Are We Too Paranoid?

Are We Too Paranoid?

Read most reports or articles on backup and you’d be forgiven for thinking your business would shatter at the merest hint of data loss.

You know the sort of thing I mean: "43% of companies that experience a severe data loss disaster, and that have no recovery plan in place, never re-open.” "On average, by the 6th day of a major data loss, companies experience a 25% loss in daily revenue. By day 25 it is 40%."

Does anyone actually believe this stuff?

I have been serving businesses in the UK for 17 years, many the area of backup and security and I have never come across such a case. Nor do I know anyone who has. And asking around, nor does anyone know anyone who knows anyone. So using what I do know about ‘degrees of separation’, I can’t figure many have (in the UK at least).

Don’t get me wrong; I certainly know of businesses that have suffered as a result of data loss. But not gone out of business or lost material amounts of money. Let me know if it’s just that our customers are lucky!

I used to work for a security services company in France (dot-bomb victim) where we spent half our time trying to persuade IT Managers or Security Officers of businesses of the need to have 'Intrusion Protection Services'. We fell into the trap of believing our own product hype and developed a paranoia that everyone was spying on us.

Towards the end, I remember not being able to send an email without worry that someone would read it. It was a case of ‘the more you know, the more you fear’.

I lost all sense of reality after a while. I thought the world was a scary place.

It was only after I met a guy who was the IT Risk Manager for Carrefour that peace began to return. I was sat in a meeting with our sales consultants, slowing killing the guy with endless PowerPoint slides on risk and security. After nearly two hours he responded with a shrug and the words “risk is just risk”. He summarized two hours of theory into a simple advice to ‘be practical’.

Our consultants felt deflated; I felt euphoric. At last some common sense.

And in reality it becomes quite clear, most businesses simply have to do the basics right. Others will need to take more care. It all depends on whether their data is more precious or if there’s duty of care.

Brett Raynes

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