Unfortunately, data loss is a common threat to business owners. Files are accidentally deleted, malware finds its way onto company servers, or a freak electrical problem wipes everything clean. Not only will this unfortunate event immediately shut down your business operations, but it can also negatively impact your company’s reputation in the long run. Even if you’re able to recover your data, your business can suffer from lengthy outages as you rush to get everything back up and running. Here's how to help your business recover as quickly as possible if you face a sudden data loss.
Hire a Data Recovery Specialist
The first thing to do when you discover a data loss is to call in professional help. Data recovery specialists can help you recover lost files and keep your downtime to a minimum. And outsourcing to a specialist, rather than trying to do it yourself, can quickly get your systems back up and running when your business experiences a technical failure. Attempting to restore lost data yourself can make the problem worse if you don’t know what you’re doing, so avoid googling DIY data recovery tricks or installing data recovery software. A specialist in data recovery loss know exactly how to work with software and hardware to recover data without causing further damage.
In the event of a system failure, Secure Data Recovery advises that you avoid operating your storage system and keep your computer turned off until a specialist can properly analyze your problem. By doing so, you will drastically improve your chances of a successful recovery.
Get the Facts Straight
One of the first things to do after a major data loss is to record everything you know about what happened. You’ll want to find out how much data was lost and what type of data is missing. Was it company financial records? Website files? Your customers’ personal information? Take note of everywhere the data was stored and everyone who had access to it. Don't forget to list email accounts and remote servers that may have held the data at some point. You’ll also need to determine if it was simply lost or if it was stolen. If the data was stolen, you’ll have to take some extra security measures as soon as possible to reduce the extent of the damage.
Notify Your Affected Customers
Since a data loss or breach puts your business’s reputation on the line, it’s important to make a statement to your affected clients or customers before the media outs the issue. Keep your notice free from technical jargon, and reassure the customer that you're doing everything possible to protect their information. If you want more tips on breaking the news to your customers, read this article by Business Insider.
You should also check your state regulations to find out what kind of legal responsibility you have and who you are required to notify about the lost data. This can help you avoid harsh fines for failing to notify regulatory bodies in the event that your data was actually stolen.
Take Preventative Measures for the Future
After analyzing the situation and determining the cause of the data loss, start planning so this doesn’t happen again. MSP Insights recommends identifying potential risks as a good place to start. Find out if your web hosting provider has security and accident-prevention measures in place to keep your data safe. Ensure you have a fail-proof backup system working so you can recover your business ASAP if an accident occurs in the future. Try to have 3 physical copies of your company’s data stored in 2 different formats, and at least one copy of your data stored off site. It’s also a good idea to teach your employees about data security and how to be on the lookout for malware or viruses.
As a small business owner, the first thing to remember when faced with a data loss is to remain calm. It's natural to panic in this situation, as many people do. Although your business may suffer a decline due to downtime or a hit on your reputation, it is very possible to recover when you take the correct actions.