Hurricane Isaac and Disaster Recovery

Article first published as Hurricane Isaac and Disaster Recovery on Technorati.

As Tropical Storm Isaac threatens to hit the Florida shore, there’s no doubt some business owners in the area are scared. They’re worried about their safety and that of their employees, of course. And they’re worried about damage to their buildings and vehicles. But many are surely also concerned about their data—customer information, sales records, payroll and budget information, and everything else they keep on their computers.

Safety and property damage will always be an issue when major storms roll in. But in 2012, there’s no reason why the threat of data loss should cause anyone additional headaches. Remote backup solutions and cloud storage are available to businesses of every size at every price point.

Yet many companies aren’t taking advantage of what’s available. A study released earlier this year found that less than 40 percent of small to mid-sized businesses use any kind of cloud data storage.

The start of hurricane season should serve as a powerful reminder of why more companies should shift to remote backup. Last year, the season brought 19 tropical storms, including seven full-fledged hurricanes, to the U.S. Insured losses from the season came to about $5 billion, according to Risk Management Solutions Inc.

Of course, those losses were mostly physical property. But data loss can be even more devastating than a wrecked office. Seventy percent of small firms that have a major data loss go out of business within a year, according to a report by HP and the small-business advisory organization SCORE.

Even if you live far from Florida, there’s good reason to make sure your data is backed up in the cloud. According to the HP report, only 40 percent of data loss is caused by the destruction of hardware. Nineteen percent is the fault of software problems or viruses, and a full 38 percent is caused by human error or theft.

A good backup or cloud storage system can protect you against all those issues. It can also offer other advantages, like access to all your information when you’re away from the office. That means that, whether a flood sweeps your server away or an ice storm keeps your employees stuck at home, work can continue without missing a beat.

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