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No one likes to think about bad things happening to them, but the fact is that even minimal preparation can help your business avert disaster. As a part of National Disaster Preparedness Month (yes, that’s a real thing) we at PCI have outlined some simple disaster recovery solutions that will help you maintain business continuity. In other words, we’re going to help you keep your business up-and-running in the face of disaster!

1. Review and Update Your Business Insurance Annually

Many small businesses have some form of General Liability Insurance that protects them against things like accidents, injuries, property damage or lawsuits. However, business owners often forget to update their insurance as their business grows and new equipment is acquired. Oftentimes, these policies do not offer enough coverage to replace all the technology and supplies that can be lost or damaged during an unforeseen incident. Closely review your policy every year to ensure it accounts for new computers or assets you’ve acquired throughout the year.

2. Utilize Cloud Computing

Cloud computing, which includes cloud backup among other features, is a network of remote servers hosted online that you can use to store, manage and process your data instead of a local server or PC. Cloud computing has some huge advantages – mainly that your valuable data is stored off-site in a secure data center that has fail-over and redundancy built in. Simply speaking, if your building is destroyed or your server has a hardware failure, all your data is safe and recoverable instead of sitting vulnerably in a closet or server room. What’s more, you’ll also gain all the benefits of cloud file sharing, which can improve work mobility and allow remote access to files for your employees.

3. Secure Your Data

It’s critically important to take protective privacy measures that safeguard your business from ransomware, cyber attacks, blackmail, corruption, lawsuits and loss of public credibility. Small businesses are hotbeds of sensitive client and employee data which makes them a prime target for hackers. Any sensitive information that is stored digitally, even just passwords to portals that contain sensitive information, need protection. We recommend backing up your data regularly, encrypting sensitive material, and monitoring your system with up-to-date virus and malware protection to help prevent breaches in cyber security.

4. Layout A Simple Disaster Recovery Plan

When planning for disaster recovery, the key is to keep it simple. If your plan is over-complicated you’ll be less likely to do it – believe us, we’ve seen it before! To begin with, consider what disaster would be the most likely to happen and the most damaging to your business. Once you’ve brainstormed a likely scenario, outline the steps you would need to follow in order to get your business back in operation as quickly as possible.

For example, let’s say your business is located in an older building with a history of plumbing issues. It stands to reason that flooding might be a likely and potentially catastrophic event.  A disaster recovery plan for this occurrence might include recovering data from cloud storage and being prepared to move tech equipment out of the office to an alternate location on short notice. Assuming you’ve taken our first three suggestions into account, you’ll already have an up-to-date insurance policy that will cover the costs of any flooded equipment and have incorporated cloud backup to keep your business data accessible.

5. Review Your Employee Internet Policy

It’s important to clearly outline what your employees can and can’t do on business devices such as desktop computers, company cell phones and laptops. Be sure to regularly update your Employee Internet Policy as new technologies emerge; you’ll want to address any social media that is popular and likely to be checked by employees during work hours. The National Labor Relations Board has some helpful information to consider when creating Internet Use and Social Media Policies. To avoid potentially malicious content infecting your business tech, we recommend implementing content-filtering software to block websites and content that you don’t want employees visiting on company computers.

Does this sound overwhelming or just like too much work? Remote IT support and Managed Services may be a better option for you and your business. In outsourcing your IT services, you’re placing the continuity of your business in the hands of experienced IT professionals who are up-to-date on all the latest protective measures and technologies. PCI provides cloud backup and file sharing, cyber security and proactive monitoring, disaster recovery solutions and remote tech support. In short, we cover everything you need to keep your business running onsite and offsite, even when disaster strikes. With our remote Managed Service Plans, your tech is exactly what it should be – a reliable tool that enables success, not a hindrance!

To help get you started on the path to disaster preparedness, we’re offering you a FREE Disaster Recovery Assessment for your business! We’ll help you identify critical vulnerabilities and potential hazards unique to your network or system. Based on our detailed analysis of your situation, we’ll recommend a disaster recovery plan that addresses these weaknesses and secures your business.