Is your business ready to handle a downtime event? Do you have the appropriate staff, tools, and mechanisms set in place to protect your business during downtime?
Businesses experience downtime or a period when production or operations stop due to a non-functional equipment or technical failure, network outage, machine adjustment, or natural disaster. Downtime may also happen because of technical glitches, data breaches, or other cybersecurity attacks.
Network downtime involves inaccessibility due to hardware or software failure or a combination of these two problems. It can be planned and unplanned downtime. Regarding planned downtime, it provides an advanced warning for network maintenance or upgrades. However, unplanned downtime can cause lost files, productivity, and revenue. It can also cause undue anxiety among employees and affect the company’s reputation.
In this article, you’ll learn how to keep your business safe during downtime to avoid these disastrous effects and problems.
- Protect Your Data
Data is a critical business element. So, it’s vital to protect your business data with a multi-layered and holistic security approach to prevent the ill effects of downtime. Losing valuable data may cost your business millions of dollars or, in the worst scenario, lead to bankruptcy and business closure.
But focusing on backing up your data isn’t enough. You must know how to recover from downtime or a cyberattack incident successfully. It’s critical to determine how to restore data as quickly as possible. While your business system is under an online service, it doesn’t mean that your data is safe.
Your business needs comprehensive IT support to keep an eye on your network and digital assets round-the-clock using the right cybersecurity strategies and tools. Click here for IT support in Chicago, or find one in your area.
- Implement Clear Standard Operating Procedures
Do you have clear guidelines in place for planned or unplanned downtime? If none yet, it’s time to create a well-defined standard operating procedure (SOP). Failure to do so may result in huge business losses.
Implementing clear guidelines for repeated tasks is crucial in planned downtime. This step helps ensure proper performance of tasks without forgetting to do any important procedure. A well-defined SOP during downtime can benefit new team members who haven’t tried performing maintenance tasks. Moreover, businesses can use solutions like runbooks to streamline repeated operations during scheduled downtime.
- Set Priorities To Quickly Recover
Quickly recover and restore your data during downtime. Set a recovery time objective to outline how your organization can quickly back up data and run after downtime or a cybersecurity threat.
Setting priorities is critical during downtime to minimize business impacts, such as massive data loss or leaks. For instance, you must ensure that your network, active directory, payment processing system, and other tier-one applications must be up immediately to minimize losses. Include business-critical applications to tier two and non-essential applications for 24 to 48 hours to tier three.
For each tier, assign a dedicated staff to focus on and handle these tasks. If you don’t have an expert IT security specialist, you can hire one from a reputable IT support company to keep your business safe. This step is crucial for any business, such as eCommerce, financial, and tech enterprises, handling enormous amounts of data or digital assets.
- Track Unplanned Downtime Data
The most successful businesses have processes or systems to track unplanned downtime events. Manual mechanisms consist of a log sheet documenting the total time lost for unplanned downtime events. On the other hand, automated systems can capture downtime events with a time and date stamp. It documents each unplanned downtime occurrence’s start-to-finish time and date.
Consider investing in an automated tool to track unplanned downtime events. That way, you can use unplanned downtime data to make better-informed decisions. It’s also a great way to pass critical downtime data to your scheduler to forecast the best times to hold scheduled maintenance and changeovers.
For example, experienced production planners in manufacturing companies understand the importance of updating schedules. They use previous unplanned downtime data to create new schedules. The average manufacturer experiences 800-hour equipment downtime annually or more than 15 hours a week. Hence, an automated system to adjust the schedule is critical to shifting production to other machines capable of performing the same manufacturing operation.
Keeping your network and data safe during downtime is paramount to your reputation, revenue, and business continuity. Cybercriminals take advantage of a company’s network downtime to introduce malware, steal sensitive information to ruin your reputation, or ask for a large sum of money. Therefore, imposing comprehensive and effective security measures to keep your business safe during downtime is a must.