Argggg….. Business Owners and their DATA!

Ok, so, I am going to go on a rant about small business owners and their lack of concern for their data. Let me first start off and tell you, I am a small business owner myself, but I think after reading my rant you should ask yourself one of two questions. Is this my boss, or is this me? If it is neither, then you are doing well.

Let me paint the visual image for you: You come in from a long day at the office and eat a really great meal, and then you decide to meet some friends for some drinks. You go out and have a great night and after a while, you come home and hit the bed to get some sleep so you can get to work tomorrow at a reasonable time. Tomorrow is just a normal day at the office, nothing really special.

You wake up at 3:00 AM from your cell phone ringing. It is a call from your alarm monitoring service. They said that your burglar alarm went off and they have dispatched the police department. You’re the one with the code, so you think maybe something is up. You get dressed and head into the office.

When you get there, you see 3 police cars still there and your front glass door is broken. Now your concern is a bit higher, right? I mean at first, I am sure you may have thought this was a false alarm or something. Well it wasn’t. The cop said that it was a busy night and it took them about 20 minutes to respond to this break-in. You take a look around and the thief took some blank checks that were on your desk, all you computers and servers. They also took the mini-refrigerator out of your office. I am sure that your first concern is the six pack of beer in the refrigerator. No, actually you are thinking they just took some blank checks and all of my computers. What does this really mean? This means that they got away with all of your checks. Do you remember the last check number? Do you remember all the checks that were ordered? You have to call the bank and cancel all of those checks. Remember they took your computers and servers. Your accounting package is gone along with all your data. They took your customer data, your business data and some of your personal data. Oh wait; the insurance guy will get my stuff back for me right? NO…. there is no customer data store to “buy back” your data. You can’t get it back unless you have a GOOD backup. Hopefully it was offsite and you can restore it. If not then you will most likely be out of business in the next year, if not sooner. Do you trust your backup software is running every night? Do you check the reports? Do you check if there were any errors? Most business owners know how to read a P&L because their business depends on the profits. Why don’t most business owners take the time to read a backup report? This report is just as important as your P&L. If you look at your P&L once a week or once a month then you should be looking at your backup logs with the same reverence. Do you have someone (that knows what they are doing) checking them for you?

I ask you again, how important is your companies data to you? How important is your business to you? How important is your job to you? Anyone reading this can take action by asking the right questions.

1)   How often does my company backup our data?

2)   If I lost all of my equipment, how quickly could I get my data back?

3)   Do I know the process to restore my data?

4)   Have I checked our backup logs lately to make sure that all the data needed is being backed up and if it was successful?

5)   Have I tested a file restore lately to make sure I can restore my data?

6)   Have I tested a full disaster lately to make sure I can restore ALL of my data?

Start with these questions and see if you know the answer to all of these. If you don’t, then make sure you know who does. Then ask yourself, do you trust they will be there for you when you need to restore your business. Remember the insurance person is ONLY going to replace your equipment. They CANNOT replace the data.

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