Tuesday, October 11th, 2016 by Bahador Jamshidi
As a manufacturer, you’re producing real, tangible products each and every day. Your company’s ability to produce high volumes at low costs can determine where you fall among your competitors. In the age of technology, your equipment relies heavily on the computers configuring their behavior. What would happen if those systems became compromised? How long could you afford to halt production?
In the manufacturing industry, downtime comes with costs from all directions. If production stops, you’ll likely be paying a lot of employees who are standing around, waiting for a solution. The inability to fill quotas can impact sales. This can also damage your reputation as customers are unable to place orders.
Like any other business, manufacturers are vulnerable to fire, flood, severe weather, power outages and any other calamity that could take systems offline and/or wipe out valuable data. The most recent example is Hurricane Matthew which severely affected many businesses and manufacturers in Volusia and Flagler counties. Additionally, there’s the risk of human error that comes into play, which is when your own employees make mistakes or take malicious actions. For manufacturers specifically, the loss of intellectual property data can greatly hamper a business.
While you may be taking some precautions, such as securing and backing up your sensitive data, sometimes that’s not enough. There is a common misconception that data is safe if backed up once a day, but this outdated practice is no longer sufficient for several reasons:
Some manufacturers are turning to business interruption insurance to cover the costs to rebuild, restore, or regain lost income. However, while an insurance provider may write you a check for the cost of a server that gets damaged because of a broken pipe, it won’t shield you from damaged or lost client relationships. Ultimately, your reputation isn’t something for which you can easily be compensated.
If your company identifies as a business that doesn’t have the IT resources to effectively recover from a major outage, make sure you’re weighing all of the factors around the costs of downtime. Here are the facts:
In a survey by Kaspersky Lab, manufacturers reported “Internal Operational Information” and “Intellectual Property” as data they would most fear losing. Among the causes of recent data loss, malware was the the most common. Following malware, software vulnerabilities, network intrusion, and targeted attacks were all mentioned. Here are some tips to help your business avoid costly downtime:
Any company that has not recently re-assessed its backup and disaster recovery procedures should therefore do so in order to conform to these industry-standard best practices.
Business continuity describes a complete solution for backup and disaster recovery. A true business continuity solution will protect data on-premises in physical and virtual servers and in the cloud. Whether data is on servers or in SaaS applications, it needs to be backed up. Business continuity goes a step further and offers you the ability to restore your data, which we call disaster recovery.
Whether a business is faced with a natural disaster, or one man-made, a strong solution will have you up and running in minutes. Solutions that leverage the hybrid cloud can guarantee a quicker restore time as well. Why? Local backups are great to keep data stored on local devices, but if something happens to that device, then what? A hybrid cloud backup solution takes an initial backup on a local device, and then replicates the backup to a cloud server. Cloud-only solutions are not as reliable on their own due to bandwidth issues. A hybrid model works to alleviate the vulnerabilities by implementing both processes to fill in the gaps. That’s intelligent business continuity.