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40% of companies close their doors immediately after a disaster, and for those that do survive, only 29% are still in operation two years later. While many factors can be contributed to this, what it comes down to is that the establishment was not able to serve their customers, and not being able to do that resulted in lost revenue and the eventual demise of the organization. According to the National Archives and Records Administration, more than 90% of companies that experience at least seven days of data center downtime go out of business within a year, proving that one crucial way that firms help their clientele is through maintaining their records.

Simply having data stored on an additional device or external hard drive is not enough. These devices are just as prone to damage during a natural disaster. Arranging a system in place online, or in the cloud, will allow firms to resume operations, even if from a temporary location, quickly. Truly protecting information means trusting a hosting provider to safeguard it. An IT managed services firm should be able to store data in multiple off-site locations, offer cloud-based solutions, and deliver recovery selections.

“90% of companies that experience at least seven days of data center downtime go out of business in a year

The Importance of Location: Colocation Data Centers

If a data center is the preferred method of storage, having a provider that is geographically dispersed around the world, where you can still efficiently run your servers, storage devices, and other hardware – a colocation data center – is the safest bet. So, if an incident occurs at your organization’s offices – which results in an evacuation or renders them inaccessible – your critical infrastructure remains unaffected and operational. This type of solution gives added security, reliability, and efficiency for file retrieval.

Hybrid IT Management

Hybrid IT has become an option for many businesses interested in a customized and flexible answer, as it combines technologies from various sources, such as cloud, managed hosting and services, and on-premise selections. The mix-and-match nature of hybrid IT solutions allows organizations to define and implement the right grouping of technologies for them. Specifically deploying what they need, where they need it, to meet the requirements of stakeholders, partners, customers, and their marketplace at large.

Why DRaaS is Important

Disaster-Recover-as-a-Service (DRaaS) platforms can also safeguard against disruptions to operations through an enhanced recovery solution. By utilizing this advantage, backups and regaining access is more straightforward and more cost-effective.

If companies don’t believe they need to implement a natural disaster strategy for their network infrastructure, they only need to look back at the examples of Vodafone and Samsung. In 2014, Samsung’s South Korean data center suffered a massive fire which destroyed all of its equipment. What followed were massive outages of mobile service and loss of records because the business had not backed it up. On the other hand, in 2009, Vodafone’s data center in Istanbul was flooded in a swift four minutes from a torrential downpour. However, outages were restored because the corporation had a disaster recovery plan in place.

If last year seemed like there were more hurricanes than usual, that is unfortunately correct. Natural disasters are not just a threat to people, but to companies as well, and to prepare, firms must have a contingency plan. This plan should, of course, include looking after the safety of employees, but also needs to cover protecting data. Yet, in business, there is an ongoing balance between security and convenience, but with the right system in place, it is possible to have both. Learn how to keep your systems up and running and design a strategy that works for your company by visiting


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