A strong password won’t protect business data if a leaky roof allows a torrent of water to wash over your PCs and servers, or if foam systems fail to stop a fire caused by faulty wiring. You need an entirely separate, comprehensive plan to safeguard your business from natural disasters, or else you risk losing the data that’s become your lifeblood.
Here are the top ways to protect data from natural disasters and other potential threats that happen all over the country throughout the year.
A Deep Dive for Your Data and Equipment
The best way to think about protecting data from natural disasters is by creating a list of things to do, look out for, and test to protect yourself. Here’s a quick rundown of the top-level considerations on how to protect hardware from potential threats and natural disasters.
- Label and document your equipment. If you ever need to relocate gear — imagine a hurricane is coming next Tuesday — having existing labels and documentation allows you to safely remove and then replace what you’ve got with minimal time and risk.
- Keep equipment on high ground to avoid flood or standing water issues. Buying a few pumps can help with any necessary cleanup too.
- Install UPS backups for your equipment in addition to standard battery backups. This will help systems enable shutdown options or stay up and running when the power goes out and assists you in case a generator or battery module doesn’t work properly.
- Inspect onsite generators regularly. You know you need a generator for your data center or office, but when is the last time you checked it? Make sure someone reviews fuel levels and runs tests to protect your equipment from power loss.
- Install and maintain fire suppression systems specifically designed for your equipment. Your head office can use sprinklers, but server rooms need specialty options like inert or synthetic gas to prevent fire but not damage your equipment.
- Give yourself a bit of offsite protection too with a system or data migration. This doesn’t safeguard equipment but can protect business data from overall losses.
- Test run your failsafe and equipment. The smartest method for protecting hardware from damage is to try it out to ensure things work and your data is actually safe.
A Special Look at Static Electricity
Pay particular attention to static electricity when looking at different ways to protect hardware from damage. Yes, we’re talking about preventing the buildup that comes as you shuffle your slippers across the carpet — static buildup and discharge can do some pretty significant damage to PC and equipment internals.
The good news: Your equipment is generally safe during normal usage.
The bad news: When you clean components, install new equipment or make upgrades, you’re exposing your equipment to the threat of static electricity.
So, here’s what you can do to protect your business data and equipment:
- Establish a specific place to perform all this work.
- Give people clothing covers such as antistatic wrist straps or conductive shoe covers that prevent static buildup.
- Limit the clothes your team can wear, such as saying no to wool, when working on equipment.
- Leave your equipment plugged in when possible so it remains grounded — the big caveat here is that you need to turn off the main power switch on your power supply so that there’s no risk to your workers.
- Always have people ground themselves and use anti-static bags for components.
A Reason to Look Offsite for Ways to Protect Data From Natural Disasters
The best way to protect business data is to put it in a location designed to withstand disaster. For most companies, this means migrating your data to the cloud, where it is stored in data centers that are built to limit exposure to natural disasters and other harm.
Using this as a backup also keeps your business safe if your site or building is damaged by a natural event. There are no 100% foolproof ways to protect data from natural disasters, but having plans and procedures in place for your site along with secure data backups is your best bet.
If you have any additional questions about protecting your data please feel free to contact us today.