How you can protect your business from disasters
What do you think of when you hear, "disaster preparedness?" For most, the first things you think of are fire drills and evacuation routes. We make mental note emergency exits, point them out to employees, and leave it at that.
Being prepared for disaster involves much more than understanding where to go in the event of an emergency. What if the disaster is not physical? Cyber criminals and network failures are very real threats to your business, and can strike at any time.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates more than 40 percent of businesses never reopen following a disaster and, of the remaining companies, 25 percent more will close in two years.
To mitigate your business's risks of falling into these categories, take steps now to develop a disaster preparedness plan that will help your organization withstand the unexpected. You can stand strong in the face of any disaster. As you create your plan, consider the following:
- Communication strategies – Your business has both internal and external audiences that will need information related to how a disaster has impacted your company. Decide in advance who will be responsible for communicating with both audiences in case of disaster. Choose the method of communication: via e-mail, phone, company website, blog, or other means.
- Financial management – Assess all your business's fiscal responsibilities, such as payroll and bills. These obligations won't vanish even if you're elbow deep in flood waters. Having all account and billing information in a safe, accessible place will help you stay on top of your finances even if disaster strikes.
- Data backup – Your business's data is one of its most valuable assets, so begin the practice of backing it up today. You can do so through a number of online backup
- Cloud-based software – Moving some or all of your software to cloud-based versions of the same programs is an alternative to data backup. It automatically stores data in secure, offsite locations, and make it accessible to you from virtually anywhere.
- Technology updates – Updates often include security patches that keep your systems up-to-date against the latest threats.