Is Your Business at Risk?
By John “J.D." Baker, President and CEO, ACC Business
I recently read a blog on the AT&T Networking Exchange because the title, “Are You Making a Foolish Mistake with Your Company Data," caught my eye. It seems as though I can’t turn on the television without seeing at least one story of a major data breach at XYZ Corporation that has left millions of consumers (and their data) exposed. I certainly can’t listen to the radio without hearing an ad for an online backup service or identity theft protection plan. As a business owner, you know that your data means everything. Why would you not protect such a valuable asset?
When we start to think about all the places that our data may be, it can be staggering. Do you have a smartphone? There’s probably some data there. Do you have an iPad or a tablet? Yep, there’s probably some critical data there. Do your salespeople have laptops? We all know laptops are bastions of vulnerable data. All of these devices are assets critical to the success of your business, but they’re also liabilities if you don’t properly and proactively protect the data they carry.
At a minimum, you should have internal policies and processes in place to ensure your employees are protecting your company’s – and your customers’ – data from both internal breaches and external loss. Traditionally, businesses have used tape backup that is stored offsite. This might protect the data stored on your computers and network devices, but it certainly leaves you vulnerable to loss from the mobile devices you carry with you.
Ideally, we should all be employing some kind of data backup and protection service. There are many different options in the market for services that cover just the basics to those that cover everything on every device. Regardless of which variety you choose, you should choose one. The cost of not protecting your data can be catastrophic. David M Smith, Ph.D. from Pepperdine University estimates that each incident of data loss and recovery can cost nearly $4,000! Estimated annually, U.S. businesses are spending $18.2 billion per year to deal with lost data and associated recovery! That represents a big market we can tap into – after we protect our own data, of course.
Do some research in your own office. Identify your potential data risks. Then do something to shore up the gaps. When you’re done protecting your own business, show your customers how easy it is to protect theirs.
John “J.D." Baker is president and CEO of ACC Business , a provider of telecommunications services based in Rochester, N.Y. Baker has been in this role since 2001 and leads more than 140 employees, driving sales, operations, finance, marketing and business development activities. During this time, ACC has experienced nine consecutive years of double-digit growth, a 30X increase in average customer spend. Baker serves on the boards of directors for his local Junior Achievement and Ronald McDonald House Charities. He also is a member of the 2011-12 Channel Partners Advisory Board.