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5 Ways to Prevent Human Error Disasters

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Human error isn't a rare occurrence. For example, in 2017 Amazon experienced an outage of its S3 servers due to a typo by an Amazon employee. Also in 2017, a British Airways engineer caused a data center outage resulting in the cancellation of 400+ flights. The Uptime Institute claims that 70% of data center outages are caused by human error. While human error is the most common culprit of data center downtime, it's also the most preventable.

Unfortunately, there is no one simple answer to completely eradicating human error from your business. Humans are bound to make mistakes, however; these mistakes should be accounted for and with the proper preparation, steps can be made to minimize human errors. This can ensure a more speedy recovery if one does occur. Check out these 5 tips for minimizing the occurrence and affects of human error on your business:

1. Train, Train, Train

A business is only as strong as its weakest link and that weak link shouldn't be your employees. Educating and training employees, tailored to their job-specific roles, will help to improve overall workplace competency and reduce the likelihood of human error. This is especially important for employees dealing with mission critical data and technology. In this case, consider developing criteria for employee certification and test employees on their knowledge.

The biggest obstacle to training for most companies is the cost of and time allocated to training. If you put a different lens on, you'll see that the ROI for training, when it prevents catastrophic data loss and downtime, is huge.

2. Limit Access to Sensitive Systems

Mission critical data and technology that requires skilled labor to operate and maintain should be secure and accessed by only a few well-trained employees. Develop a badge or sign-in restriction for systems that are sensitive to error. Reducing the access to these systems will reduce the likelihood of human error.

3. Develop a Strong Disaster Recovery Plan

Developing a strong DR plan, where steps are taken to identify and mitigate potential risks, can help to ensure that all of your employees are on the same page with regards to preventing (or quickly addressing) human error. Make sure that employees handling the most delicate systems read and understand the DR Plan.

4. Test your Disaster Recovery Plan

So many companies fail to actively test their DR plan. To put disaster into perspective, have employees run through simulated human error disasters. This practice will allow you to both test your DR plan to ensure effectiveness, and conduct a real-life simulation for employee training purposes. 

5. Hold Semiannual or Annual Refresher Courses

It's not enough to hope that employees retain the information provided to them in the above efforts. These practices should be repeated with all employees on an annual or semiannual basis to ensure retention.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to human error is that if you don't address a concern, the likelihood of error will increase. Communicating the policies and best practices to employees will help to create a conscientious workplace paradigm. The best scenario is when your employees start to educate and remind other employees of these policies and practices. Reducing human error is a group effort, and it starts with you!

The Bottom Line:

Here at NewCloud, we hold our security efforts to the highest standard. Our data centers are protected with 7 layers of security measures. To keep your organization up and running we can help you build out a strong data backup and disaster recovery plan. Contact us to get started! 

Contact Us!

This blog was originally published on October 2nd, 2017 and has been updated to improve accuracy.

About the author
Sydney Boman

Sydney Boman is the Marketing Assistant at NewCloud Networks

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