If your business relies on your network for day-to-day operations, what are you doing to prepare for when the system goes down? As reliable as networks have become, failure remains a matter of when not if. Disasters such as fires and flooding can strike and disrupt operations in a matter of minutes.

While catastrophic events like these remain outside of your control, you can manage how well prepared your business is to respond when they do occur. That’s why more companies are beginning the recognize the importance of taking a proactive approach to protecting data by putting in place as many safeguards as possible for when disaster strikes.

If you’re wondering how to get started protecting your data before the unthinkable happens, here are four fundamental steps to take.

Develop a Written Plan

Organizations that depend on a reliable network day in and day out should begin by establishing a business continuity plan that details every aspect of disaster management. An IT consultant can work with you to develop procedures for IT disaster management and recovery. By putting your plan in writing, it’s easier to pinpoint any flaws or potential vulnerabilities.

Organize Your Data

It’s difficult to protect and manage your data if you aren’t sure where or how your information is being stored. The more streamlined your data management platform, the simpler it is to protect and recover that data in the event of an emergency.

If one team stores data on an in-house server, another in a public cloud environment, and a third on flash drives, you’re going to have a difficult time figuring out what’s been lost after disaster strikes. By centralizing data storage, you know exactly where and how your sensitive information is stored, so you always have the latest version of files and data to simplify backup and recovery.

Take Time for Training

While having a written plan and organizing data can help you take precautionary measures, these strategies won’t get you very far if they haven’t been practically applied. User training offers an ideal opportunity to test your team’s awareness and instincts while helping employees understand their role in the larger plan. Once they’ve undergone hands-on training, you can be confident that they have the skills and tools to protect your data when a real-world disaster strikes.

Consider the Cloud

If you’re already storing data on the cloud, your business is in an ideal position for disaster preparation. Redundant cloud backups empower your team with instant connectivity to critical data—anytime, anywhere. That means data loss can become a problem of the past. With automated data backups to the cloud, you can restore data in a matter of minutes even in the event of an on-site server failure.

If you want to learn more about how you can start protecting your data before a disaster strikes, [contact the data management experts] at SNC today.