- Uptime is the amount of time hardware or software is active and operating successfully.
- Downtime costs businesses an average of $926- $17,244 a minute in productivity loss and revenue loss.
- The most important thing a company can do to prevent downtime from cyber-attacks is to invest in quality cybersecurity software with excellent uptime.
A recent Acronis survey found that while 78% of organizations run multiple security solutions, 76% of organizations experience downtime due to data loss. This percentage showed a 25% increase in downtime since 2021, with the leading causes of downtime being system crashes, human error, cyberattacks, and insider attacks.
Organizations with layered security solutions often think they're protected from cyber threats and downtime costs. However, especially when it comes to data protection, quality matters over quantity.
In this blog, we’ll quickly explore downtime and uptime meaning, explain the potential cost of downtime for your business, and then find solutions to optimize your systems for uptime.
What is Uptime?
Uptime is the time hardware or software is up and running as it should be. Uptime signals a system is operating successfully. Success can sometimes be hard to define; for example, a piece of hardware may be working correctly, but running extremely slowly. Whether or not this is considered successful uptime depends entirely on what standards of operation have been set.
Uptime can also be used by IT professionals to signal how long a system has been running or what percentage of the time a system is operational. This can be a helpful metric when determining how much maintenance or support a system will need.
What is Downtime?
Downtime is the antithesis of uptime: the amount of time a system is inoperable. Systems can go down for a variety of reasons, including scheduled maintenance, human error, system crashes, or attacks. Downtime percentages clearly signal the dependability of a system or service.
Certain systems need to offer a higher rate of availability than others due to their importance. Cybersecurity software, for example, should be a high priority as a security system crash can lead to costly vulnerabilities and potential attacks on the rest of the company.
The Cost of Downtime
It’s easy to see the value of uptime, if everything works the way it’s supposed to a company can operate at maximum capacity and continue generating revenue. But how much does downtime cost?
According to a study by PhoenixNAP, downtime can cost businesses between $926- $17,244 a minute. While smaller businesses will likely pay less (and large companies will undoubtedly pay more) the cost of downtime will often be a significant percentage of a company's overall revenue.
Downtime costs include lost revenue, lost employee productivity, business reputation, and of course, the cost of fixing the issue.
The exact cost of downtime will vary based on the size and type of business you help run, and the size of the system that goes down. If you’re curious what a total crash, or a smaller system failure, would cost your business, you can approximate it with the following calculations:
- Count the total number of employees affected and the percentage of their job that was affected (20 employees were unable to do 50% of their job).
- Average the cost of the employee’s hourly wage (employees are all paid $15 an hour) and the number of hours their job was affected (the issue lasted a full workday, 8 hours).
- Multiply these numbers together (20 x .5 x 15 x 8 = $1,200).
- The resulting number ($1,200) is the productivity cost of that system being down for 8 hours.
- Take the company's gross annual revenue ($50 million).
- Divide by total annual business hours (2000 hours).
- Multiply by the percentage of revenue streams impacted (50%).
- Multiply by the hours of downtime experienced (12 hours).
- The resulting number ($150,000) is the cost of those revenue streams being down for 12 hours.
The Role of Cybersecurity in Supporting Uptime
While many innocent problems, like human error or system crashes, are responsible for downtime, downtime is often the result of a cyber-attack. Cybercriminals will use the cost of downtime as leverage when they take data ransom, knowing that every minute they delay company function causes a huge financial burden.
So what’s the most important thing a company can do to prevent cyber-attacks? Invest in quality cybersecurity software that has excellent uptime.
If you’re tackling uptime issues, cybersecurity should be the first place you examine to ensure that security systems work as they should. Don’t rely on a layered security approach to save the company if one security system fails. Hackers only need one vulnerability to bring your company to a halt.
If you’re looking for a security system with fantastic uptime, one that can secure your most sensitive data even in the event of a data breach, you should check out tokenization. Taking time to secure data beforehand keeps it from becoming a tool leveraged against you in an attack. Learn more about this tool with our free What is Tokenization eBook: