If you're like many other law firms out there, you probably aren't too worried about losing your information. But, according to DataPreserve, an online backup vendor overseas, "Nineteen out of twenty firms that lose their data due to a hard drive crash, tape malfunction, fire or other data disaster, will file for bankruptcy."
They're just being alarmist, right? Maybe not. In the past 6 months AJS staff have come across three law firms that suffered data loss.
The first had a fire, which destroyed their file server, and along with it all their accounting information. Fortunately for them, they had good off-site backups, and they were limping along again after about a week.
The second firm had a hard disk crash, and ten days later, despite having reasonable backups, they were still battling to get up and running again.
The third firm to lose their hard drive had no backups. They had entrusted their backups to their hardware vendor, but the vendor hadn't done them. Their only option was to start capturing their information again - from scratch. While that may not sound like a disaster, bear in mind that in addition to the disruption, they also lost much of their debtor information.
So, here is our advice:
1. Take your backups seriously.
2. Appoint a single senior person at the firm to take responsibility for ensuring your backups are sound.
3. Keep a copy of your backup off-site.
4. Lastly, ensure that your backup will actually restore if you need it to.
And don't gamble that it won't happen to you.
Contributed by AJS