How Much Is Your Data Worth

How much is your data worth? I remember asking this question of a client a year or so back and they said, it’s everything. Without it we would have to shut down, we would just close the doors and walk away from the business. So I suggested a cost effective way to secure all their data. And they said no that is too expensive. 

That story illustrattes the dichotomy we often face when thinking about our data. On one hand we know as intelligent and rational humans that it is our company’s most important asset. On the other hand because it is digital we failed to put a dollar value on it.

You really should put a dollar value on your data. That value represents many things, including the loss of business you would suffer without that data. Which means that when you are valuing that data you have to ask yourself, not just how much do I value that data, but also how long can I live without that data.

This is another question I often ask my clients, how long can you function without your data. The reason is that not all backups are equal. For instance we can backup an SQL database but the recovery of that database, including reloading an operating system, reloading the software and reloading the data, can take days or longer. Meanwhile they might have staff sitting around doing nothing. Or customers who depend on that data. They could be patients, or hotel visitors, or clients of a real estate agent. In most cases the data is mission-critical and therefore will not tolerate a long recovery procedure.

What we have now is a view of our data not just as the value to our company but also the value to our clients. And more importantly, a value of data as measured against time. We have a view of data not just of its empirical value but also of the value to us if that data is missing for a short period, such as required during data recovery. So when we are considering data protection we must also consider how long it takes to recover the data and make it useful again.

This is why good data protection must include ability to swiftly restore your data. When protecting your data you must consider how long it will take to restore that data. You must value proper protection of your data and see it as insurance you pay to prevent loss of business.

This is why we recommend two systems of data back up to our clients. We have the Datto backup and the Solarwinds backup. These offer varying levels of protection, with the common factor that both allow for a very swift recovery of all data. Importantly, both are capable of keeping a system state backup. This means we can recover the entire computer, including operating system and all data, in one fell swoop. We can get you back up and functional in a very short amount of time. In the case of the Datto backup, you can also access your data in a virtual environment while your computer is being recovered.

We all know that backing up is important. What many of us don’t consider is how important the recovery procedure is. Stop and think about your data and what you know about the recovery process. If you don’t know that this data can be quickly recovered in the event of a catastrophe then you need to reconsider that back up. For more advice on backups please contact us today.

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