Why is disaster recovery so important?
Disaster recovery has become an integral part of many business strategies. Companies must implement disaster recovery plans in preparation for disruptive events that have become more common. The losses from a disaster range from financial to business reputation which most times result in a shutdown if no proper recovery plan is put in place. Experts keep emphasizing the importance of disaster recovery to save organizations from a major IT catastrophe. Modern day attacks are executed in such a way that would lead to prolonged downtime unless companies meet the attackers’ demand. The longer business operations are down, the worse it becomes for the clients as well as management.
Businesses may recognize the importance of a disaster recovery plan but lack the means to get started. It is, therefore, important to plan for a rainy day because, once disaster strikes, it might be impossible to have a working plan before each department starts feeling the impact. A recent study by the ESG Research Review Data Protection Survey shows that 53% of companies can only withstand one hour of downtime before it has an adverse effect.
A business owner needs to work with an experienced partner in disaster recovery to ensure business continuity. There are several vendors in the industry who are all willing to help businesses strategize and actualize a competent disaster recovery plan. Remember that it doesn’t matter how top of the line your business is in as it relates to tech, there could be an unplanned outage at any time. In fact, almost every IT professional has experienced some sort of failure at some point in time.
Some people worry that disaster recovery is too expensive a process involving expensive secondary data centers, server maintenance, and networks. This – for sure – might have been the case in the past; but today, a strong disaster recovery plan is as easy and as cheap as going to the cloud and paying for whatever your business needs. The costs are extremely low and ensure minimal downtime. A manual server in a back room of your office just won’t cut it for your business as it does very little to reduce company downtime and is still prone to local disasters. The cloud is a better disaster recovery platform that shortens the process of data restoration much simpler and shorter. Manmade errors are also a reason for business downtime even if it is not in the sight of cyber attackers. A strong, profitable business venture could shut down due to weak passwords, connecting to unsecured channels or clicking suspicious links. If you want your business to be in a better position financially, it would be smart to participate in creating an effective disaster recovery plan.
Objectives of Data Recovery
The main objectives of IT disaster planning are to:
• Minimize disruption of business activities
• Ensuring optimal security
• Ensuring reliable backup systems
• Aiding in speedy restoration of operations
• Minimizing risks of delays
The main points to consider in preparation for recovery are anticipation, prevention, and mitigation. Anticipation inferences planning and development of appropriate measures to take in countering inherent dangers. Prevention is avoiding disasters by taking necessary protective measures. When the inevitable occurs, business owners have no choice but to try and mitigate the risk. The purpose of mitigation is to reduce loss as much as possible. IT disaster recovery planning is an intricate process that ultimately involves a thorough analysis of the entire system, defining key components and proper delegation of duties.
Elements of a Disaster recovery plan
Not all disaster recovery plans were made equal but the ultimate goal of each is to ensure that data, personnel, and systems continue to operate despite an emergency. Disasters have many causes including human error, machine breakdown, natural events and malicious attacks among others. The only way to ensure uninterrupted business operations is using the ultimate guide to creating a speedy DR plan. The following are the key elements of a competitive disaster plan:
- Start by defining the organization’s tolerance for data loss and downtime. Some businesses can be down longer than others without dire consequences but there are some that would incur huge losses for just an hour of downtime. The IT department should evaluate the acceptable recovery point objective and recovery time objective for the business. Clearly defining the two metrics helps firms prioritize on things needed to survive a disaster in a cost effective manner.
- You should also inventory all software and hardware in your DR plan. Each item should have vendor technical support information and contact numbers to get you back up and running as fast as possible.
- With the inventory in place and recovery metrics defined, move ahead to identify backup personnel. When disaster strikes, there shouldn’t be confusion about who is responsible for what. Effectively delegating roles ensures that everyone involved is fully aware of their duties in order for the recovery process to work effectively.
- This might be the most overlooked element of a disaster recovery plan but it is of immense importance. A good communication plan is your best assurance that things flow smoothly enough for seamless data recovery. Employees need to understand how to access the systems they need to perform their roles during the DR. When defining communication channels, remember that the main communication platforms may be affected and you will need other methods to contact employees when disaster strikes. Communication is critical during data recovery and it should therefore not be left out during the planning. You must clearly lay out the means to reach vendors, employees, suppliers and customers early enough to reduce the impact of data losses.
A comprehensive protection solution must provide a scalable, compatible, totally safe operation that is also affordable.
Top 10 reasons why you need disaster recovery for your business
1. Downtime is expensive
Losses from IT downtime have been estimated to be as high as $26.5 billion. This is a clear indication that your business cannot afford to miss a proper disaster recovery plan. Small businesses lose approximately $8,000 while large organizations lose up to $700,000 trying to recover lost data. Unfortunately, very few of them are able to meet the huge costs associated with effective DR.
2. Customers want perfection
In this day and age, your customers expect 24/7 access to your systems, lack of which they will move on to a service that is there when needed. Many web users report abandoning a business website for a competitor’s if there are any frustrations experienced. Online shoppers, for example, are never willing to wait for sites to return in order to find what they need. Without a recovery plan to protect your systems, your doors are left wide open for your competitors.
3. Machines easily breakdown
You might have the best equipment in the business but that doesn’t guarantee safety. Hardware failure is inevitable and at some point, IT professionals must be prepared for this with proper backup.
4. Compliance and regulations demand it
65% of companies operating today are required to present DR reports for compliance. The HIPAA requires that all data is safeguarded from access by people with malicious intent. Data loss is often unpredictable and it is even harder for security experts to predict exactly how much will be lost and its value to your business. A large chunk of companies was immediately put out of business when most of their computer records were lost while others quickly closed shop after losing business to data loss.
5. Human error
Sometimes the loss isn’t due to an external attack or natural disaster but human error. Even the most cautious individuals are likely to make poor judgments, leading to the accidental loss of important business information. In case that happens, you need a good plan of how to recover the lost data.
6. Natural disasters are inevitable
The global economy has lost $2.5 trillion since 2000 and virtually each part is susceptible to some sort of natural disaster year after year. Chances of a flood, fire, hurricane or tornado are heightened with drastic climate change and you cannot afford to backup important business data in a disaster-proof environment.
7. Hackers utilize the smallest loophole
You cannot ensure 100% security of business systems and hackers are constantly searching for the easiest possible way in. If you cannot fully fortify your network, the next best thing is a great recovery plan. Those who use malware will hold data hostage until a hefty fee is paid but you can save your business the agony by implementing the recovery plan.
8. Optimal savings
It might not seem like it in the beginning when you have to inject money into a good DR plan but this could save your business money in the long run. A good plan could minimize economic loss, aid in the organized recovery of files and pave way for business continuity.
9. To keep a good reputation
In the eyes of customers and investors, a loss of data, no matter how unintentional shows irresponsibility. This is often unforgivable in a business world characterized by cutthroat competition for choosy clients. By developing and speedily implementing a data recovery plan in the face of uncertainty, you will maintain the good reputation of the business and even develop a wider customer base who trust your systems. Data breaches or loss not only dent a good relationship with customers, employees and investors but it could also lead to major financial losses in legal fees.
10. You are as strong as your weakest link
No business is immune to IT disasters, but there are solutions you can use to prevent or recover in the event of failure. There is no excuse not to have a working disaster recovery plan in place if you intend to remain relevant. An ideal disaster recovery plan would place you in the top tier with no single point of failure on the power or network connections. Your disaster recovery backup should be hosted with a reputable company to ensure that everything remains in place in case an IT disaster is witnessed. This ensures maximum protection from any downtime.
Recovering Data from Cloud Backup
In the event of a catastrophe, it is important that you first assess the possible damage before determining the next steps. If it is a ransomware attack, your data may have already been encrypted by the virus. The best method of data recovery is formatting your entire computer to begin file restoration from the most to least critical one’s – then you can move into the cloud service and begin the intricate process of data recovery. “Enterprise data protection isn’t just for big enterprises anymore.” This is a statement that reflects the reality that businesses whether mega or small need to accept. Working with professionals empowers client companies to focus on business operations rather than their IT infrastructure which is done in an organized and affordable approach.
Do You Have a Proper Disaster Recovery Plan?
Now that you know just how critical a solid and cost-effective disaster recovery plan is, make sure that your business data is protected. CenterGrid is a tech company serving a range of clients on the custom level to ensure that only the best solution or package is realized. There is a full line of affordable data recovery plans to work with almost any budget. Contact us today for more insight on how we can help protect your business!