The Importance of IT Disaster Recovery
What would you do if your organization experienced an IT disaster, like a network outage caused by hardware failure, hackers, or a natural disaster? If a ransomware attack locked you out of your company devices, would you have an offline backup to restore access fast? If so, is that backup current?
If you think these issues are rare and can’t happen to you, don’t be so sure. A LogicMonitor IT Outage Impact Study revealed that a whopping 96% of businesses experienced an outage in a three-year period. 55% had five or more outages during that same time frame.
Both cyberattacks and natural disasters can strike at any time without warning, but a disaster recovery plan can lessen the impact on your business. While you can’t predict all possible IT disasters, some are preventable, and others are recoverable with the right preparation. However, recovery requires taking a proactive approach long before disaster strikes.
What Is Disaster Recovery?
IT Disaster recovery is a plan that ensures your organization can maintain or recover IT assets and infrastructure after a disaster. With a strategic plan, you can reduce downtime, avoid the high costs of last-minute solutions, and maintain customer trust.
A strong disaster recovery and business continuity plan should make it possible to resume operations as usual without much time wasted. It consists of organizational policies and procedures created to manage and mitigate the impact of various disasters, like cybersecurity attacks and natural disasters.
Some of the most common disasters that can damage IT infrastructure include:
- Major storms, like hurricanes and tornadoes
- Floods (a flood wiped out backup generator power to a data center during Hurricane Sandy)
- Hardware failure
- Cyberattacks, like data breaches and ransomware attacks
If you’re located in an area prone to storms, you can’t afford to skip creating a solid recovery plan with redundancy. Both Hurricane Rita and Katrina wiped out data centers and some weaker disaster recovery plans, which left some prominent organizations struggling.
Why IT Disaster Recovery Matters
There are several reasons you need a plan to bounce back after an IT disaster. Most importantly, if you can’t easily recover, you might go out of business. This potential exists because if you lose irreplaceable data, you’ll have to start over from scratch. Can your business do that? For many, this isn’t an option.
Also, a cyberattack might come with regulatory fines and a damaged reputation that will make it impossible to get back to business as usual. If you lose too much money, data, or infrastructure, you might never be able to become profitable again.
Tips for Creating an Effective IT Disaster Recovery Plan
To avoid losing money and potentially your business, follow these tips to create a disaster recovery plan for your business:
Put Thought Into Planning, Testing, and Analysis
Creating a successful IT disaster recovery plan requires in-depth planning, vulnerability testing, and analysis. First, you’ll need to identify your potential vulnerabilities before you can even draft your recovery plan. To do this, you’ll need to document both cybersecurity and natural disaster vulnerabilities. For instance, maybe your data center is located in a flood zone, your network hardware is out-of-date, or you don’t currently encrypt customer data while it’s stored on your server. All of these examples present risks to your organization.
You’ll also need to regularly test your disaster recovery plan to make sure it’s functioning efficiently. If you find that it isn’t, you’ll have the information necessary to analyze your test results and fix any holes you find.
Implement Solutions for All Potential Scenarios
Once you’ve documented your organization’s vulnerabilities, you’ll need to get working on solutions, many of which should be preventive. For example, to mitigate the risk of a cyberattack, you might change your company’s policy to require employees to use multi-factor authentication and use end-to-end encryption for storing data in the cloud. You might also limit logins to registered devices and tighten down on how much employees can access.
To mitigate the damage from a natural disaster, you might hire a company to regularly back up your data so that if your server is physically compromised, you can restore everything quickly.
Get Professional IT Disaster Recovery Services
A provider offering professional disaster recovery service will perform an IT security assessment and help you implement the most important recovery systems and strategies within your organization. For example, the following are common disaster recovery solutions:
- Network disaster recovery: This solution will get your team reconnected to your company’s network quickly and restore access to digital assets.
- Data center disaster recovery: If you own a proprietary data center, you’ll need to protect your own IT infrastructure and your facility. Usually, this involves data backups and failover sites located in a separate facility.
- Virtualized disaster recovery: Virtualization is used to replicate workloads in the cloud that can be initialized fast.
- Cloud disaster recovery: Sometimes it makes sense to store backups in the cloud as part of your IT disaster recovery plan.
- Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS): This service is provided by a professional data recovery specialist and is a hands-off approach for those who don’t have the ability or time to create and manage their own data recovery and business continuity plan.
When you get professional recovery services, you might not need all of the above, but rest assured that you will get exactly what you need.
Are You Prepared for an IT Disaster?
Nobody ever expects their network, website, or digital assets to become compromised by a cyberattack or natural disaster, but it happens all the time. If your company got hit tomorrow, are you confident that you’d recover quickly? Do you have more than one data backup in case of failure? Was your disaster recovery plan put in place by IT professionals?
If you’re not absolutely certain that you can recover without long-term damage to your business, you need professional disaster recovery and business continuity services from Upfront Computer Solutions. We provide various disaster recovery services, including business continuity, data backup, and hot site management. Protect your business and start building your recovery plan today.