‘Tis the season to be wary. June 1 marked the start of the hurricane season in the Northern Hemisphere, with meteorologists predicting an upswing in storm activity. The forecast is for five hurricanes – two of them Category 3 or above. Things are off to a roaring start with Tropical Storm Colin hitting Florida on June 5. So, until the season ends on November 30, hold onto not just your hats but to all the things that help you run your business.
During the last two years, there has been scant hurricane activity in the continental U.S., so you may be feeling a bit complacent. If Sandy and Irene are just dim memories, it is time to wake up and focus on securing your data during the season ahead. If you are located inland, you may think you are out of harm’s way. Think again. Hurricanes do not stop after making landfall, as we saw when Irene devastated areas of Vermont and upstate New York in 2011.
Get Prepared Now
Got a disaster preparedness plan? If so, congratulations! One recent study by the accounting firm Sage indicates that only 38 percent of SMBs do.
If your plan is in place, review it now with your preparedness team. Make sure everything is current, all key players are fully informed, and that all your back-ups work. If you don’t have a plan, put one together. There are many disaster preparedness templates on the Internet to guide you. Check out:
Secure Your Valuables
Lots of things are important to your company’s success. The most critical (next to staff) is your data. No matter how small your business, you rely on stored data to function fully. Protect it. Back it up. On this blog, we often quote the words of tech guru Jack Schofield. In his Second Law of Computing, he says: “data doesn’t really exist unless you have two copies of it.” Some security experts go beyond Schofield recommending the 3-2-1 rule: three copies, in two different media, in at least one off-site locale.
You can never be over-prepared. Go with the 3-2-1 rule. But you should also consider secure, affordable cloud storage. Free yourself from multiple storage on tape and disc with the cloud. Or go hybrid, using the cloud as an additional back-up to your traditional storage.
If you are not in the cloud yet – like almost half of SMBs in the U.S. – this hurricane season is the perfect time to explore the protective features it offers. Consider a technical partner with expertise in cloud-based disaster preparedness and data recovery to make the transition easy and worry-free. Among other things, a tech partner can help you prioritize your storage needs, insure the security of your data and assure that all your apps are cloud-functional. They can even help establish protocols for working remotely with the cloud should a storm drive you offsite.
Cloud storage will help your business weather any storm. It is a smart investment in your company’s future and in your peace of mind.