Updated: Jun 28, 2021
When we look at Data Backups, we would normally believe that it is a form of Business Continuity Planning where firms secure their data. In fact, companies could just subscribe to services that solely provide backup services for contingency situations, thinking that it would cover all their needs. But this confusion could lead to disastrous results for your firm in times of crisis.
So, this begs the question:
What is the difference between Backups and Business Continuity?
So…Are They Different?
In a nutshell, Backups are just a part of a Business Continuity plan. Backups are essential copies of all the data used by a company stored in a secure platform. This take the form of wholly owned hardware solutions, such as independent servers or cloud solutions.
Business Continuity, on the other hand, would be how a company continues to operate after a disaster occurs. For example, if there is a loss in customer data, what are the series of steps taken in order for the business to keep functioning. Having a data backup is a part of that plan, but would just play a small part in the overall measures that need to be taken for the company to continue operation.
Data Backups Aren’t Enough!
Now that we understand the difference, it is quite easy to see why Business Continuity is important even though data backups already exist. Here are some reasons why Business Continuity is still required after data backups are present:
Planning for your Everyday Disasters
Imagine that a disaster has happened in your offices. Not a disaster of epic proportions, but your small, accidents like a malfunction in hardware or a leak in the water system. Even though it is not life-threatening, it is a problem in which just data backup solutions are not going to get your business to function normally. Even if data retrieval is possible, it could take days or weeks to get up and running again. This would be where Business Continuity comes into play, where the company has concrete measures to resume operations.
Time = Money
It’s common knowledge that when a company starts to lose money once its services are hampered. But no one realises how damaging it is to the company’s profits. If a company goes without a plan for emergency situations, the downtime can tens of thousands of dollars per hour before complete recovery! Furthermore, it is estimated that 43% of SMBs can go out of business right after experiencing major data loss. In order to reduce downtime, data backups not be effective in this situation when time pressure is applied. With Business Continuity, you minimise downtime and losing business.
Security on the Mind
When it comes to security, we would usually look at Ransomware as the biggest security breach over the last 5 years. But firms do not normally take into account the security risks that cause a considerable amount of downtime. This is simply because they do not believe that it would happen to them at all! However, between 2016 and 2017, 5% of Small and Medium Businesses has been attacked by Ransomware So in order to maintain security as a high priority, Business Continuity would need to be taken into consideration alongside data recovery methods.
Paying for Safety
Think of a Business Continuity Plan as an insurance policy for your business. Even if the company burns to the ground tomorrow, it would still be able to continue operating in a matter of minutes, and not days or months if unprepared. With a BCP, a company would be able to tide through any storm that comes its way.