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Technology
Oct 17, 2016

Marco Marsala: A Cautionary Tale

Sponsored Content provided by Shaun Olsen - Founder, CloudWyze

Have you heard the tale of Marco Marsala? 

Recently, Marco posted to an internet forum that he had accidentally run a particular line of code - “rm -rf” - on his computer. To understand the importance of that, let's break down the function of that command.

The “rm” means “remove.” The  second “r” tells the computer to delete everything in a directory. The “f” means “force” or, in other words, “ignore any warnings and just delete the files, already!” 

Unfortunately, Marco didn't specify a folder to run this command on, so it deleted everything on his computer.

That was bad enough but to make matters worse, Marco runs a web design and hosting company with more than 1,500 clients. Normally, the error wouldn't be a problem because most people host files remotely. But as Marco explained, the server and the back-up drives were mounted to the computer when he ran the code.

In his own words: All servers got deleted and the offsite back-ups, too, because the remote storage was mounted just before by the same script (that is a backup maintenance script).

Translation: Marco deleted the websites of his 1,500-plus clients.

Advice on the forum wasn't very encouraging either. 

“Your company is now essentially dead,” wrote one responder. Some people had a few things he could try but the overall consensus was that he and his clients were out of luck - the files were not recoverable. 

“You don't need advice,” another forum user told him.  “You need a lawyer.”

That whole episode above? It's a lie. 

Well, not all of it. A person named Marco Marsala did post to an internet forum that he had nuked his computer and server using the command but a few days after it was posted, Marco claimed it had been some sort of viral marketing
stunt. 

Although Oscar Wilde famously said, The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about, I can't for the life of me see any benefit in being known as the company that lost 1,500 websites with no hope of recovery due to poorly thought-out infrastructure and carelessness. 

Maybe the idea was to say, “Oh, hey, I did find a way to recover all that lost stuff, and my company is so awesome that we can throw every file we manage into a trashcan and light them on fire and still keep everything up and running!” That still doesn't make any sense to me, however.

But I digress.

While the scenario our intrepid internet marketer outlined is in fact farfetched and unlikely to happen, data loss is a serious problem for any business. 

Consider these statistics:

  • 93 percent of companies that suffer data loss for 10 days or longer end up filing for bankruptcy within a year. 60 percent of companies suffering data loss are out of business in half that time.
  • The top two causes of data loss are hardware failure and human error, which combine to make up 78 percent of data loss instances.
  • Data loss is a rising problem, increasing 400 percent from 2012 to 2014.
  • 71 percent of IT professionals don't feel confident in their abilities to handle a data loss incident.
  • Globally, data loss costs businesses $1.7 trillion.
How confident are you that your business can withstand a major loss of data? Consider all that can go wrong: hardware failure, software failure, user error, hurricanes, floods, viruses… I could go on, but you get the point - things happen. You might be able to mitigate some of them, but many of them are out of your control.

Disaster recovery isn't just about backing up files; it's also about making sure the business you've worked so hard to build doesn't vanish due to something that could have been easily prevented. You and your team need to be able to continue to work no matter what problems arise.

If you have a device that can connect to the internet, CloudWyze can keep you in business. Your infrastructure is safely stored, managed and backed up off-site.

Want to make sure your business will stay afloat next time a hurricane hits eastern North Carolina? The first thing to do is to call CloudWyze, (877) 678-3739, to schedule a network assessment. Our team will help you complete our disaster recovery planning tool so we can look at your needs and devise a custom strategy to make sure problems are hardly a blip on your radar.

Marco Marsala may have lied about losing his entire company with the press of a button but make no mistake - data loss can happen.

It happens more than you think and it's absolutely devastating to companies that aren't properly prepared. CloudWyze will give you the security you need. 

And that, dear reader, is no lie.

Shaun Olsen is the CEO and president of CloudWyze. CloudWyze was created to help businesses focus and perform at their optimal level by crafting and executing custom technology plans for businesses of every type and size. To learn more about CloudWyze, visit www.CloudWyze.com. Shaun can be reached at [email protected] or (910) 795-1000.

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