In an increasingly interconnected world, the potential for unexpected digital crises’ has never been greater. Whether it's a cyber attack, technical error or a natural disaster, business operations can be halted in an instant. However, thankfully there is a way for businesses to continue their operations quickly and easily. Disaster Recovery (DR) ensures the swift restoration of business data and functions, allowing for businesses to find a way to continue their operations quickly whilst safeguarding a company's future.
What is Disaster Recovery?
Disaster Recovery is a set of policies, tools, and procedures that enable the recovery or continuation of vital technology infrastructure, data and systems following a disaster. It's not just about recovering data; it's about recovering the entire business operation.
Why Every Business Needs a Disaster Recovery Solution
1. Protection from Cyber Threats - Ransomware Protection
A ransomware attack can freeze your operations. A comprehensive Disaster Recovery plan ensures that you have secure backups and recovery procedures to regain access to your systems quickly and easily.
2. Minimising Phishing and Malware Risks
Regular system backups and well-structured recovery strategies can undo the damage caused by phishing and malware attacks, restoring data to its previous state.
Save your Business from Failures
When it comes to on-site technology such as Servers, Network Attached Storage and user devices there will always be the risk of physical device failures. This could be as little as a Server or NAS hard drive or could be a system-wide failure. Steps can be put in place for hard drive failures, such as multi-disk RAID redundancy, allowing for multiple disks to fail before data is lost. There will inherently be risks involved with data loss. Disaster recovery provides you with the peace of mind that you can get back up and running quickly and easily without a loss of key business data.
However, failures are not unique to onsite hardware. Whilst data stored in cloud storage solutions are inherently more redundant by nature, as data centres will have their own levels of hardware and data redundancy, data loss is always a risk under the “Shared Responsibility” model that cloud storage providers adhere by. Ensuring you have cloud to cloud backups, and a path to recovery in the event of data loss or cyber attack, ensures that your business can restore operations in a timely manner.
3. Recovery from Natural Disasters - Swift Recovery from Unpredictable Events
Natural disasters can hit any time, and having a Disaster Recovery plan ensures that your business can get back on its feet quickly.
By keeping data backups in different geographical locations, you can mitigate the risk of losing all your critical data due to a localised natural disaster and is an essential element of the 321 Backup Strategy.
4. Regulatory Compliance
Adhering to legal mandates related to data protection is not just ethical but a legal obligation for many businesses. Disaster Recovery ensures you meet these requirements.
5. Customer and Stakeholder Trust
Demonstrating a robust ability to recover from disasters reinforces trust among customers and stakeholders.
6. Cost Savings
A well thought out Disaster Recovery plan may seem like an expensive investment, however in the long run, it saves costs by minimising downtime and loss of business.
7. Competitive Edge
In a competitive market, the ability to recover quickly from a disaster compared to your competitors can provide a distinct advantage, ensuring uninterrupted service to your customers.
Backup Is Not Disaster Recovery
It is important to note that whilst Backup is an essential part of a business Disaster Recovery Strategy, it is not considered Disaster Recovery by itself. Backup exists as an essential element of the Disaster Recovery Strategy, and a comprehensive 321 Backup Solution is essential to aid in the recovery of your business data in the event of a cyber attack or natural disaster.
- 3 total copies offer multiple recovery points.
- 2 copies on different media/platforms protect against device or system failure.
- 1 offsite copy guarantees protection from localised events.
This strategy plays a vital role in an overall Disaster Recovery plan, ensuring that no single point of failure can result in total data loss. However, Disaster Recovery must not only take into account the data that is backed up and the location of the backup, but it should also take into account the frequency of the backup, the recovery time period, and the processes that should be followed.
What should you consider as part of a Disaster Recovery Strategy?
1: Decide what is important to recover and the recovery period – Some businesses may decide that everything is important to recover in the event of a cyber attack or emergency and they can not afford to lose even 5 minutes of data, whereas other businesses may decide that daily backups of their key business data (accounts, essential documents & databases) is essential. Whatever your requirement we can work with your business to recommend and build a solution that is designed to give your business peace of mind that you can get back up and running quickly.
2: Write It Down – Every Disaster Recovery Strategy should have a written (and printed) practice by which the business and partners should follow in the event of a Disaster, allowing for a quick response and recovery of all key business data. Allowing for your business to get back up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible. Printing this ensures that even if your business can not access its data, you can ensure you can access your Disaster Recovery Strategy.
3: Test it regularly – Having a Disaster Recovery Strategy is only part of the solution, ensuring that your strategy works for your business allows you to make sure that you can recover from a Cyber Attack or other Emergency. It is recommended that a Disaster Recovery Solution is tested at least twice a year, however depending on the type of industry this could extend to every quarter or even more frequently.
4: Recovery Plan – Whilst having a Disaster Recovery Plan in place that you can prove works, what do you do after a disaster? How do you return to normality? A disaster recovery strategy plans for how your business can get back up and running quickly from existing equipment, however, you can not continue to run from your Disaster Recovery solution, as you will not have a redundancy plan in place. It is important to ensure that your business can return to normality and restore its data in the process.
Uninterrupted Recovery with High Availability Solutions
When considering your Disaster Recovery Solution, you may decide that it is essential that all of your business data can be quickly and easily recovered and you can not afford to lose even 60 seconds worth of data as this could be extremely costly for your business. High Availability solutions are not just about keeping your business systems running; they're about ensuring uninterrupted access to crucial business applications and data:
Bad Disaster Recovery Example
John is the owner of a Furniture Manufacturer, he has set up daily backups of his essential data on his computer to an external hard drive that he stores in his laptop bag, however, he has not checked this backup data since he set it up and expects it is still working. John has also not accounted for any other employees within his business. John falls victim to a ransomware cyber attack which encrypts all of his data, when attempting to access his backup he finds that the hard drive is damaged from being knocked around in his bag, and the data can not be recovered. As such John has had his data stolen and can not recover his customer orders and production schedule.
Good Disaster Recovery Example
Joe works as the IT Director for a Window company, every window they produce on a daily basis is uniquely sized for their customers. Joe has decided that due to the quantity of UPVC, Aluminium, Glass and other items that are used daily, he can not justify the business losing more than 60 seconds of data, as having to recut or reorder all of these materials could be too costly for their business. As such, Joe has opted for a High Availability Disaster Recovery solution that live replicates all of their essential business data onto a secondary remote server hosted in their IT Support Provider’s Data Centre, thereby abiding by the 321 Backup Strategy & meaning that they can quickly and easily recover to the remote server in the event of an emergency, such as a mass hardware failure due to a cyber attack, power surge or much worse. This will allow him time to fix or replace any on-site equipment and schedule a migration from the Data Centre back to their on-site equipment.
How can TwentyFour help your business with your Disaster Recovery Strategy?
Disaster Recovery is more than just a safety net; it's a strategic business asset that ensures continuity, compliance, customer trust, and even competitive advantage. It embodies a comprehensive approach to business resilience, encompassing everything from cyber security to natural disaster preparedness.
Investing in Disaster Recovery is investing in the future of business. By implementing a well-crafted Disaster Recovery plan, Deciding the key business data that needs to be backed up and recovered, deciding on a recovery time objective, aligning it with strategies like the 321 Backup Strategy, utilising High Availability solutions, and much more, businesses can face the uncertainties of tomorrow with confidence.
We work to understand your business, by understanding what you do, how you operate and what is important to you. We can ensure that you have the best Disaster Recovery plan in place that is tested regularly to ensure that if the worst were to happen you can be confident in returning to business quickly and easily.