The results are in; almost half of small to medium business owners (SMBs) are at risk of closing their doors forever due to bankruptcy.
It sounds dramatic, but it’s true. In fact, many SMBs have already filed for bankruptcy and are warning others. The thing is, their pleas fall on deaf ears. Why?
The problem we’re talking about is data loss. Yes, I know, on the scale of disaster-related topics, it’s not very sexy. Compared to stock-market crashes, office explosions or hostile takeovers, data loss is the small, glasses-wearing guy in the corner of a room filled with Swarzeneggars and Stallones.
Over two-thirds of businesses have been taken down by data loss1. Two thirds. Just let that sink in a second; if you experience data loss, there’s a two-in-three chance your business would not survive.
So why do SMBs not take it seriously?
It can’t be that many, surely?
Yes, it is. In the UK, 68% of SMBs said they had no strategy to recover from data loss or a data breech2. Don’t think you’re more enlightened if you live in the U.S. either—90% of U.S. SMBs don’t even bother to protect their corporate or consumer information3.
That’s a phenomenally huge number when you consider most businesses can’t handle data loss of any kind. Now that we’re moving into a digital age where hackers are actually offering out their easy-use software to anyone who wants to hold your business data to ransom, it’s even scarier.
It’s really baffling since it’s so easy for SMBs to circumvent bankruptcy and data ransom. All they’ve got to do is use a proper backup plan and software, and hey, presto. No more worries.
So why, WHY are SMBs not doing this very simple thing and protecting their crucial data? Since that’s one thing there’s not much statistical data on, all we can go with are thoughts—here’s mine.
‘It Won’t Happen To Me’
Let’s face it; this is the reason for most people not protecting themselves or the things they own. People don’t get insurance or take precautions because the idea of something bad happening to them seems hard to swallow, until it is happening, and then shock sets in.
It would explain a great deal as to why so many SMBs have no data protection whatsoever, yet still state they could not survive without said data. They believe the likelihood of experiencing data loss is so low as to not bother with.
Wrong. Outages are a constant occurrence, and with every outage comes the possibility of data loss. In the last two years, over 50 percent of businesses experienced an unforeseen interruption, and 81% of these caused the business to be closed for one or more days4.
‘Hackers don’t bother with SMBs’
WRONG (Seriously, big caps)! The automated delivery of ransomware and other viruses means SMBs are equally at risk, just less likely to be able to pay for their data back.
Ask yourself this. Who is at more risk from automated viruses; an enterprise-sized company with a dedicated, highly-trained IT staff ready to intercept ransomware attacks, or a small to medium business with little to no protection plan?
‘It’s too expensive’
In some cases, where a backup and recovery software charges you for every single unneeded software tool in their toolkit, I agree. For a SMB, being burdened with the upfront or monthly costs for a fully-featured software package can be daunting, especially if it’s a ‘what-if’ scenario.
That said, there’s BackupAssist, which has a ‘pay for what you need’ setup which immensely drops the price. Instead of paying a thousand dollars upfront for a full package, you can pay for less than a third of that, plus throw in some extras if you want them.
Considering the cost of a decent computer is about a thousand dollars, and your organization’s data is worth much more than a single machine, it’s really a no-brainer.
If you’re running an SMB with no backup and recovery software, or a decent recovery plan, you’re playing Russian roulette with your organization’s future. If you want to hear more about the risks of running without a backup strategy, give this article a read.
- DTI/Price Waterhouse Coopers
- ITProPortal, Citing CSID study
- The Guardian, Citing a McAfee report
- ZDnet, Citing Gartner