MSPs have taken on the role of making sure their customers are operational and able to access their services, a responsibility not to be taken lightly. After all, the services provided to customers are outlined in service-level agreements (SLAs), which can put a significant burden on an MSP if failures occur. Simply put, failure is not an option, especially when it comes to a customer’s data or intellectual property.

The loss of data has a lasting impact on both the MSP its customers and therefore must be taken seriously. The statistics backing that conclusion do not lie, at least according to Washington, D.C.-based research firm Clutch.

  • 60% of SMBs that lose their data will shut down within 6 months
  • 58% of SMBs are not prepared for a data loss
  • 29% of hard drive failures are caused by accident

Data loss is a big deal for businesses, and perhaps even a bigger deal for MSPs that support those businesses. Losing customer data can lead to lawsuits, loss of business, damage to reputation, and numerous other issues from which an MSP may never recover.

However, many customers are very aware of the value of their data and are placing their trust with their selected MSPs. That means MSPs must incorporate technologies and guarantees that will protect customer data and also significantly reduce an MSP’s overall liability.

Data Loss Comes in Many Forms

For the most part, many assume that data loss is simply defined as data that cannot be recovered, usually due to a drive failure or some other physical event. However, there are other ways data can be lost. Take, for example accidental deletion, where either a mistake is made or faulty software is the culprit. In those cases, the loss of data may have occurred some time ago and no one is aware of the loss — until the data is needed for an occasional process.

Data loss can also take on the form of data leakage, where data is stolen. While the data is technically not lost, the ownership of the data can no longer be guaranteed, meaning that important Intellectual Property (IP) may now be in the hands of those will ill intentions. Data loss can also come in the form of ransomware, where a customer’s data has been encrypted and held for hostage until the customer pays the ransom. Recovering from any of those situations can be a tedious and expensive process, for both the customer and the MSP.

Regardless of the reason for data loss, the MSP is most likely to be held liable, which means MSPs must be vigilant and put in place systems that can protect data, provide disaster recovery services, and secure archives. It all comes down to treating your customer’s data as you would your own.