Whatever business you’re in, your clients and customers depend on you, whether you supply them with ballpoint pens or provide legal services. When a customer places an order or calls you regarding a lawsuit, if you lose the documents you need to help them, you don’t just lose a business opportunity – you lose your reputation. And that means you’ll probably lose future business opportunities as well.
According to Inc. Magazine, unhappy customers tell nine to 15 others about their experience, and a small but significant number will even tell more than 20. So it’s critical to ensure that you protect your data and applications so that you can recover no matter what happens.
Certainly, disasters and equipment failures can wreak havoc on your data, but these days, few incidents are as feared as a ransomware attack.
Examples are not hard to find. On the extreme end of the scale, there’s the recent Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack. A gang of cybercriminals successfully encrypted so much of the company’s applications and data that it had to shut down a major pipeline supplying much of the East Coast with gasoline. News of the shutdown prompted panic buying, which quickly left many gas stations across Southern states without any fuel to sell.
Needless to say, the company suffered serious reputational damage.
But companies don’t have to be enormous to get in a tight spot due to a ransomware attack. Take our current customer, Protek, a Utah-based IT services company that provides a complete, outsourced IT department for small-to-mid-sized businesses.
Protek had taken all the recommended measures to protect against ransomware. Even so, in 2019, a Russian cybercriminal organization exploited an undetected hole in one of its software applications to launch a successful attack. In 30 minutes, they had encrypted almost all of Protek’s client data.
At first, the firm wasn’t worried because they had contracted with another backup-as-a-service (BaaS) and disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) provider to protect all of Protek’s data. The SLA in place covered these kinds of situations. Unfortunately, the service provider couldn’t spin up the more than 200 servers that Protek needed restored; instead, they said they had the ability to bring up maybe a dozen and it would take a week.
Ultimately, Protek paid the ransom. It still took a couple of months to fully decrypt the data. However, because they were transparent with clients – communicating regularly and demonstrating they were doing everything possible to retrieve their data ASAP – Protek was able to retain 95% of its clients.
The importance of a rapid restore
But the lesson was learned. Backup and disaster recovery does a company no good at all if it can’t be quickly restored. So while it’s true that backup and disaster recovery are the last line of defense against a ransomware attack, the consequences can still be severe if getting back on your feet requires months of work.
Naturally, after the fiasco with its prior provider, Protek looked for another BaaS / DRaaS provider who could truly deliver on its claims and restore apps and data quickly following a disaster. Specifically, Protek needed a provider who could:
- Demonstrate that it can spin up 200 to 300 servers from backups within a week;
- Provide a written guarantee with a strong SLA; and
- Store reliable backups in a secure, dependable data center
Ultimately, Protek went with OffsiteDataSync.
So, as you evaluate your backup and disaster recovery readiness, don’t just focus on whether the data is protected. Put just as much effort into understanding how quickly you can restore it all. Because until it’s restored and everyone who needs it has access, it doesn’t matter to your customers what you have backed up.
Want to learn more about disaster recovery and how OffsiteDataSync protects its customers? Get in touch or find pricing here!