Tech Savvy

Natural Disasters and Their Effect on Mission Critical Data

natural disasters

Leading Causes of Data Loss

Mother nature is a force to be reckoned with and it will destroy anything in its path. In one instant, it can alter your whole livelihood including everything from your personal life to your dental practice. Natural disasters are a huge threat to your business’ mission critical data such as your patient data. Although natural disasters are rarely the cause of data loss, averaging 3%, their impact can easily be the most unforgiving.

(The Top 5 Leading Causes of Data Loss)

  1. 44% Hardware or System Malfunctions (ex: Damaged hard-drive, water damage, server crash).
  2. 32% Human Error (ex: accidental deletion).
  3. 14% Software Corruption
  4. 7% Computer Viruses (Accidental or Ransomware).
  5. 3% Natural Disasters

Recent Hurricane Activity and Damage

Take the most recent hurricanes, Maria, Harvey, and Irma for instance. Along with a combined estimated death toll of 200+ and rising, according to an article by Rebecca Harrington and Skye Gould from Business Insider (link), the storms had an even greater economic impact. In Texas alone the damage was so severe that “Hurricanes Harvey and Irma could slow U.S. GDP 1% this year, dropping it to 2.8%, DS Economics predicts.” As stated by Scott Cohn of CNBC, “Texas, ranked No. 4 in 2017 America’s Top States for Business, accounts for nearly 8% of U.S. economic output,” (link). The storms brought commerce to a standstill.

Granted, these statistics refer more so to commerce than to the cost of business data loss, but that’s partially because it’s still too soon to tell how much data was lost. One thing is certain; If businesses, and that includes dental practices, only stored data locally, without extra copies of their data stored elsewhere, and without cloud backup, it’s almost certain that their data would be lost if the hardware was faced with power surges or floods. Catastrophic data loss like this would likely mean the end of those businesses.

There are many kinds of natural disasters, and just because you may not have a dental practice in a state that’s prone to hurricanes, it does not mean that you’re completely off the hook. Storms, wildfires, earthquakes, floods, etc. can all have a devastating effect on your business, but there are steps you can take to prevent data loss.

Hurricane Maria’s Devastating Toll on Puerto Rico

Along with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Puerto Rico has arguably seen the worst of the hurricane season. Puerto Rico’s estimated damage toll is between $40 and $85 million, according to an article by CNN. The big problem now is that, “$40 billion could be lost in economic output because of impassable roads and lost power,” CNN.

Unlike Texas, getting supplies to Puerto Rico has proven to be a real challenge, with floods making it nearly impossible. No official data loss statistics have been made public yet, but seeing that their economic output loss is potentially $40 billion, it’s safe to assume that business in Puerto Rico will take a long time to recover, and sadly many companies will not open their doors again.

Natural Disasters and Their Long Term Effect on Companies Without Business Continuity

We’ve had a number of customers that were affected by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Their data was completely wiped out but Central Data Storage was able to get them back up and running within 24 hours. With the assurance that their mission critical data was not gone forever, they could focus on other rebuilding efforts. Here are some of the most common occurrences after a data loss disaster.

(Top 3 Effects of Data Loss on Business Continuity: source)

As you can see from the infographic, if data loss disasters are not properly planned for, the outcome usually leads to a failed business. At Central Data Storage, our priority is to make sure that our customer’s data is always backed-up, secured and in the event of a data loss disaster, can be restored quickly while being 100% HIPAA Compliant.

We know that the day-to-day operation of a dental practice is very busy, and data backup may be overlooked. However, having a comprehensive backup strategy is critical, and the consequences without it can be devastating. Put a complete backup plan in place so you have peace of mind, no matter what happens, or let companies like us handle it all for you.

A Special Offer for Open Dental Customers

We have teamed up with Open Dental, and want to help keep your dental practice and patient data backed up, secure, and 100% HIPAA Compliant. We are offering all Open Dental customers a special promotion that includes a waived sign-up license fee (a $199.99 value) and your first month completely free!

As an added bonus we’ve included 2 free downloads. The first is our Backup Plan Checklist, so that you can get a head start on making sure that your dental practice is doing proper regulatory data backups, and has a plan in place should disaster strike. 

The second download is our Data Backup Integrity Self Audit Checklist, where you can quickly evaluate if your dental practice is HIPAA Compliant regarding your readiness to recover your data.

Need More Info? Want to learn more about HIPAA Compliant Data Backup?

If you’d like to learn more about us and want us to take care of the hassle of protecting your data, having a proactive approach in place, and most importantly protect you when disaster strikes, fill out the form below to learn more.

We're listening.