Skip links

Backup = the last line of defense for your business

Every business these days has some form of backing up its critical data. However, what remains a mystery to most people is how it truly works. Many assumptions are based, typically incorrectly – that they are in a good place. That the IT department handles that or the IT company “has them covered”. Let’s walk through some steps to go from wishing and hoping to actually know.

Let’s Start With The Numbers

Understanding industry trends is vital. You will see from the numbers below that the risk for any small business is huge. These stats from Ontech demonstrate just a few key indicators.

 #1) This year, 40% of small to medium sized businesses that manage their own network and use the Internet for more than e-mail will have their network accessed by a hacker, and more than 50% won’t even know they were attacked. (Source: Gartner Group)

#2) 20 percent of all small businesses will be hacked within one year. (source: National Cyber Security Alliance)

#3) 20% of small to medium sized businesses will suffer a major disaster causing loss of critical data every 5 years. (Source: Richmond House Group)

#4) 31% of targeted attacks focus on businesses with fewer than 250 employees  (source: Symantec)

#5) 93% of companies that lost their data for 10 days or more filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster, and 50% filed for bankruptcy immediately. (Source: National Archives & Records Administration in Washington DC.)

Test It

Sounds stupid when we say this, but most clients can report lost files being restored. However, this is not what we are talking about. A “full” restore of all of your data, not just a few random files. A report from Sherweb discovered that the failure rate in backing up ALL data was around 75%. This should be scheduled and ran at least twice a year. Why? Well, you should probably know now if your data will be unavailable to you, knowing this now will allow you to build a procedure to address this critical weakness.

Time To Restore Data?

Not to get too technical here however we need to understand two critical technology acronyms that are important to you. Namely RTO and RPO these being Recovery Time Objective and Recovery Point Objective. Let’s use an article from Veaam to dig a little deeper-

  • RPO =  limits how far to roll back in time, and defines the maximum allowable amount of lost data measured in time from a failure occurrence to the last valid backup.
  • RTO = is related to downtime and represents how long it takes to restore from the incident until normal operations are available to users

In simple terms, these two critical items help you understand what data will be available, together with how quickly you will be up and running. Vital to know if your expectation is 1 hour however the technology only supports six at best.

Failing Over To Your Backup

In many cases, nobody ever fails over to the backup solution, when was the last time your company completely failed over to its backup? A simulated critical event such as ransomware, using your fail-over solution to run within the business? Industry numbers state 50% of backup restores fail. Being able to actually know your failover solution works is critical.


We highly recommend building out a backup and disaster recovery document. With that document in place, expectations will be clear. Your document should include items we mentioned above, together with your technology meeting those needs.

Do you need help preparing your technology for the future? Our vCIO team is ready to tackle your challenges. Contact us today to find out what a vCIO can do for your business.