Tip of the month by Chris Cochrane
Security & Backups

Two of the most important features of your computer system are security and backups.

A couple of things crossed my desk recently concerning these.  One asked the question “If you did lose your data today, would you have a working and up-to-date copy to reinstall?” 

If you can’t put your hand on your heart and say “yes” to this then consider the following points that were made with this question.

Six percent of all PCs will suffer an episode of data loss in any given year (Source: The Cost Of Lost Data, David M. Smith). And from the National Archives & Records Administration in Washington, 93% of companies that lost their data centre for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. 50% of businesses that found themselves without data management for this same time period filed for bankruptcy immediately.

Obviously these are from the US but there is no reason to believe NZ computers are any safer or that NZ companies are better able to recover from disaster. Are you prepared? Did someone (trustworthy) take the backup off site last night? When did you last check that the backups you do include the right data and can be restored?

The other item came via Westpac’s customer bulletin, Istart, and asked the question “How much does your organisation spend on coffee per year?”.  I thought this a strange question but it went on to ask the real question of how does this compare to what you spend on security.

It quotes Richard Clarke (head of White House security – again a US example) as saying “If you spend more on coffee than you do on security you deserve to be breached … and probably will be”.

What would happen to your business if your computers were stolen or destroyed beyond repair (yes both these things have happened to clients of ours)?  What would happen to your business if your computer system were infected with a virus (yes this too)?  What would happen to your business if the computer backup was stolen with your receptionist’s handbag from the pub and fell into your competitors hands (not that I know of, yet!)?  Remember it is your business.

Running a computer system without backups and the appropriate security system is like running a car without oil or a printing press without maintenance – a simple recipe for disaster.

Now go and check your computer system backup and security … NOW.

If you want to comment or suggest a topic for ‘tip of the month’, contact Chris on email cc@printcost.com


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