Backup recovery

Staying Prepared in Uncertain Times: Backup and Disaster Recovery

June 16, 2017

There’s always an element in business that includes managing risk. But nowhere is that element of risk so high as in today’s information technology field. Consider these three points:

  • The majority of our crucial business infrastructures are very dependent on digital technology.
  • Not only is IT so tied to critical business functions that we literally can’t function without it, many of those functions are in the cloud.
  • While the cloud provides us with a lot of convenience, hackers have done their best to create a constantly evolving security threat in that environment.

These are the reasons why backup and disaster recovery is so important to your business.

Protecting Yourself from the #1 Hacker Tactic This Year

The fact that ransomware is on the rise should be your first clue that moving the disaster recovery line item on your IT budget to the back burner is a bad idea. According to Barkly, ransomware is making cyber criminals a bundle and every 40 seconds a new company is infected.

What’s the number one cure for a hacker that’s encrypted your data and sent you a ransom note that says, “Pay up to regain your files?” The cure is a backup.

It’s this simple: If you are diligent in your backup recovery protocols you will always be able to recover your data. If not, you will be in trouble.

“Robust backups are a key component of an anti-ransomware strategy.”
Philip Casesa, Product Development Strategist, ISC2

Cyber threats like ransomware are just one of the possible crises you might experience this year. Ask yourself if you’re prepared today for these threats:

  • Natural disaster
  • Fire
  • Data center failure
  • Individual machine failure
  • Data breach
  • Data theft by employee
  • Extended power outages that exceed your UPS
  • Malware
  • Equipment theft
  • ISP goes down or DDoS attack takes out a critical SaaS

From a disgruntled employee stealing a laptop, failure of crucial hardware, a tornado, to a data security breach, you should think through the threats to stay one step ahead. A good disaster recovery plan for business will establish contingencies for all of these possible issues.

Frequently Asked Questions on Backup and Disaster Recovery

Whether it’s data failure, a natural disaster, or a hacking event, disaster recovery for business is an imperative. The first step in preparedness is always the planning process. Your plan should include all critical stakeholders in the organization and should be a written document with their buy in.

Unfortunately, it seems many backup and disaster recovery plans aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. The 2014 Disaster Recovery Preparedness Benchmark Survey showed that 40% of the companies surveyed said their backup and disaster recovery plans helped very little during a real crisis.

These are the crucial questions that guide your disaster recovery for business planning process:

  1. What are the mission-critical functions that must be preserved?
    Your plan must encompass facilities and hardware as well as applications. If you have an up-to-date inventory of all these systems, you will be able to evaluate the ones that must be recovered at all costs and those that are not mission-critical.
  2. Who are the stakeholders in this process?It’s crucial for IT managers to seek the perspective of everyone from frontline users to legal counsel and business line leaders who can help you define what “mission-critical” really means.
  3. How can cloud mail storage create redundancy?
    Cloud-based email and storage can be compliant and secure. You may still want to have a local backup solution, with data backed up to RDX media or tape. Make sure you store these off-site from your building. The beauty of the cloud is that it adds a redundant layer to your backup recovery plan. You can transition applications and databases to the cloud quickly in the event of a physical crisis. Consolidation of data through the cloud to a remote server lessens the chance that a natural disaster will force downtime for your business.
  4. Should you invest in a backup Internet Service Provider?
    A better question might be, why wouldn’t you have a backup ISP? While mobile carriers and ISPs can go down during a disaster, having a redundant cloud connection isn’t a bad idea. If one ISP network has crashed, it’s possible the second one may still be running. Make sure you regularly test that connection.
  5. Are cloud-recovery plans just for SMBs or can they work for an enterprise? The answer is that data backups are infinitely scalable in the cloud. In a very large company, you may need to backup terabytes of data. You can do this on an encrypted public pipe or create your own private cloud. This is typically done through backup and disaster recovery services that specialize in monitoring your network and watching the data 24/7/365.

Whether you make the decision to outsource to backup and disaster recovery services depends upon the size of your organization and the type of business you’re in.

Backup and Disaster Recovery Services

Typically outsourcing to a backup and recovery services vendor means you’re farming out parts of your existing plan. But, most backup and disaster recovery services companies offer an assessment, development of a crisis preparedness plan, implementation of the approved plan, and maintenance. The truth is that disaster recovery for business isn’t a one-off; planning and testing should be ongoing in order to stay ahead of the evolving nature of risk.

You’ve probably already adopted a hybrid tech model with a blend of on-premise and cloud data storage, perhaps some SaaS, and legacy silos of in-house platforms. It’s a complicated tech mesh now, which creates more points of vulnerability and more areas for potential failure.

Backup and disaster recovery services can help with everything from data backup and recovery, testing and plan development, and much more. These providers recognize that every minute of downtime means lost revenue.

For more information on how TOSS C3 can help your business stay prepared, download the white paper: Managed IT Services For Small Businesses. The next step is to get a free assessment.

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