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Backup and Disaster Recovery - Are you Prepared?



Disaster recovery consists of policies, best practices and IT technologies working to prevent or minimize data loss and business disruption resulting from catastrophic events. An event may be equipment failures, natural disasters, localized power outages, cyberattacks, software failure or accidental data deletion.


​Many businesses—especially small or mid-sized organizations don’t have a reliable, practicable disaster recovery plan. Without a plan, a small or mid-sized business has little protection from the impact of significantly disruptive events.


​Depending on the event, a critical failure could cost a business hundreds of thousands of dollars a day in lost revenue. Many businesses would not be a to recover from such losses. More than 40% of small businesses would not be able to re-open after experiencing a disaster. A sound disaster recovery planning can dramatically reduce these risks.


Disaster recovery planning involves strategizing, planning, deploying appropriate technology, and continuous testing. Maintaining backups of your data is a critical component of disaster recovery planning, but a backup and recovery process alone does not constitute a full disaster recovery plan.


​A full disaster recovery also involves ensuring that both storage and systems are available in order to maintain failover and failback procedures. A failover procedure is the process of offloading workloads to backup systems so that production processes and end-user experiences are disrupted as little as possible while a failback procedure involves switching back to the original primary systems.


The Many Forms Data Loss Can Take


From natural disasters like hurricanes and floods, to cybersecurity threats such as malware infections, data loss disasters come in many forms. Let’s analyze each type and learn how to plan and prepare for them.


Natural Disasters


This covers everything from storms, hurricanes and floods to fires, tsunamis and volcano eruptions. In most cases, you can expect infrastructural damages, power failure and mechanical failures, which could then lead to data loss.


Hardware and Software Malfunctioning


Software and hardware failure can cause data loss if you don’t have a backup or disaster recovery measures in place. It could be due to bugs, glitches, configuration errors, programmatic errors, component failures or simply because the device is at its end of life or the software is outdated.


Unforeseen Circumstances


Data loss can happen due to random, unexpected scenarios. For instance, a portable hard disk held by one of the employees could get stolen, your server room may have a water leak because of a plumbing issue or there could even be a pest infestation in one of your data centers.


Human factor


Aberdeen Research found that everyday human errors cause nearly 64% of data loss incidents.[1] These errors range from accidental file deletions and overwriting of existing files, to naming convention errors, forgetting to save or backup data, or spilling liquid on a storage device.


Cyberthreats


Your business may fall prey to malware, ransomware and virus attacks, which could leave your data and backups corrupt and irrecoverable. Additionally, data loss could be caused by malicious insiders with unauthorized access, which often goes under the radar. A recent study shows that employee action is involved in up to 23% of all electronic crime events.[2]

[1] Everyday human errors account for up to 64% of data loss incidents. Employees inevitably delete the wrong email, contacts, or critical configurations. [Source: Aberdeen research] [2][Source: the CERT Insider Threat Center at Carnegie Mellon University]


How to Plan and Prepare for Data Loss Disasters


As you can see, data loss disasters can manifest in a wide variety of ways. The key is to be proactive and plan for these disasters. Don’t wait for disaster to strike. Here are a few tips to help you get started:


  • Perform a business impact analysis/threat analysis and draft a plan on how to recover key functions in the event of a disaster.

  • Define an acceptable Recovery Point Objective and Recovery Time Objective.

  • Set up a business continuity team that will take charge during a disaster.

  • Train your staff in backup management and data recovery.

  • Back up critical business data off-site and on the cloud.

  • Conduct threat analysis and define recovery steps for each threat.

  • Perform annual security audits and mock drills to review the efficiency of your disaster response.

  • Keep the plan up to date and make sure everyone on the team knows their role.

  • Banking information should be stored in a way that it can be accessed quickly and securely in the event of a disaster.

  • Invest in a robust backup and disaster management solution that is frictionless, secure, offers SaaS data backup and doesn’t require extra hardware or network bandwidth.

  • Make sure you have a remote monitoring tool.

  • Perform semi-annual data restoration test to confirm backups are clean.

  • Employ waterless fire protection systems, moisture sensors, surge protectors and backup battery systems.


Leverage Backup and Disaster Recovery to Achieve and Maintain Regulatory Compliance Obligations


Data loss prevention is not the only advantage of taking backup and disaster recovery seriously. Having a verified, robust solution that offers constant monitoring of backup activity, advanced threat detection, immutable audit logs, access control requirements, data retention rules, and infrastructure or storage controls will make it much easier for you to meet compliance obligations applicable to your business.


Data loss disasters are inevitable. But you can minimize their impact by making backup and disaster recovery a critical component of your business continuity and resilience plans.



Regardless of your business size, your office requires a dependable disaster recovery.

Freedom Tech can ensure you have a robust a backup and disaster recovery plan.

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