12-27-21 | Blog Post

5 Different Types of Disasters & How to Protect Your Business From Them

Blog Posts

Disasters happen in all kinds of ways, and every disaster can have a catastrophic impact on a business if they are not prepared. Natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes and fires can destroy critical data and files. But not all disasters come from mother nature; accidental deletion and human error can also occur, on top of various cyberattacks like ransomware, phishing, malvertising and more. According to a report from Business Insider, 1 in 4 Small or Mid-size businesses won’t recover from a disaster, and according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there were 14 natural disasters in the U.S. in 2018 and 2019 that resulted in losses exceeding $1 billion. Disasters can affect a business in many ways, from flooding to cyberattacks on servers, and much more. Below are five different types of disasters facing businesses today, and how to protect your data from them.

1. Hurricanes

Every year, hurricanes destroy homes, bridges, roads, buildings, and critical infrastructure that your business may rely on to operate. Significant damage from hurricanes can force businesses to close their doors for days or even weeks, resulting in a revenue loss that is nearly impossible to recover. Many small to mid-size organizations cannot afford any downtime or financial loss, so having a strong disaster recovery plan is a must. Here are different ways to protect your business from hurricanes:

  • Keep your business records in the Cloud
  • Conduct a risk analysis using a risk assessment template
  • Choose between public, private and hybrid cloud solutions
  • Download ourhurricane preparedness checklist

2. Tornadoes

Tornadoes are severe natural disasters that cause around $17 billion dollars in damages every year, according to Earth Networks. Like hurricanes, if your business is in a tornado-prone area and you lack a disaster recovery strategy, then your organization is at serious risk for data loss, financial impact, downtime or even permanent closure. Fortunately, there are many proactive measures you can take to ensure your business is resilient from tornadoes:

  • Invest in cloud backup and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)
  • Build a disaster recovery plan
  • Protect your business with tornado insurance
  • Monitor Severe Weather

3. Wildfires

Wildfires can break out any time, putting businesses and communities in major jeopardy. According to the  National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), about 4.7 million acres were burned across the US in 2019, while there were 8.8 million acres burned in 2018. During warmer seasons like summer, different states are at high fire risk, making it imperative for organizations to prepare for fire season in their area. Here are a few ways to ensure your most critical data is safe from wildfires:

  • Build a strong wildfire plan at your facility
  • Backup your data to the cloud
  • Make sure you adhere to the data backup and data is stored in an offsite location

4. Floods

Flooding can be a major disaster, stemming from tornadoes, hurricanes, sudden rainfall, rising river levels, storm surges, ice blockages, dam failures and more. While natural disasters like floods are very common across the United States, businesses remain unprepared with false thinking that a disaster will never happen to them. The danger with this thinking is that most businesses become reactive instead of proactive and only start to act when it is too late. Here are effective ways to secure your most critical information:

  • Create a flood plan and know your flood zone
  • Employ dry flood proofing techniques
  • Backup and replicate your business to the Cloud
  • Insure your building against floods
  • Prepare your premises and train your employees

5. Cyberattacks

Not all disasters are caused by Mother Nature. Cyberattacks are a rapidly growing problem that affects thousands of businesses and millions of individuals every day. According to Cybercrime Magazine, by 2021, global cybercrime losses are expected to reach US $6 trillion. Hackers are using more intelligent tactics to steal confidential information and disrupt businesses in any way that they can. They will modify computer codes, convince users to click on corrupted links or malicious documents and much more. Below are common attack methods that cybercriminals use to corrupt your business:

  •  Ransomware

Ransomware attacks are one of the most notorious types of cyberattacks. They are vicious malware that prevents users from accessing their devices or files until a specific amount of money or ransom is paid. Ransomware attacks can cause downtime, tremendous financial impact and even business corruption.

  • Phishing

Phishing is a type of cyberattack that typically stems from a malicious link or downloadable document within a user’s email. Clicking on that link or downloading that document will release a virus or malware, which infects the user’s endpoint device and can corrupt an entire company network. An effective way to avoid a phishing scheme is to double check the source, check for grammatical errors and to avoid clicking on links that you do not trust.

  • Distributed Denial-of-service (DDoS) attack

DDoS is a malicious attempt that aims to shut down a machine or network so that it cannot be accessed by intended users. DDoS attackers do this by flooding the target with traffic or sending it information, causing their system or device to crash.

  • Malvertising

Malvertising is a combination of malware and advertising. To successfully execute a malvertising attack, cybercriminals will often distribute malicious and fake advertisements via email, well-known websites, and social media platforms. This form of cyberattack can be tricky to maneuver, as the advertisements look real to their audience.

Below are the different ways to protect your business from cyberattacks:

  • Invest in preventative cloud solutions like Security as a Service (SECaaS) solutions including Security Information and Event Management and Email Security
  • Have a well-planned Disaster recovery plan
  • Keep your software updated
  • Store your company information in the cloud
  • Train your employees to recognize cyberattacks

Bottom Line

There are many ways that businesses can be affected by disasters, but there are also multiple ways to protect your organization from them. At Otava we are committed to providing solutions for all types of disasters, whether natural disasters or cyberattacks. Solutions ranging from Email security, cloud backup, Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) and Security as a Service.

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