Businesses often store highly valuable and sensitive data and are widely recognised as prime targets for cyberattack, exploitation and ransom. There are, of course, plenty of measures you can implement to ward off cyberattackers, but even with the best cybersecurity measures in place, disaster can and does strike.
If your data storage server was to fail tomorrow, would you be able to recover everything and continue serving clients and meeting your regulatory obligations? Would your business be able to survive making a substantial ransomware payout? How would it manage the reputational damage caused by a large-scale data leak or loss?
Why plan for disaster?
Unexpected events and disasters can strike at any time, seriously limiting your ability to maintain operations and continue serving your customers. You will no doubt have strategies, processes and tools in place to help protect against and mitigate certain potentially catastrophic events – cybersecurity measures to protect your data, for example, or back-up generators in case of power outages – but there are other, unforeseen disasters that can lose you time, resources, money and reputation if you don’t have a plan for quick recovery.
What is a disaster recovery plan?
The primary objective of any disaster recovery plan is to provide a well-structured, step-by-step document that sets out what needs to happen to help the business recover in the event that all the company’s information systems and business operations are interrupted.
What should a disaster recovery plan include?
A disaster recovery plan should be a wide-ranging document that sets out the potential risks to the business, as well as the roles and responsibilities of key personnel, the operational policies and contingency arrangements in place, and a plan for alerting vendors, partners, customers and suppliers to the disaster.
It should include further information about your business continuity plan and data backup strategy, as well as information relating to when, why and how the disaster recovery plan will be triggered.
Key triggers might include:
- Loss of all communication capabilities
- Loss of power
- Flooding or fire
Data backup is key
Data is arguably the most important asset any business owns. Any catastrophic loss here could not only mean the end of the business, it could result in legal action being taken against those in the business deemed responsible for keeping the data secure. Data backup is therefore essential for even the smallest of businesses.
The very nature of a backup is that it’s intended to work as a failover in the event the original copy is lost, damaged or destroyed in some way. So it’s no good for disaster recovery if the backup copy is sat in the same place, and in the same format, as the original.
Backup in the Cloud
The easiest and most sensible solution for backup creation and quick recovery is to store documents and data digitally in the Cloud. Rather than having your sensitive and valuable data sat on on-site servers or individual laptops where it is vulnerable to being lost, it is uploaded via the internet to be stored in the Cloud, where it can be securely accessed from anywhere.
Backup as a Service
For an extra layer of protection for all your business-critical data and applications, Backup as a Service (BUaaS) is a sensible cloud-based solution. BUaaS is designed to replicate your entire server, with all data from across multiple environments consolidated and simplified for easy access, management and control. As a flexible and scalable cloud solution, BUaaS allows for regular automated backups, integrated cybersecurity and threat monitoring, and crucially, instant mass restore – which means bringing all your data back online instantly in the event of a disaster.
Disaster Recovery as a Service
Many cloud service providers will also offer full system and application failover with Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), and this can be leveraged to give you 100% confidence in your disaster recovery and business continuity plan. Designed specifically to help you mobilise again quickly in the event of a catastrophic loss or breach, Disaster Recovery as a Service promises full system replication and ongoing testing of the failover to ensure workloads and data can be recovered and restored almost instantly.
Store your plan… somewhere safe
With your disaster recovery plan formulated, the last thing to consider is where you’re going to keep it. You’ll no doubt want to store a digital version in the Cloud.
Protecting your data, 24/7
M247’s range of security, back-up and disaster recovery solutions are designed to give you robust round-the-clock protection and expert technical support to keep your business, your data and your clients and customers safe, 24/7.
Want to know how much downtime could cost your business? Use our M247 Downtime Calculator to find out. Don’t risk your reputation and profits – calculate your potential losses today.