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By Susan Dixon, Marketing Director, Savenet Solutions
November 29, 2012

SaveNet Online Data Backup Expert Tips: Unseen Costs of Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy was a tragedy that cost some people their lives and others their homes or their means of income. The cost in direct infrastructure damage has been measured in the tens of billions of dollars. There are many other costs though that seem, and are, small relative to loss of life but which only come to light for many people and businesses as the cleanup continues.

Of all the losses that businesses and industry suffered, it is the impact on IT infrastructure and communication that stood out. Scores of data centres were flooded, telephones snapped and mobile phones went silent. The photo attached shows the flooding at Verizon’s lobby level. The 5 level basement below was completely flooded as well.

Several firms were reduced to being silent spectators as their Web sites and networks went offline, denying their customer services. But what has this storm taught IT consumers and IT service providers too? Having a Plan-B in the form of a well-planned disaster recovery strategy is now on top of the agenda of many IT companies. But experts warn that having a Plan-B such as only hosting data in data centres is not enough. One should have a proper, cost-effective, well thought-out back-up strategy to keep in touch with consumers, customers and relevant stakeholders. A huge part of this is having proper Backup, IT Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans for your data.

Data Loss
Hundreds of major businesses and organisations have reported lost data, including the Labor Department, which forced many workers seeking jobless benefits to wait for their cheques due to flood-damaged computer systems. Websites reported continuity problems and some services had outages. And that’s just the Data Centre troubles.

The real hidden cost is the data lost in personal devices such as PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones, thousands of which were damaged by the water and the weather. Many of these were business machines or dual use machines used for business purposes. While the cost of replacing the devices themselves may be manageable. The costs in terms of business disruption and continuity might be higher than you think.

According to a study by 2009 Ponemon Institute research study the cost of a lost business laptop can range from a few thousand to as much as $115,000, with the average cost being around $49,000. As you can see replacement of the laptop itself may be a minor issue in the larger picture in terms of cost to business. This doesn’t even touch on the additional costs if all your IT systems are affected. Many firms will have lost more than one device and more than one type of device in a storm of Sandy’s caliber.

As you can imagine the real cost of Sandy outside of the larger businesses may be unreported with many SME’s particularly affected. Even without counting the cost of the loss and recovery or attempted recovery of personal data it’s clear that the cost of data loss and it’s impact on businesses will run into the billions of dollars.

It would be unfortunate if lessons weren’t learned where online backup, disaster recovery and business continuity plans around IT infrastructure and vital business data weren’t put in place.

SaveNet Solutions, powered by Asigra, is an Irish cloud backup and disaster recovery company. SaveNet’s solution is specifically designed for Mid-sized to Enterprise organizations. SaveNet offers numerous value-added solutions, coupled with industry leading features, such as: – agentless technology, FIPS 140-2 certification, deduplication, and more.

About the Author: Susan Dixon is a Marketing Director at SaveNet Solutions, an Asigra powered cloud online data backup and disaster recovery company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.

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