Disaster recovery for IT

How Disaster Preparation Pays Off

Here’s a hypothetical situation: your company has been recently hit with ransomware. However, you’ve already taken the time to prepare your disaster recovery plan.

When it comes to disaster recovery for IT, you’re one of the rarities in the business world. Most small business owners (68%) still don’t have a written disaster recovery plan.

Because of that, we’ll refer to your business as Smart Guys, Inc.

Your primary competitors have also been hit by the exact same ransomware attack. Unlike you, they didn’t bother to prepare with a disaster recovery plan.

We’ll call them Whoops, LLC.

What Happened to Whoops, LLC

Whoops, LLC is almost identical to your business in every way. Similar size, same industry, and even a similar IT infrastructure. When the ransomware hit them, they panicked.

An employee accidentally unleashed a particularly nasty ransomware virus through an infected email attachment. In only a few minutes, their computers and servers became completely inaccessible.

Every file and folder was completely encrypted by the virus, save one text file that appeared throughout the file structure of the computer. It repeatedly stated the same thing – “We’ve encrypted your data. To get your files back, send a payment of $1000 to this address.”

Did you know: The average ransomware demand increased from $294 in 2015 to $1,077 in just one year.

Whoops, LLC had a tough choice to make. Without a disaster recovery plan for IT problems, they were completely at the mercy of the hackers. They could pay the ransom and hope that the hackers actually released the data.

Or, they could seek the assistance of an IT firm. Not willing to risk it, they called the IT provider.

The Cleanup and Costs

After explaining their situation to the technology experts, they got to work. The virus was so deeply entrenched into Whoops, LLC’s file systems that it took the IT team an entire day to get back up and running.

During that time, Whoops, LLC lost out on the productivity of their entire staff. They also lost out on potential business opportunities and current customer interactions.

In other words, they paid the price dearly. On average, small companies lose over $100,000 per ransomware incident due to downtime alone.

Whoops, LLC also had to pay for the IT service, which came at a hefty price. After all, they required the work of multiple experienced technicians for an all-day, emergency service.

The lost money (and lost customer confidence) hurt Whoops, LLC very badly. But the fact that it all could have been avoided with a disaster recovery plan hurt them even more.

Meanwhile, at Smart Guys Inc.

You’ve just been hit with the same ransomware attack as Whoops, LLC. But instead of worrying, you decided to consult your disaster recovery plan.

Since you’ve got clear documentation telling you exactly what you need to check, you don’t miss out on any important steps. Your first step is to ensure your backups are safe and unencrypted.

Luckily, your backups are good to go thanks to proactive planning. You keep consulting the checklist to make sure everything is running smoothly.

Your hardware is infected, but not damaged. Your employees are waiting for your instructions. In short, everyone is ready to act whenever you need them to, in an organized manner.

You calmly call your IT support provider and inform them of what happened. Within an hour, you’re back up and running. You’ve just spared Smart Guys, Inc. from spending astronomical sums of money on recovery.

You also didn’t get billed for using a full day of emergency IT support. With your business running in a short amount of time, your downtime was essentially negligible – no worse than an extended lunch break.

The Importance of Disaster Recovery for IT

Hypotheticals aside, the fact of the matter is that it’s extremely beneficial to have go-to IT recovery plans ready. With them, you can circumvent many of the costs that come with being unprepared.

But what good are those plans if you don’t actually know whether they work?

There’s an inherent necessity in the actual testing of the plans. To find out the steps that go into the testing aspect of disaster recovery plans, check out our next blog.

 

Read part 1 of our disaster recovery blog series

Read part 3 of our disaster recovery blog series.