How to Survive a Disaster: Internet Downtime
In our latest blog on threats to business continuity, Neuways focuses on the dangers a loss of broadband connectivity can pose and why you need a Business Continuity Plan for business.
Internet connectivity is changing the way we all do business. It allows us to do more, and much faster, connecting siloed business functions with ease. However, with increased reliance on connectivity comes greater risk, and potentially greater costs.
For example, many software applications now rely on a persistent internet connection. This means that any downtime or loss of connectivity could spell disaster.
What causes internet downtime?
Internet downtime can occur for a variety of reasons.
Damage to hardware, such as your business’s router for example, can lead to a company-wide internet outage. Routers, like any other technology, can fail inexplicably and this can affect the device’s ability to deliver internet connectivity to your business.
More and more businesses rely on the internet to connect with their consumers, so if customers are unable to access a business’s online services, it can become costly. If a hacker successfully gains access to a corporate network, they can shut it down from within, bringing all internet-based business activities to a halt.
In fact, a recent study found that internet downtime is costing UK businesses £12m!
The good news is that damage to hardware and cyber attacks are largely preventable. Having a contingency plan for a failing router (such as a spare) can remedy any unexpected hardware failure. And with properly configured network security, you can ringfence your business from the majority of network-based cyber attacks.
Prevention of internet downtime isn’t always in your hands, however.
If your workplace is located near to a building site and a digger accidentally knocks out the wire supplying broadband to your building, you’re going to suffer downtime. Likewise, if your workplace floods or you suffer an on-site fire, not only is your internet down, but your entire place of work.
You can’t control the weather, nor can you prevent accidents from happening, but it’s your response to these scenarios that will determine the severity.
Mitigating Losses from Internet Downtime
Your ability to recover from these potential disasters will depend on how comprehensive your business continuity plan is.
A good plan will account for all of the above circumstances (and more), and include the following contingencies:
1. Firstly, always ensure that you have a backup lease line.
This will ensure that your business can switch to an alternative internet connection if your primary broadband line is disrupted, or becomes unavailable, for an extended period.
Ideally, you’ll want to use a separate ISP (Internet Service Provider) in case your outage is provider-based, which is becoming more common as they struggle to maintain their infrastructure as technology advances.
Not using a backup lease line means you’re satisfied that your business’s broadband will never suffer downtime. This is not a realistic expectation. In this instance, downtime for your ISP means downtime for your business – at a huge cost.
2. Remote working capabilities are also a surefire way to keep business running as usual in the event of internet downtime at your business premesis.
Whether your business favours remote working or not, it’s hugely beneficial to enable the potential for staff to work from home or an alternative working location. This means that if your broadband is unavailable, all staff can relocate and continue to work securely.
In order to keep your business data secure, remote working requires some initial security setup. If this is something you’re interested in, Neuways is able to help you with this.
3. And in the worst case scenario, you could always use a 4G wireless router temporarily. This is not a recommended option because data plans can be expensive, but ultimately, it’s better short-term solution than not having internet access at all.
Internet downtime is just one of the nine key threats to business continuity, but a robust business continuity plan can mitigate against the increasing threat landscape. To find out more about threats to continuity, read about the key cyber threats and how your business can survive a cyber attack.
Neuways is a global leader in Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery. If you’d like a chat about how a Business Continuity Plan could work within your business, contact us on 01283 753 333 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.