Modern businesses are built on data, and it governs almost every aspect of their operation. How you continuously protect this data helps set the path for operational excellence and business success. Along with IP, financial data, and employee records, customer data demands special attention. While there is a cost associated with data backup and disaster recovery services, it is minimal compared to the damages and losses associated with data breach and / or data loss.
The real business value of customer data
Data’s value as a driver of business success is well understood, but what are the costs to business that fail to properly protect their data? They fall into four main categories.
- Reputational damage
- Regulatory compliance
- Recovery costs
- Loss of business continuity
An organization’s brand is built on a promise of delivery or goods, services or experiences and customers trust the brand to deliver on that promise in exchange for their custom. In a digital world, the perception that a brand can no longer be trusted to protect their customer’s data can severely undermine their brand.
As customers, clients, suppliers and partners entrust more and more data to businesses, so governments and other bodies have tried to keep pace with legislation and regulation designed to ensure that data is protected. All this adds up to a compliance requirement on organizations that mean they need to understand the data they are collecting and retaining, and backup and protect significant volumes of data for multi-year periods.
There are a host of up front and ongoing recovery costs associated with any data loss scenario. Incomplete or poorly maintained backup solutions may cause data loss, with each occurrence requiring analysis, correction, and remediation to ensure it doesn’t happen again. As you might expect, this can be an time and resource intensive exercise, with a single security incident enough to cause substantial damage to your balance sheet.
By understanding the opportunity costs associated with data loss, we can start to place a value on the customer data you store and protect. Whether it’s due to human error, ransomware, data theft or a natural disaster the loss or compromise of data has a range of potential impacts that threaten your organizational productivity. Even data that has been backed up can be slow to recover – especially if older tape-based solutions are deployed. This downtime needs to be understood and factored into data protection decision making processes.
Don’t forget SaaS
Cloud-based applications and services – usually delivered “as-a-Service” – have the capability to gather large amounts of customer data. These solutions will usually have limited data protection capability that may not align with your data protection strategies or your regulatory compliance obligations. It’s important to understand what data the SaaS retains, how long it stores it for, how recoverable is it, and where geographically it’s stored.
Complete data backup and recovery solutions for Microsoft 365
Data loss drives real cost and risk into your business. Losses can occur for a number of reasons and can have wide ranging impacts. It’s important that you don’t assume your vendors are providing a data protection and recovery solution that meets your requirements – especially when using a solution such as Microsoft 365.
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