8 VANTAGGI DEL DISASTER RECOVERY PER IL BUSINESS
Why use a disaster recovery solution.
Since last week we have been talking about Disaster Recovery , an essential solution to protect data and business information systems from possible disaster , as natural events, human errors, hacking, thefts or other incidents. We have shortly defined the Disaster Recovery service and we have seen how it works and what are the parameters to be defined to make the solution as effective as possible.
Today we will talk about the concrete benefits of Disaster Recovery for companies. We have seen that a DR has the main aim of protecting business data and systems, but how? What benefits can the implementation of a DR solution assure? We have identified 8 benefits of Disaster Recovery for companies :
1. Drastic reduction of restore times and lower RTO & RPO Thanks to Disaster Recovery solution you have the warranty of restore systems, services and applications in short times and get significantly lower RTO and RPO. According to the parameters defined from DR plan, you could drastically reduce restore times on the basis of your needs, which would be completely impossible without using a Disaster Recovery solution.
2. Limit the losses due to revenue reduction or other costs By reducing restore times of business information systems, you can limit the losses not only in terms of revenues, but even related to, for example, costs for possible damage caused by downtime and management or technical assistance expenditure.
3. Minimize the interruption of Critical Processes and safeguard business operations Each company has critical processes that must be always active and are vital for the business continuity. Through a Disaster REcovery solution these kinds of processes will be preserved and possible interructions minimized, by allowing a short resume to operations.
4. Avoid to compromise the business reputation As shortly said in the last posts, downtimes caused by unexpected incidents seriously threaten the firms’ reputation. A short recovery avoid to compromise the business strength as well as to cause irreversible damage to the corporate image.
5. Define symplified processes of action to face unexpected situations and predict a controlled resume to operations Thanks to a detailed plan of Disaster Recovery, any action of intervention in case of emergency will be planned previously, by allowing a short restoration, controlled in all its stages.
6. Granular management The DR solution enables to manage replications in a granular way (wich means restoration of data at file level or even smaller units), with tha aim of assuring a complete recovery of data and services.
7. No impact on performance Replication of business infrastructure on one or more Disaster Recovery sites ensure no impact on performance. Indeed, thanks to the activation of Disaster Recovery, systems are constantly online.
8. Control and custmization of your own Disaster Recovery Tha last benefit we talk about is the chance to customize and monitor your own Disaster Recovery. With the personalization of DR solutions, you can choose the replication frequency and establish the best recovery times for your business. In addition, you can control constantly your Disaster Recovery site.
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7 Benefits of Disaster Recovery Planning
Data is a valuable asset that is constantly under threat. Human errors, ransomware attacks, and data breaches all have the capacity to destroy data in a matter of minutes.
And these threats are only increasing: a recent study showed that a staggering 21% of all reported ransomware attacks happened in the last year, leaving those without proper recovery plans exposed to data and profit losses. 1
Disaster recovery planning (DRP) is a proactive approach towards security that allows companies to prepare and mitigate the impacts of a disaster. A disaster recovery plan helps companies maintain business continuity (BC) after an incident, reducing business downtime, reputational damage, and the potential for regulatory action.
In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at the various benefits DRP can offer.
Suggested reading: Check out our cloud disaster recovery software guide for an in-depth exploration of a range of disaster recovery solutions.
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Benefit 1: Satisfy customers
Businesses that are the custodians of data – especially personal data – have the responsibility to protect it. As a result, when data breaches occur, they often come with client losses and reputational damage.
Perhaps the most famous example of this is Uber’s 2016 data breach, which exposed the data of millions of users and led to a 141.3% drop in consumer perception. 2 Meanwhile, Facebook’s 2018 data breach caused a $13 billion loss of share value that left users and shareholders alike uncertain as to the company’s future. 3
Other than investing in new data protection solutions , a DRP is one of the most effective ways to mitigate client loss following a data breach. A strong DRP will include two primary objectives:
- Recovery Point Objective (RPO): the maximum quantity of data a business can tolerate losing.
- Recovery Time Objectives (RTO): the time window in which a company must restore functions to avoid catastrophic disruption.
DRPs with clear RPOs and RTOs allow customers to see how a company is working to protect their data, reassuring potential customers, existing clients and shareholders that their data is well protected.
And the benefits of disaster recovery planning don’t stop there; DRPs can help businesses win clients in the first place. It’s not uncommon for B2B clients to request details of their prospective partner’s IT credentials, including regarding their DRP.
Benefit 2: Actionable insights
Developing a DRP is not an overnight process. It often involves extensive fact-finding and analysis, as companies seek to learn more about their own systems.
Any opportunity for businesses to look at their systems and processes and retrieve insights is potentially useful. DRP might involve analysing some of the following technical and non-technical areas:
- Internal communications
- External relationships
- Compliance requirements
- Data storage systems
- Insurance coverage
Regularly checking over a company’s digital infrastructure allows security professionals to locate weaknesses within their systems, and help prevent data breaches before they occur. Similarly, evaluating existing DRPs can allow businesses to optimise their RPOs and RTOs and improve outcomes in the case of data loss.
Data recovery planning shouldn’t replace the need to build fast, efficient and resilient systems. However, it can certainly help to enhance and improve systems that are already in place.
Benefit 3: Fast recovery
Today’s fast-paced digital environment necessitates fast recovery. The cost of IT downtime can reach thousands of dollars per minute for large enterprises, meaning that time is quite literally money — and a lot of it. 4
Companies without DRPs may suffer significant damage from breaches or attacks. Minor breaches may escalate into catastrophic losses that blow RPOs out of the water, and valuable time will be wasted formulating plans and reassuring customers. The result? More downtime, stagnating business operations, missed RTOs, and greater overall losses.
Having a strong security system is a good way to reduce the risk of IT downtime. However, even the most resilient of systems can suffer IT disasters. Implementing a DRP enables companies to improve their recovery times, putting them in a better position to bounce back after an incident.
Benefit 4: Reduce costs
Although fast recovery is important, the costs of a disaster extend far beyond system downtime. Customer loss, extra staff hours, and long-term reputational damage can make disaster recovery incredibly difficult.
In fact, some 1 in 8 small businesses never recover from a cyber attack, while 60% of all companies that suffer a data breach undergo bankruptcy within six months. 5 And the risk is even higher for businesses storing sensitive or personally identifiable information (PII). Sometimes, the cost of expensive regulatory investigations is the final nail in the coffin.
With the price of data loss being so high, many companies choose to proactively invest in the smaller cost of DRP. The cost of DRP is largely down to the time that it demands, which is devoted to performing vulnerability assessments, business impact analysis (BIA), developing subplans, initial testing, and ongoing maintenance.
Each of these steps take some time and attention, but are essential to improving a company’s disaster response capabilities. For many, the benefits of disaster recovery planning outweigh its initial costs.
Benefit 5: Minimise damage
Reputational damage perhaps exceeds every other kind of damage in its impact. From reduced customer retention to lower client onboarding levels, the long-term reputational impact of data loss can be significant.
One 2019 survey suggested that 41% of consumers would never return to a business following a data breach. 6 However, small businesses are typically hit the hardest, as customers are able to easily switch to larger competitors. The benefits of a disaster recovery plan are, therefore, invaluable.
A DR plan can help to minimise the impact on customers in a number of ways:
- Increases data protection: IT professionals become aware of the weaknesses of their infrastructure, and can implement the appropriate security measures.
- Reduces data loss: with strong protection measures in place, RPOs are reduced and responses are faster.
- Maintains business continuity: although companies with data recovery plans might still suffer downtime, they will be better equipped to quickly get back on their feet after a breach.
DRP grants businesses a valuable opportunity to minimise the damage when disaster strikes, regardless of the cause.
Suggested reading: Read our business continuity plan for the pandemic to learn about how the Covid-19 pandemic impacted BC and DR planning.
Benefit 6: Enhance security
Being data secure is top of the agenda for many CTOs, data protection officers and IT managers. DRP forms a vital component of any cyber security or IT strategy, and is required to meet many IT security benchmarks. 7
Disaster recovery planning solutions vary from business to business, with data-intensive businesses generally favouring Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) and cloud disaster recovery solutions. Smaller businesses, on the other hand, might develop low-cost internal strategies that focus on employee actions and individual responsibility.
Where all businesses can agree is that DRP should enhance and improve existing systems, decreasing the likelihood of ransomware attacks and breaches.
DRPs can enhance security by:
- Helping companies locate and remove unnecessary tools which increase the surface area for attacks.
- Providing insight into system weaknesses that require additional security.
- Helping companies prioritise data and store it according to its importance.
Benefit 7: Long-term growth
DRP is a vital part of ensuring growth and stability in the long run. Data recovery planning helps businesses understand what changes they might need to make to their systems, promoting constant development and improvement.
When creating a data recovery plan, many businesses find that their biggest weakness is their old hardware. On-premises backup and recovery hardware pose a few issues:
- Hardware requires lengthy regular backups, using valuable time and resources.
- Slower backup cycles mean greater exposure to risk.
- On-premises hardware can’t always be readily integrated into cloud environments, siloing data across multiple platforms.
- Without additional backups, on-premises hardware is vulnerable to geographic hazards.
Having a data recovery plan might entail replacing old backup and recovery hardware with modern alternatives, such as cloud solutions. Although this is by no means a necessary part of DRP, it is just one example of how the self-evaluation that DRP demands can improve prospects for long-term growth.
Moving towards modern, scalable and adaptable software-led DRP models provides a strong platform for growth and resilience.
Suggested reading: Discover the cloud disaster recovery best practices that could transform your disaster recovery planning.
What will your disaster recovery plan look like?
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to data recovery planning. Companies can choose to use DRaaS , BaaS, VM replicas, data centre recovery and various cloud-based solutions, as well as more straightforward protocol-led plans.
The many ways to go about DRP can be overwhelming, which is where managed IT service providers can help. Nexstor works with businesses to understand their business model, objectives, technologies, and current DRP systems.
We build bespoke DRP solutions that support your business’s unique needs and requirements. Contact us today to discover what your cutting-edge disaster recovery plan could look like.
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1 Ransomware Attacks Survey 2022 – Hornetsecurity
2 The impact of cybercrime on company reputation: A 2022 update – Agility PR Solutions
3 Facebook Loses $13 Billion in Value After Data Breach
4 The Hidden Costs of Downtime
5 Business 2 Community – 1 in 8 Businesses Destroyed by Data Breach
6 New Global Research Shows Poor Data Security Practices Have Serious Consequences for Businesses Worldwide
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What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?
Disaster recovery (DR) is an organization’s ability to restore access and functionality to IT infrastructure after a disaster event, whether natural or caused by human action (or error). DR is considered a subset of business continuity, explicitly focusing on ensuring that the IT systems that support critical business functions are operational as soon as possible after a disruptive event occurs.
Today, disaster recovery planning is crucial for any business, especially those operating either partially or entirely in the cloud. Disasters that interrupt service and cause data loss can happen anytime without warning—your network could have an outage, a critical bug could get released, or your business might have to weather a natural disaster. Organizations with robust and well-tested disaster recovery strategies can minimize the impact of disruptions, achieve faster recovery times, and resume core operations rapidly when things go awry.
Learn more about Google Cloud backup and disaster recovery features and products and how they can be used to build the right DR solution for your business.
IT disaster recovery defined
IT disaster recovery is a portfolio of policies, tools, and processes used to recover or continue operations of critical IT infrastructure, software, and systems after a natural or human-made disaster.
The first and foremost aspect of a disaster recovery plan is cloud. The cloud is considered the best solution for both business continuity and disaster recovery. The cloud eliminates the need to run a separate disaster recovery data center (or recovery site).
What is a disaster recovery site?
It’s a second, physical data center that’s costly to build and maintain—and with the cloud, made unnecessary.
What is considered a disaster?
Dr planning and strategies focus on responding to and recovering from disasters—events that disrupt or completely stop a business from operating..
While these events can be natural disasters like a hurricane, they can also be caused by a severe system failure, an intentional attack, or even human error.
Types of disasters can include:
- Natural disasters (for example, earthquakes, floods, tornados, hurricanes, or wildfires)
- Pandemics and epidemics
- Cyber attacks (for example, malware, DDoS, and ransomware attacks)
- Other intentional, human-caused threats such as terrorist or biochemical attacks
- Technological hazards (for example, power outages, pipeline explosions, and transportation accidents)
- Machine and hardware failure
Importance of disaster recovery
Technology plays an increasingly important role in every aspect of business, with applications and services enabling companies to be more agile, available, and connected. This trend has contributed to the widespread adoption of cloud computing by organizations to drive growth, innovation, and exceptional customer experience.
However, the migration to cloud environments—public, private, hybrid, or multicloud—and the rise of remote workforces are introducing more infrastructure complexity and potential risks. Disaster recovery for cloud-based systems is critical to an overall business continuity strategy. A system breakdown or unplanned downtime can have serious consequences for enterprises that rely heavily on cloud-based resources, applications, documents, and data storage to keep things running smoothly.
In addition, data privacy laws and standards stipulate that most organizations are now required to have a disaster recovery strategy. Failure to follow DR plans can result in compliance violations and steep regulatory fines.
Every business needs to be able to recover quickly from any event that stops day-to-day operations, no matter what industry or size. Without a disaster recovery plan, a company can suffer data loss, reduced productivity, out-of-budget expenses, and reputational damage that can lead to lost customers and revenue.
How disaster recovery works
Disaster recovery relies on having a solid plan to get critical applications and infrastructure up and running after an outage—ideally within minutes..
An effective DR plan addresses three different elements for recovery:
- Preventive: Ensuring your systems are as secure and reliable as possible, using tools and techniques to prevent a disaster from occurring in the first place. This may include backing up critical data or continuously monitoring environments for configuration errors and compliance violations.
- Detective: For rapid recovery, you’ll need to know when a response is necessary. These measures focus on detecting or discovering unwanted events as they happen in real time.
- Corrective: These measures are aimed at planning for potential DR scenarios, ensuring backup operations to reduce impact, and putting recovery procedures into action to restore data and systems quickly when the time comes.
Typically, disaster recovery involves securely replicating and backing up critical data and workloads to a secondary location or multiple locations—disaster recovery sites. A disaster recovery site can be used to recover data from the most recent backup or a previous point in time. Organizations can also switch to using a DR site if the primary location and its systems fail due to an unforeseen event until the primary one is restored.
Types of disaster recovery
The types of disaster recovery you’ll need will depend on your it infrastructure, the type of backup and recovery you use, and the assets you need to protect..
Here are some of the most common technologies and techniques used in disaster recovery:
- Backups: With backups, you back up data to an offsite system or ship an external drive to an offsite location. However, backups do not include any IT infrastructure, so they are not considered a full disaster recovery solution.
- Backup as a service (BaaS): Similar to remote data backups, BaaS solutions provide regular data backups offered by a third-party provider.
- Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS): Many cloud providers offer DRaaS, along with cloud service models like IaaS and PaaS . A DRaaS service model allows you to back up your data and IT infrastructure and host them on a third-party provider’s cloud infrastructure. During a crisis, the provider will implement and orchestrate your DR plan to help recover access and functionality with minimal interruption to operations.
- Point-in-time snapshots: Also known as point-in-time copies, snapshots replicate data, files, or even an entire database at a specific point in time. Snapshots can be used to restore data as long as the copy is stored in a location unaffected by the event. However, some data loss can occur depending on when the snapshot was made.
- Virtual DR: Virtual DR solutions allow you to back up operations and data or even create a complete replica of your IT infrastructure and run it on offsite virtual machines (VMs). In the event of a disaster, you can reload your backup and resume operation quickly. This solution requires frequent data and workload transfers to be effective.
- Disaster recovery sites: These are locations that organizations can temporarily use after a disaster event, which contain backups of data, systems, and other technology infrastructure.
Benefits of disaster recovery
Stronger business continuity.
Every second counts when your business goes offline, impacting productivity, customer experience, and your company’s reputation. Disaster recovery helps safeguard critical business operations by ensuring they can recover with minimal or no interruption.
DR plans use data backup and other procedures that strengthen your security posture and limit the impact of attacks and other security risks. For example, cloud-based disaster recovery solutions offer built-in security capabilities, such as advanced encryption, identity and access management, and organizational policy.
Disaster recovery solutions make restoring your data and workloads easier so you can get business operations back online quickly after a catastrophic event. DR plans leverage data replication and often rely on automated recovery to minimize downtime and data loss.
Reduced recovery costs
The monetary impacts of a disaster event can be significant, ranging from loss of business and productivity to data privacy penalties to ransoms. With disaster recovery, you can avoid, or at least minimize, some of these costs. Cloud DR processes can also reduce the operating costs of running and maintaining a secondary location.
Many cloud-based services come with high availability (HA) features that can support your DR strategy. HA capabilities help ensure an agreed level of performance and offer built-in redundancy and automatic failover, protecting data against equipment failure and other smaller-scale events that may impact data availability.
DR planning supports compliance requirements by considering potential risks and defining a set of specific procedures and protections for your data and workloads in the event of a disaster. This usually includes strong data backup practices, DR sites, and regularly testing your DR plan to ensure that your organization is prepared.
Planning a disaster recovery strategy
A comprehensive disaster recovery strategy should include detailed emergency response requirements, backup operations, and recovery procedures. DR strategies and plans often help form a broader business continuity strategy, which includes contingency plans to mitigate impact beyond IT infrastructure and systems, allowing all business areas to resume normal operations as soon as possible.
When it comes to creating disaster recovery strategies, you should carefully consider the following key metrics:
- Recovery time objective (RTO): The maximum acceptable length of time that systems and applications can be down without causing significant damage to the business. For example, some applications can be offline for an hour, while others might need to recover in minutes.
- Recovery point objective (RPO) : The maximum age of data you need to recover to resume operations after a major event. RPO helps to define the frequency of backups.
These metrics are particularly useful when conducting risk assessments and business impact analysis (BIA) for potential disasters, from moderate to worst-case scenarios. Risk assessments and BIAs evaluate all functional areas of a business and the consequences of any risks, which can help define DR goals and the actions needed to achieve them before or after an event occurs.
When creating your recovery strategy, it’s useful to consider your RTO and RPO values and pick a DR pattern that will enable you to meet those values and your overall goals. Typically, the smaller your values (or the faster your applications need to recover after an interruption), the higher the cost to run your application.
Cloud disaster recovery can greatly reduce the costs of RTO and RPO when it comes to fulfilling on-premises requirements for capacity, security, network infrastructure, bandwidth, support, and facilities. A highly managed service on Google Cloud can help you avoid most, if not all, complicating factors and allow you to reduce many business costs significantly.
For more guidance on using Google Cloud to address disaster recovery, you can read our Disaster recovery planning guide or contact your account manager for help with creating a DR plan.
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What is disaster recovery used for, ensure business resilience.
No matter what happens, a good DR plan can ensure that the business can return to full operations rapidly, without losing data or transactions.
When a business goes offline, customers are rarely loyal. They turn to competitors to get the goods or services they require. A DR plan prevents this.
Avoid regulatory risks
Many industries have regulations dictating where data can be stored and how it must be protected. Heavy fines result if these mandates are not met.
Avoid data loss
The longer a business’s systems are down, the greater the risk that data will be lost. A robust DR plan minimizes this risk.
Keep customers happy
Meeting customer service level agreements (SLAs) is always a priority. A well-executed DR plan can help businesses achieve SLAs despite challenges.
A business that has trouble resuming operations after an outage can suffer brand damage. For that reason, a solid DR plan is critical.
Related products and services
Google offers many products that can be used as building blocks when creating a secure and reliable DR plan, including Cloud Storage .
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4 Benefits of Disaster Recovery Planning
Blog / Security / 4 Benefits of Disaster Recovery Planning
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Many disasters can quickly knock out your entire corporate network or database. If you don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place, chances are that the consequences will be severe. The National Archives and Records Administration reports that 93 percent of companies that experience data loss and downtime, extending for 10 or more days, will file for bankruptcy within 12 months. In addition, 43 percent of companies that do not have a disaster recovery plan will go out of business in the aftermath of major data loss.
A disaster recovery plan describes scenarios for resuming work quickly and reducing interruptions in the aftermath of a disaster. It is an important part of the business continuity plan and it allows for sufficient IT recovery and the prevention of data loss.
The obvious benefit of having a disaster recovery plan is business continuity, regardless of the circumstances. Having a strategic approach to business continuity can help a company in a number of other important ways.
Here are the top 4 benefits of disaster recovery planning:
Disaster recovery plans have multiple components. The most important elements include:
• Preventative measures that reduce the risk of a man-made disaster taking place
• Detective measures aimed at identifying unwanted events quickly
• Corrective measures that restore lost data and allow for business processes to resume in the aftermath of a disaster
To accomplish these goals, you will have to A) run analysis of potential threats, B) maintain IT systems in optimal condition, and C) seek innovative solutions that will guarantee business continuity and focus on cybersecurity.
On-time updates and opting for more innovative hardware and software can potentially save organizations a lot of money in the long run. Furthermore, an even bigger shift is being seen with more and more organizations adopting a cloud-based data management instead of local storage and operations. This pivot, as a part of disaster recovery planning, can minimize the cost of archive maintenance and the creation of comprehensive backups.
2. Increased Employee Productivity
A disaster recovery plan will have to be executed by the right people. When specific roles and responsibilities are assigned in advance, effectiveness and productivity will both increase.
In some instances, disaster recovery planning can mean having at least two people that are capable of handling the same task. Such redundancies can prove to be incredibly beneficial in the long run. When multiple employees are capable of handling a given task, organizations can benefit from peace of mind pertaining to overall the integrity of the network. Additionally, if someone is out on vacation or on sick leave, there will still be a qualified individual within the organization capable of dealing with the respective task.
Likewise, the same cross-training rule applies when an employee leaves the company. These are just a couple of scenarios that could be anticipated and addressed in a disaster planning strategy.
3. Greater Customer Retention
Clients today expect nothing short of perfection and reliability. They are not forgiving in the case of failures or downtime. When a certain business cannot meet their expectations, clients will simply move on to another service provider.
Disaster recovery planning enables businesses to maintain a high service quality, regardless of the circumstances. Reacquiring an old customer in the aftermath of an IT disaster can be nearly impossible – a disastrous effect that so many businesses have experienced firsthand.
In some industries, customers will be affected heavily by downtime. This is especially true for B2B service providers. The integrity of your business will affect the integrity of client enterprises. As a result, a chain reaction can lead to the potential failure of multiple businesses and a degraded reputation.
Reducing the risk of downtime and data loss means your clients can rest assured they will receive an adequate service even after disaster strikes. As a result, investing in disaster recovery planning is one of the imperatives when it comes to sustainable customer retention.
4. A Better Understanding of Scalability
One of the key things you will have to do when planning disaster recovery is identifying innovative solutions. Technologies like cloud-based data storage and backups simplify the process of archive maintenance, enhance the effectiveness of backups and reduce the cost of disaster recovery.
Because cloud options are easily scalable, they offer more flexibility than the maintenance of an onsite or offsite data center. A switch can be completed far before a disaster strikes (if ever) and as the technical demands of the company adapt, so too will the storage solution being utilized.
Disaster recovery planning begins with a thorough research and a comparison of possibilities. Businesses who engage in such a strategic process can quickly uncover data storage solution that makes a lot more sense than the one being currently utilized and that can be tweaked on the go.
Disaster recovery planning can streamline IT processes, help for the elimination of superfluous hardware and reduce the risk of human error. In a sense, you are not just preparing to recover in the aftermath of a disaster, you are working to make your business more resilient and profitable.
Today, the office is no longer just a physical place – it’s a collection of people who need to work together from wherever they are. Evolve IP partners with IT professionals to bring together their essential productivity and communication tools into a single, secure cloud-based solution, fine-tuned for the hybrid workforce and delivered as a service. By integrating these disconnected systems from vendors like Microsoft, Cisco, and VMware, and filling in the gaps, we are improving the experience for both employees and customers, while centralizing technology management. So no matter how locations, tools, and partners shift over time, you have a solution that makes the future of work better for everyone.
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What Is a Disaster Recovery Plan and Why Is It Important?
Organizations can’t always avoid disasters, however having disaster recovery plans and the preventative measures they include are essential for minimizing potential damage, quickly getting things back up and running, and most importantly preventing disasters in the first place.
In this video learn more about what a disaster recovery plan is, why it’s important—including statistics and the benefits—and the top types of plans and preventative strategies used in disaster recovery plans today.
Defining Data Recovery Plans and Their Importance
A disaster recovery plan (DPR) is a set of “actions to be taken before, during, and after a disaster”, and is made to help protect businesses in such an event.
Disaster recovery plans and the preventative measures they include are essential for stopping disasters from occurring in the first place and although disasters may not always be avoidable, having a recovery plan helps to reduce the potential damage and quickly restore operations when one occurs.
Disaster Recovery Costs by the Numbers
In 2017, Hurricane Harvey left over $125 billion of damage behind—on top of extensive recovery times.
Over 50% of businesses can only handle 1 hour of downtime without significant financial damage—including potentially closing their doors.
Disaster Recovery Plan Benefits
Similar to other insurance plans, having a plan comes with benefits such as:
- Minimize recovery time & possible delays
- Prevent potential legal liability
- Improve security
- Avoid potentially damaging last-second decision-making during a disaster
Types of Plans
Preventative measures are one of the most important parts of a disaster recovery plan because they are used to identify, address, and reduce environmental and other risks in order to stop disasters from occurring in the first place. There are multiple preventative strategies for data prevention plans, including:
Backup Data & Store Records Off Site
Magnetic backup tapes are one if the easiest ways to back up data because of their high-volume capacity and low cost. By using offsite tape vaulting , data can be quickly retrieved and restored in case of an on-site disaster.
Implement Fire-Suppressant Systems & Climate-Controlled Storage
To prevent environmental damage , two key protections to implement are fire suppression systems as well as climate controls to regulate temperature and humidity in storage areas.
Manage Digital Documents & Data Securely
Using document management system (DMS) software, numerous security measures can be configured including individual access controls for each user, encryption and firewall systems, and centralized backup servers without an internet connection in case of a data breach.
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From Loss to Recovery: The Advantages of Disaster Recovery Plan
- By Michael Claxton
- August 27, 2021
Home > From Loss to Recovery: The Advantages of Disaster Recovery Plan
No one wants to think about disaster striking. It’s enough to set off a panic attack, particularly in the current global climate. But when it comes to your business, thinking about disasters is a necessity that you need to face. In particular, you need to think about the advantages of disaster recovery plan stategising for your company.
What is a Data Disaster?
Disasters can come in many forms for a business, but one of the most common is a data disaster. It could be caused by something as innocuous as a power outage, or as malicious as a cyber attack. But the result is the same. Your company’s information becomes corrupted, or is no longer available. Your operations grind to a halt as you search for a solution that will bring you back online.
But what if you could plan ahead? What if you could ensure that your business is covered for any eventuality. That even when disaster strikes, operations can continue as normal. This is where the advantage of Disaster Recovery Plans come in.
What Does a Disaster Recovery Plan Involve?
A good disaster recovery solution is multi-faceted, covering all aspects of your business. It documents:
- Technology that you have in place for ensuring that your information is backed up, and quickly and easily recovered
- Priorities for data recovery. This ensures that the most essential aspects of your operations are brought back online as quickly as possible. Less important data is recovered in the background
- Roles assigned to your team members that ensure that the recovery is efficient and effective
- Steps for communicating with your clients. You want to ensure that they remain informed, but that their minds are put at ease
Advantages of a Disaster Recovery Plan
There can be nothing worse than having a disaster strike when you aren’t prepared. The result is utter chaos that has lasting effects on businesses beyond the time that it takes to come back online. From the heavy costs involved in last-minute restorations, to penalties that may be due if personal information becomes compromised, to the impact that a disaster can have on both your reputation and your productivity. It’s clear that putting a plan in place to curb the effect of disaster is essential for any business.
Here are just 5 advantages of a disaster recovery plan that your business could be benefitting from:
Every minute that your operations are offline is detrimental to your business. It increases the costs incurred and can cause irreparable damage to your reputation. Not to mention the impact it can have on your teams’ productivity as they struggle to access the tools they need to do their work.
Having a disaster recovery plan in place, with your data backed up and recoverable in the cloud, will mean that even when a data disaster strikes, your business operations will be able to continue. Often entirely uninterrupted.
2. Enhanced Security
Ransomware attacks are on the rise every year. Businesses who are ill prepared for a data disaster are often forced to pay millions of Rands in compensation to criminals in order to retain their information.
Incorporating data backup and restore policies into your disaster recovery plan can ensure that even if your business does fall victim to a ransomware or malware attack, the impact is limited. Don’t let your data held at ransom. You can simply restore a backup of your information that is not at risk of being compromised, making criminal efforts moot.
Plus, cloud backup services themselves include enhanced security features. These can not only detect unauthorised access, but can help you stop suspicious activity before it can have an impact for your business.
3. Customer Retention
If your customers cannot trust you to keep their personal information secure, why should they trust in your services?
Whenever a data disaster strikes, customers become wary. They start to question the way in which your data was being stored and how reliable your company’s practices and services really are. The longer the disaster impacts your operations, the more frustrated your client base will become. After all, people can excuse a momentary lapse in service. But when your services are offline for hours or days on end, the reputation that you have spent years building up can quickly crumble.
One of the many advantages of a disaster recovery plan is that you can ensure your teams are well-equipped to handle client questions. Keep your customers are up-to-date on the situation, and show that you are well prepared even in the face of disaster. The right disaster recovery plan can not only see you maintaining your well-earned reputation. It can even boosting it if handled correctly! You can set a great example that other companies should live up to.
4. Cost Efficiency
Data disasters can be extremely costly affairs. Between ransoms that are being demanded, penalties that can be incurred when personal information becomes compromised, loss of income and of productivity, a single data disaster has the potential to force company closure.
Having a disaster recovery plan in place can see you avoiding each of these costly effects. It can even impact your bottom line in a positive way when business is operating as normal! Backing data up to the cloud using a service like Microsoft 365 Backup , rather than to on-premises disks or servers, can see you reducing your operating costs significantly. For example, cloud storage solutions are more cost effective to both run and maintain than their in-office counterparts. And this is just one of the cost benefits of disaster recovery plans.
When working with an external team to put a disaster recovery plan in place, there’s even further room for cost-efficiency. Your internal teams will be able to put their time to more effective use, while an external company will monitor, manage and maintain your data.
5. Increased Productivity
A disaster recovery plan can keep your data accessible and available even when disaster strikes. But just having a plan in place can improve productivity as well!
Ensuring that your teams know their roles in keeping your data secure, and know precisely how to respond when an attack occurs, will reduce the risk posed to your information. It will even improve efficiency all around. After all, one of the advantages of a disaster recovery plan is that your employees have steps to follow that will reduce the sense of panic that is bound to erupt when a disaster crops up. Instead they’ll handle the situation calmly and effectively.
No one wants to think about disaster striking, but in the world we live in, with cyberthreats increasing on a daily basis, it is something that businesses need to seriously consider. The advantages of disaster recovery plans are clear. Having the right plan in place can see your company not only surviving, but thriving. But how can you make sure that you are implementing the right plan for your business?
Technology experts, Solid Systems, have spent the past 18 years helping businesses to protect their data and plan for the future. This includes implementing roadmaps that see companies making the most of existing tech and embracing innovative solutions that will help them meet their goals. They also ensure that the businesses the work with are protected against cyber threats. Get in touch with Solid Systems today to start your disaster recovery planning journey.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A disaster recovery plan is important because it helps an organisation prepare for, respond to, and recover from a natural or man-made disaster, such as a fire, flood, cyber attack, or power outage. It makes sure that important business operations can continue or be quickly restarted after a disruption. This cuts down on downtime and protects the organization’s reputation, revenue, and customer base. Also, a disaster recovery plan helps organizations meet legal and regulatory requirements and can lessen the financial impact of a disaster.
Having a disaster recovery plan in place can help in a number of ways. For example, it can help you quickly recover from disruptions, keep data loss and downtime to a minimum, and make sure that critical systems and operations can get back up and running as soon as possible. It can also help a business protect its reputation and keep its finances stable after a disaster.
A disaster recovery plan should be looked at and updated often to make sure it stays up-to-date and useful. Most of the time, it is best to review and update the plan at least once a year or when there are big changes in how the organisation works, its systems, or its environment. Also, the plan should be tested often to make sure that it can be carried out in case of a disaster.
The cost of putting a disaster recovery plan into action can vary based on the size, complexity, and needs of the organisation. The cost can include expenses for hardware, software, and services, as well as costs for planning, testing, and training. The cost may also include how much it costs to hire experts or consultants to help make the plan. But it’s important to keep in mind that not having a disaster recovery plan can cost a lot more in lost revenue, data, and reputation.
The most important part of a disaster recovery plan is figuring out what the organization’s most important systems and operations are and putting them in order of importance. This means figuring out what resources and processes are needed to keep the business running. By figuring out which systems and operations are most important, the disaster recovery plan will be easier to make and the most important parts of the organisation will be protected.
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The Importance of a Disaster Recovery Plan
By Johnny Nugent
Although sometimes taken lightly or often remembered as more of an afterthought , disaster recovery plans are extremely important to any business, especially a manufacturing business that relies on safely storing lots of data.
There are many risks to your data out there, including fire, natural disaster (snowstorm, tornado, earthquake), power outages or other connectivity loss , and cyber-attacks to name a few. Be sure to develop and test a solid disaster recovery plan every so often to minimize downtime and lost revenue.
Top Three Benefits of a Di saster Recovery Plan
Prevent data loss .
This may seem like an obvious benefit of a disaster recovery plan, but the planning and testing you put into your disaster recovery plan may determine just how much data your organization loses during a disaster. Data is of the utmost importance to every manufacturing company so minimizing as much data loss as possible during a disaster is a benefit of deve loping a solid plan.
After preserving data, minimizing lost profits is the next goal and benefit of developing disaster recovery plan. When disaster strikes there is often some downtime that comes with it as employees work to recover data and get systems back up and running. Downtime typically comes with lost profits because employe e s can’t focus on their day-to-day revenue producing tasks.
Maintain Customer Satisfaction
Keeping customers happy and coming back for more is the nu mber one priority of every business and in this fast-paced world we live in , customers expect perfection. If a busines s isn’t meeting a customer's expectations, they will find another business to provide the same goods or services. Reducing the risk of downtime and data loss is crucial to keeping customer satisfaction high.
Disaster recovery planning is an important process for every business to go through. A disaster recovery plan requires identifying threats, setting goals of disaster recovery, researching the best ways to achieve those objecti ves, and testing the plan. Be sure to revisit and test your disaster recovery plan to ensure your business has the resilience to last through any disaster.
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Disaster Recovery Plan
Disaster recovery plan definition.
What is a disaster recovery plan? A disaster recovery plan (DRP), disaster recovery implementation plan, or IT disaster recovery plan is a recorded policy and/or process that is designed to assist an organization in executing recovery processes in response to a disaster to protect business IT infrastructure and more generally promote recovery.
The purpose of a disaster recovery plan is to comprehensively explain the consistent actions that must be taken before, during, and after a natural or man-made disaster so that the entire team can take those actions. A disaster recovery plan should address both man-made disasters that are intentional, such as fallout from terrorism or hacking, or accidental, such as an equipment failure.
What is a disaster recovery plan ?
Organizations of all sizes generate and manage massive amounts of data, much of it mission critical. The impact of corruption or data loss from human error, hardware failure, malware, or hacking can be substantial. Therefore, it is essential to create a disaster recovery plan for the restoration of business data from a data backup image.
It is most effective to develop an information technology (IT) disaster recovery plan in conjunction with the business continuity plan (BCP). A business continuity plan is a complete organizational plan that consists of five components:
1. Business resumption plan 2. Occupant emergency plan 3. Continuity of operations plan 4. Incident management plan (IMP) 5. Disaster recovery plan
Generally, components one through three do not touch upon IT infrastructure at all. The incident management plan typically establishes procedures and a structure to address cyber attacks against IT systems during normal times, so it does not deal with the IT infrastructure during disaster recovery. For this reason, the disaster recovery plan is the only component of the BCP of interest to IT.
Among the first steps in developing such adisaster recovery strategy is business impact analysis, during which the team should develop IT priorities and recovery time objectives. The team should time technology recovery strategies for restoring applications, hardware, and data to meet business recovery needs.
Every situation is unique and there is no single correct way to develop a disaster recovery plan. However, there are three principal goals of disaster recovery that form the core of most DRPs:
- prevention, including proper backups, generators, and surge protectors
- detection of new potential threats, a natural byproduct of routine inspections
- correction, which might include holding a “lessons learned” brainstorming session and securing proper insurance policies
What should a disaster recovery plan include?
Although specific disaster recovery plan formats may vary, the structure of a disaster recovery plan should include several features:
Goals A statement of goals will outline what the organization wants to achieve during or after a disaster, including the recovery time objective (RTO) and the recovery point objective (RPO). The recovery point objective refers to how much data (in terms of the most recent changes) the company is willing to lose after a disaster occurs. For example, an RPO might be to lose no more than one hour of data, which means data backups must occur at least every hour to meet this objective.
Recovery time objective or RTO refers to the acceptable downtime after an outage before business processes and systems must be restored to operation. For example, the business must be able to return to operations within 4 hours in order to avoid unacceptable impacts to business continuity.
Personnel Every disaster recovery plan must detail the personnel who are responsible for the execution of the DR plan, and make provisions for individual people becoming unavailable.
IT inventory An updated IT inventory must list the details about all hardware and software assets, as well as any cloud services necessary for the company’s operation, including whether or not they are business critical, and whether they are owned, leased, or used as a service.
Backup procedures The DRP must set forth how each data resource is backed up – exactly where, on which devices and in which folders, and how the team should recover each resource from backup.
Disaster recovery procedures These specific procedures, distinct from backup procedures, should detail all emergency responses, including last-minute backups, mitigation procedures, limitation of damages, and eradication of cybersecurity threats.
Disaster recovery sites Any robust disaster recovery plan should designate a hot disaster recovery site. Located remotely, all data can be frequently backed up to or replicated at a hot disaster recovery site — an alternative data center holding all critical systems. This way, when disaster strikes, operations can be instantly switched over to the hot site.
Restoration procedures Finally, follow best practices to ensure a disaster recovery plan includes detailed restoration procedures for recovering from a loss of full systems operations. In other words, every detail to get each aspect of the business back online should be in the plan, even if you start with a disaster recovery plan template. Here are some procedures to consider at each step.
Include not just objectives such as the results of risk analysis and RPOs, RTOs, and SLAs, but also a structured approach for meeting these goals. The DRP must address each type of downtime and disaster with a step-by-step plan, including data loss, flooding, natural disasters, power outages, ransomware, server failure, site-wide outages, and other issues. Be sure to enrich any IT disaster recovery plan template with these critical details.
Create a list of IT staff including contact information, roles, and responsibilities. Ensure each team member is familiar with the company disaster recovery plan before it is needed so that individual team members have the necessary access levels and passwords to meet their responsibilities. Always designate alternates for any emergency, even if you think your team can’t be affected.
Address business continuity planning and disaster recovery by providing details about mission-critical applications in your DRP. Include accountable parties for both troubleshooting any issues and ensuring operations are running smoothly. If your organization will use cloud backup services or disaster recovery services, vendor name and contact information, and a list of authorized employees who can request support during a disaster should be in the plan; ideally the vendor and organizational contacts should know of each other.
Media communication best practices are also part of a robust disaster recovery and business continuity plan. A designated public relations contact and media plan are particularly useful to high profile organizations, enterprises, and users who need 24/7 availability, such as government agencies or healthcare providers. Look for disaster recovery plan examples in your industry or vertical for specific best practices and language.
Benefits of a disaster recovery plan
Obviously, a disaster recovery plan details scenarios for reducing interruptions and resuming operations rapidly in the aftermath of a disaster. It is a central piece of the business continuity plan and should be designed to prevent data loss and enable sufficient IT recovery.
Beyond the clear benefit of improved business continuity under any circumstances, having a company disaster recovery plan can help an organization in several other important ways.
Cost-efficiency Disaster recovery plans include various components that improve cost-efficiency. The most important elements include prevention, detection, and correction, as discussed above. Preventative measures reduce the risks from man-made disasters. Detection measures are designed to quickly identify problems when they do happen, and corrective measures restore lost data and enable a rapid resumption of operations.
Achieving cost-efficiency goals demands regular maintenance of IT systems in their optimal condition, high-level analysis of potential threats, and implementation of innovative cybersecurity solutions. Keeping software updated and systems optimally maintained saves time and is more cost-effective. Adopting cloud-based data management as a part of disaster recovery planning can further reduce the costs of backups and maintenance.
Increased productivity Designating specific roles and responsibilities along with accountability as a disaster recovery plan demands increases effectiveness and productivity in your team. It also ensures redundancies in personnel for key tasks, improving sick day productivity, and reducing the costs of turnover.
Improved customer retention Customers do not easily forgive failures or downtime, especially if they result in loss of sensitive data. Disaster recovery planning helps organizations meet and maintain a higher quality of service in every situation. Reducing the risks your customers face from data loss and downtime ensures they receive better service from you during and after a disaster, shoring up their loyalty.
Compliance Enterprise business users, financial markets, healthcare patients, and government entities, all rely on availability, uptime, and the disaster recovery plans of important organizations. These organizations in turn rely on their DRPs to stay compliant with industry regulations such as HIPAA and FINRA.
Scalability Planning disaster recovery allows businesses to identify innovative solutions to reduce the costs of archive maintenance, backups, and recovery. Cloud-based data storage and related technologies enhance and simplify the process and add flexibility and scalability.
The disaster recovery planning process can reduce the risk of human error, eliminate superfluous hardware, and streamline the entire IT process. In this way, the planning process itself becomes one of the advantages of disaster recovery planning, streamlining the business, and rendering it more profitable and resilient before anything ever goes wrong.
Ways to develop a disaster recovery plan
There are several steps in the development of a disaster recovery plan. Although these may vary somewhat based on the organization, here are the basic disaster recovery plan steps:
Risk assessment First, perform a risk assessment and business impact analysis (BIA) that addresses many potential disasters. Analyze each functional area of the organization to determine possible consequences from middle of the road scenarios to “worst-case” situations, such as total loss of the main building. Robust disaster recovery plans set goals by evaluating risks up front, as part of the larger business continuity plan, to allow critical business operations to continue for customers and users as IT addresses the event and its fallout.
Consider infrastructure and geographical risk factors in your risk analysis. For example, the ability of employees to access the data center in case of a natural disaster, whether or not you use cloud backup, and whether you have a single site or multiple sites are all relevant here. Be sure to include this information, even if you’re working from a sample disaster recovery plan.
Evaluate critical needs Next, establish priorities for operations and processing by evaluating the critical needs of each department. Prepare written agreements for selected alternatives, and include details specifying all special security procedures, availability, cost, duration, guarantee of compatibility, hours of operation, what constitutes an emergency, non-mainframe resource requirements, system testing, termination conditions, a procedure notifying users of system changes, personnel requirements, specs on required processing hardware and other equipment, a service extension negotiation process, and other contractual issues.
Set disaster recovery plan objectives Create a list of mission-critical operations to plan for business continuity, and then determine which data, applications, equipment, or user accesses are necessary to support those functions. Based on the cost of downtime, determine each function’s recovery time objective (RTO). This is the target amount of time in hours, minutes, or seconds an operation or application can be offline without an unacceptable business impact.
Determine the recovery point objective (RPO), or the point in time back to which you must recover the application. This is essentially the amount of data the organization can afford to lose.
Assess any service level agreements (SLAs) that your organization has promised to users, executives, or other stakeholders.
Collect data and create the written document Collect data for your plan using pre-formatted forms as needed. Data to collect in this stage may include:
- lists (critical contact information list, backup employee position listing, master vendor list, master call list, notification checklist)
- inventories (communications equipment, data center computer hardware, documentation, forms, insurance policies, microcomputer hardware and software, office equipment, off-site storage location equipment, workgroup hardware, etc.)
- schedules for software and data files backup/retention
- procedures for system restore/recovery
- temporary disaster recovery locations
- other documentation, inventories, lists, and materials
Organize and use the collected data in your written, documented plan.
Test and revise Next, develop criteria and procedures for testing the plan. This is essential to ensure the organization has adopted compatible, feasible backup procedures and facilities, and to identify areas that should be modified. It also allows the team to be trained, and proves the value of the DRP and ability of the organization to withstand disasters.
Finally, test the plan based on the criteria and procedures. Conduct an initial dry run or structured walk-through test and correct any problems, ideally outside normal operational hours. Types of business disaster recovery plan tests include: disaster recovery plan checklist tests, full interruption tests, parallel tests, and simulation tests.
The recovery point objective, or RPO, refers to how much data (in terms of the most recent changes) the company is willing to lose after a disaster occurs. For example, an RPO might be to lose no more than one hour of data, which means data backups must occur at least every hour to meet this objective.
The RPO answers this question: “How much data could be lost without significantly impacting the business?”
Example: If the RPO for a business is 20 hours and the last available good copy of data after an outage is 18 hours old, we are still within the RPO’s parameters.
In other words, the RTO answers the question: “How much time after notification of business process disruption should it take to recover?”
To compare RPO and RTO , consider that RPO means a variable amount of data that would need to be re-entered after a loss or would be lost altogether during network downtime. In contrast, RTO refers to how much real time can elapse before the disruption unacceptably impedes normal business operations.
It is important to expose the gap between actuals and objectives set forth in the disaster recovery plan. Only business disruption and disaster rehearsals can expose actuals—specifically Recovery Point Actual (RPA) and Recovery Time Actual (RTA). Refining these differences brings the plan up to speed.
Strategies and tools for a disaster recovery plan
The right strategies and tools help implement a disaster recovery plan.
Traditional on-premises recovery strategies The IT team should develop disaster recovery strategies for IT applications, systems, and data. This includes desktops, data, networks, connectivity, servers, wireless devices, and laptops. Identify IT resources that support time-sensitive business processes and functions so their recovery times match.
Information technology systems require connectivity, data, hardware, and software. The entire system may fail due to a single component, so recovery strategies should anticipate the loss of one or more of these system components:
- Secure, climate-controlled computer room environment with backup power supply
- Connectivity to a service provider
- Hardware such as desktop and laptop computers, networks, wireless devices and peripherals, and servers
- Software applications such as electronic mail, electronic data interchange, enterprise resource management, and office productivity
Data and restoration For business applications that cannot tolerate downtime, actual parallel computing, data mirroring, or multiple data center synchronization is possible yet costly. Other solutions for mission critical business applications and sensitive data include cloud backup and cloud-native disaster recovery, which reduce the need for expensive hardware and IT infrastructure.
Internal recovery strategies Some enterprises store data at multiple facilities and configure hardware to run similar applications from data center to data center when needed. Assuming off-site data backup or data mirroring are taking place, processing can continue and data can be restored at an alternate site under these circumstances. However, this is a costly solution, and one that demands an internal solution that is itself infallible.
Cloud-based disaster recovery strategies Cloud-based vendors offer Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), which are essentially “hot sites” for IT disaster recovery hosted in the cloud. DRaaS leverages the cloud to provide fully configured recovery sites that mirror the applications in the local data center. This allows users a more immediate response, allowing them the ability to recover critical applications in the cloud, keeping them ready for use at the time of a disaster.
Vendors can host and manage applications, data security services, and data streams, enabling access to information via web browser at the primary business site or other sites. These vendors can typically enhance cybersecurity because their ongoing monitoring for outages offers data filtering and detection of malware threats. If the vendor detects an outage at the client site, they hold all client data automatically until the system is restored. In this sense, the cloud is essential to security planning and disaster recovery.
Does Druva offer a cloud disaster recovery plan ?
With Druva’s cloud-native disaster recovery plan, workloads on-premises or in the cloud back up directly to the Druva Cloud Platform, built on AWS. This eliminates recovery complexities by enabling automated runbook execution and one-click disaster recovery. Druva’s cloud-native disaster recovery includes failover and failback, either back to on-premises systems or to any AWS region or account without hardware, a managed DR site, or excessive administration.
Watch the video below for a demo, and discover Druva's innovative one-click solutions for on-premises and cloud workloads on the disaster recovery page of the website .
Now that you’ve learned about the disaster recovery plan, brush up on these related terms with Druva’s glossary:
- What is cyber resilience?
- What is an RPO?
- What is an RTO?
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What Is Disaster Recovery?
Disaster recovery is an organization’s method of regaining access and functionality to its IT infrastructure after events like a natural disaster, cyber attack, or even business disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A variety of disaster recovery (DR) methods can be part of a disaster recovery plan . DR is one aspect of business continuity .
Address and Overcome the Top Challenges of Deploying a Disaster Recovery Solution
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How does disaster recovery work.
Disaster recovery relies upon the replication of data and computer processing in an off-premises location not affected by the disaster. When servers go down because of a natural disaster, equipment failure or cyber attack, a business needs to recover lost data from a second location where the data is backed up. Ideally, an organization can transfer its computer processing to that remote location as well in order to continue operations.
5 Top Elements of an Effective Disaster Recovery Plan
- Disaster recovery team : This assigned group of specialists will be responsible for creating, implementing and managing the disaster recovery plan. This plan should define each team member’s role and responsibilities. In the event of a disaster, the recovery team should know how to communicate with each other, employees, vendors, and customers.
- Risk evaluation : Assess potential hazards that put your organization at risk. Depending on the type of event, strategize what measures and resources will be needed to resume business. For example, in the event of a cyber attack, what data protection measures will the recovery team have in place to respond?
- Business-critical asset identification : A good disaster recovery plan includes documentation of which systems, applications, data, and other resources are most critical for business continuity, as well as the necessary steps to recover data.
- Backups : Determine what needs backup (or to be relocated), who should perform backups, and how backups will be implemented. Include a recovery point objective (RPO) that states the frequency of backups and a recovery time objective (RTO) that defines the maximum amount of downtime allowable after a disaster. These metrics create limits to guide the choice of IT strategy, processes and procedures that make up an organization’s disaster recovery plan. The amount of downtime an organization can handle and how frequently the organization backs up its data will inform the disaster recovery strategy.
- Testing and optimization : The recovery team should continually test and update its strategy to address ever-evolving threats and business needs. By continually ensuring that a company is ready to face the worst-case scenarios in disaster situations, it can successfully navigate such challenges. In planning how to respond to a cyber attack, for example, it’s important that organizations continually test and optimize their security and data protection strategies and have protective measures in place to detect potential security breaches.
How to Build a Disaster Recovery Team
Whether creating a disaster recovery strategy from scratch or improving an existing plan, assembling the right collaborative team of experts is a critical first step. It starts with tapping IT specialists and other key individuals to provide leadership over the following key areas in the event of a disaster:
- Crisis management: This leadership role commences recovery plans, coordinates efforts throughout the recovery process, and resolves problems or delays that emerge.
- Business continuity: The expert overseeing this ensures that the recovery plan aligns with the company’s business needs, based on the business impact analysis.
- Impact assessment and recovery: The team responsible for this area of recovery has technical expertise in IT infrastructure including servers, storage, databases and networks.
- IT applications: This role monitors which application activities should be implemented based on a restorative plan. Tasks include application integrations, application settings and configuration, and data consistency.
While not necessarily part of the IT department, the following roles should also be assigned to any disaster recovery plan:
- Executive management: The executive team will need to approve the strategy, policies and budget related to the disaster recovery plan, plus provide input if obstacles arise.
- Critical business units: A representative from each business unit will ideally provide feedback on disaster recovery planning so that their specific concerns are addressed.
What Are the Types of Disaster Recovery?
Businesses can choose from a variety of disaster recovery methods, or combine several:
- Back-up: This is the simplest type of disaster recovery and entails storing data off site or on a removable drive. However, just backing up data provides only minimal business continuity help, as the IT infrastructure itself is not backed up.
- Cold Site: In this type of disaster recovery, an organization sets up a basic infrastructure in a second, rarely used facility that provides a place for employees to work after a natural disaster or fire. It can help with business continuity because business operations can continue, but it does not provide a way to protect or recover important data, so a cold site must be combined with other methods of disaster recovery.
- Hot Site: A hot site maintains up-to-date copies of data at all times. Hot sites are time-consuming to set up and more expensive than cold sites, but they dramatically reduce down time.
- Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS): In the event of a disaster or ransomware attack, a DRaaS provider moves an organization’s computer processing to its own cloud infrastructure, allowing a business to continue operations seamlessly from the vendor’s location, even if an organization’s servers are down. DRaaS plans are available through either subscription or pay-per-use models. There are pros and cons to choosing a local DRaaS provider: latency will be lower after transferring to DRaaS servers that are closer to an organization’s location, but in the event of a widespread natural disaster, a DRaaS that is nearby may be affected by the same disaster.
- Back Up as a Service: Similar to backing up data at a remote location, with Back Up as a Service, a third party provider backs up an organization’s data, but not its IT infrastructure.
- Datacenter disaster recovery: The physical elements of a data center can protect data and contribute to faster disaster recovery in certain types of disasters. For instance, fire suppression tools will help data and computer equipment survive a fire. A backup power source will help businesses sail through power outages without grinding operations to a halt. Of course, none of these physical disaster recovery tools will help in the event of a cyber attack.
- Virtualization: Organizations can back up certain operations and data or even a working replica of an organization’s entire computing environment on off-site virtual machines that are unaffected by physical disasters. Using virtualization as part of a disaster recovery plan also allows businesses to automate some disaster recovery processes, bringing everything back online faster. For virtualization to be an effective disaster recovery tool, frequent transfer of data and workloads is essential, as is good communication within the IT team about how many virtual machines are operating within an organization.
- Point-in-time copies: Point-in-time copies, also known as point-in-time snapshots, make a copy of the entire database at a given time. Data can be restored from this back-up, but only if the copy is stored off site or on a virtual machine that is unaffected by the disaster.
- Instant recovery: Instant recovery is similar to point-in-time copies, except that instead of copying a database, instant recovery takes a snapshot of an entire virtual machine .
How to Plan for COVID-19 Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
COVID-19 and the resulting global crisis have pushed many companies to support employees working remotely and forced organizations to rethink their disaster recovery and business continuity strategies. With the pandemic in play, even just a network outage can have a significant effect on the business.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Add the risks and potential consequences of infectious diseases to your disaster recovery plan. Although rare on such a global scale, having specific plans for this type of emergency will help ensure they’re handled as smoothly as possible.
- Make plans for people, not just technology. The results of COVID-19 have shown that for businesses to remain successful employees need support, communication and resources. Plan ways that you will be able to provide these elements even when employees are working from home and may have different or limited access to their normal devices, networks or communication channels.
- Consider additional cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for more efficient and flexible options for remote work, as well as lessening the reliance on one central data center or main HQ. Make sure your plans include IT redundancy—multiple systems in multiple sites, so that if one system gets compromised, the business remains operational.
What Are the Benefits of Disaster Recovery Software?
No organization can afford to ignore disaster recovery. The two most important benefits of having a disaster plan in place, including effective DR software, are:
- Cost savings: Planning for potential disruptive events can save businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars and even mean the difference between a company surviving a natural disaster or folding.
- Faster recovery: Depending on the disaster recovery strategy and the types of disaster recovery tools used, businesses can get up and running much faster after a disaster, or even continue operations as if nothing had happened.
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- What is Business Continuity?
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- What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?
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The importance of disaster recovery plans for businesses
Technology underpins practically every part of a business; but the more we rely on our tools, networks and applications, the more we have to lose if they fail us. That’s why every business needs a plan in place to quickly restore and recover IT systems in the event of a failure – in other words, a disaster recovery (DR) plan. But knowing what you have to do is often a lot easier than actually doing it. As such, there’s a world of difference between thinking you’re prepared for a disaster and having a comprehensive DR plan in place.
The benefits of a disaster recovery plan
The purpose of a disaster recovery plan is to reduce damage or disruption and recover as quickly as possible in the event of a disaster that leads to system failure. DR plans usually have two key components: a recovery time objective (RTO) and a recovery point objective (RPO). The RTO is the time it takes to recover systems after an outage, which determines how much time you need to restore business operations. The RPO reveals how often a backup needs to take place, by setting a limit for the length of time the company can sustain data loss. Creating a DR plan can also have immediate benefits. For instance, because developing the plan involves conducting an audit of your IT assets and Service Level Agreements, you’ll better understand the organisation’s IT estate. You'll know who is responsible for which assets and when they need to recover systems and restore backups.
What makes an effective DR plan?
Your disaster recovery plan might look good on paper, but without practical backing to support its implementation and activation, it is unlikely to live up to its promise.
The rise of Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service
With so many businesses adopting cloud-based services and applications, Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) solutions are increasingly popular. Even before the pandemic, IDC estimated as many as half of all organisations could not survive a disaster event because of inadequate DR planning and implementation. Research director Phil Goodwin recently stated that “the pendulum has swung towards disaster recovery in the cloud,” because the “cloud has changed the economics of disaster recovery.” Benefits of DRaaS include:
- Faster recovery with an immediate switch over to a backup system.
- Flexibility – the ability to recover from many disaster types with a single solution.
- Security – DRaaS providers offer seamless redundancy with no single point of failure, to keep data securely backed up.
- Less need for redundant hardware, as DRaaS offers flexible pay-as-you-grow models.
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What Are The Benefits Of Creating A Business Disaster Recovery Plan
What are the benefits of creating a business disaster recovery plan .
Table of Contents
The biggest benefit of creating a disaster recovery plan is to ensure business continuity after a disaster. It is a known fact that the fallout of disasters can be devastating to a business.
Whether caused by natural events, hacking or human errors, you’re likely to incur major losses without a disaster recovery plan.
More than 90% of businesses that experience data loss will file for bankruptcy within a year. Further, more than 40% of companies that lack a disaster recovery plan will fold up after a disaster.
In this post, we’ll explain the benefits of a disaster recovery plan and how to create one for your business.
What Is A Disaster Recovery Plan?
A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a set of procedures that helps a business with proactive support so they can recover after experiencing an unexpected event. In the end, the organization can continue to carry out its functions and projects.
A DRP is critical for every business and makes up an integral part of a business continuity plan (BCP).
To create a DRP, you will have to conduct a business impact analysis (BIA) and risk analysis (RA). These are extensive analyses of all your business operations and continuity needs.
You will then get an evaluation of the necessary areas you need to focus on and the overall risks you need to manage.
A DRP also helps you meet compliance requirements for privacy legislation..
Benefits of Disaster Recovery
- Reduction of the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) of your business. RTO is the maximum time your business can use to recover from a disaster. While RPO is the maximum data your business can afford to lose.
- Revenue improvement by reducing the cost of possible damage due to data loss or downtime.
- Enhances business continuity by lessening the interruption of business operations.
- Maintains business integrity by preventing compromise and building trust.
- Acts as a treatment strategy to strengthen network security.
What Does A Disaster Recovery Plan Include?
1. To develop a Disaster Recovery Plan, you need to include the following elements:
Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO)
An RTO defines the maximum time your business can survive after a disaster before it resumes its normal functions. While an RPO entails the highest amount of data your business can afford to lose after a data breach.
2. Records of All Hardware and Software
Keep an updated record of all your IT assets such as hardware devices and software programs. You will need it to create an effective Disaster Recovery Plan. Make sure that the DRP covers the most important IT materials first, before the least necessary ones.
3. Assign Disaster Recovery Processes to Qualified Personnel
Make sure to employ personnel to develop and implement effective disaster recovery processes. The specialists are accountable for detecting and managing unexpected disasters. And also recovering operations and sustaining business continuity.
4. Disaster Recovery Sites And Storage Facility
Disaster recovery sites are backup locations where business assets like data are kept in case of unforeseen events. While a storage facility stores copies of physical documents and storage media. These backup locations should be included when creating a disaster recovery plan.
5. Record of Disaster Response Strategies
This is an integral part of a disaster recovery plan. It contains a detailed action plan with clear measures to be taken at the onset of a sudden disaster. All the strategies aim at minimizing the effect of the disaster, securing data, and ensuring recovery.
6. Develop Tactics to Ensure Network Security
Network security is one of the most crucial elements of a DRP. This is because there is an increase in cybercrime, which is one common business disaster. All endpoint devices connected to your network should be protected with efficient security.
7. Develop An Effective Communication Plan
The effective flow of information in the workplace can go a long way to minimizing the effects of a disaster. A communication plan can improve the effectiveness of a disaster recovery plan. It can also build trust and assure your clients.
8. Conduct Disaster Recovery Plan Tests
Testing your disaster recovery plan is a great way to detect loopholes that may cause it to fail. Make sure to carry out tests at least once after every 6 months to a year. Do not forget to make adjustments and updates to your plan after running tests.
How To Make A Disaster Recovery Plan
Having known the importance and elements of a DRP, waste no time creating one for your business. Below are steps to guide you on how to make a DRP:
1. Identify Your Business Risks and Continuity Needs
Carry out BIA and RA analyses of your business to identify possible risks that can lead to disasters. This is a proactive step that exposes areas of weakness that should be managed. It will also guide you on how to create DRP strategies that will reduce damage and recover your business.
2. Create A Disaster Recovery Unit/Team
This unit should have skilled personnel who create and implement a DRP for your business. If you’re running a small business, you can employ the number of staff depending on your budget.
3. Develop DRP Action Plan with Clear Procedures
A DRP should contain clear procedures that are easy to understand and access. Outlined steps should be concise, legible, and well-organized. All threats, risks, and actions should be listed and communicated to all employees.
4. Audit Hardware and Software Resources
Keep an updated record of all hardware and software devices in your organization. This allows you to keep track of IT activities, identify cyber security threats , and manage network security. Also, an inventory can help you locate and store data in your disaster recovery sites.
Identify which data is of high priority and get rid of unimportant files. This way you’ll be saving storage space to secure more important data.
5. Create Recovery Goals
Recovery goals such as RTO and RPO are necessary to help guide you in designing your DRP. When combined with RA and BIA analyses, these goals help to improve your DRP.
6. Test and Update Your Disaster Recovery Plan
After developing your DRP, it is important to test it to know its efficacy. Run tests and exercises with your defined risks and record flaws in your DRP. This way, you will know which areas need fixing and modification.
How Often Should A Disaster Recovery Plan Be Tested?
It is recommended that a disaster recovery plan should be tested as often as possible. But the frequency of tests largely depends on the type of business you’re running.
In general, a disaster recovery plan must be assessed and updated at least once every year. For every major change you make in any unit of your business, you must conduct a disaster recovery test.
A DRP testing combines technology configurations and vendor platforms to test your procedures. Assessment results of DRP tests are generally passed or fail. You can also get certifications after testing your DRP in the vendor platforms.
Asides from using vendor platforms, you can run mini-exercises to improve your DRP. Some of them include testing and restoring data backups, fire and evacuation drills, and call tree exercises.
You can also take training courses if you want to improve your knowledge of BCP and DRP. This gives you insight into the best way to create and test DRP in your business.
The importance of testing your disaster recovery plan cannon be overemphasized. It shows you areas in your DRP that need improvements or modifications. Making these updates can reduce losses and even save your business in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a disaster recovery plan and why is it important.
A disaster recovery plan is a set of measures that helps a business bounce back after an unexpected disaster. It is important to ensure the continuity and success of a business.
What are the advantages of disaster recovery as a service?
Some of the advantages of disaster recovery are:.
- Minimize loss caused by disasters
- Ensuring recovery of business operations
- Securing valuable business assets
- Providing compliance with regulations
- Preventing possible threats and risks to a business
What are the most important aspects of disaster recovery?
The most important aspects of disaster recovery are:
- Identifying risks
- Backing up essential data
- Create an effective communication plan
- Set up a disaster recovery team
- Testing disaster recovery plan
What’s in a disaster recovery plan?
A disaster recovery plan contains procedures on how to recognize and minimize the effects of threats. Some of these threats are cyber-attacks, natural disasters, human errors, and more.
What is the purpose of business recovery plans?
Business recovery plans are special procedures used by operational teams to restore activities to normal after an unexpected event.
Final Thoughts On The Benefits of A Business Disaster Recovery Plan
The best benefit of having a disaster recovery plan is that it assures your business of recovery and continuity after a disaster. A DRP is a set of predefined steps that saves your business by helping you bounce back quickly.
This post explains the requirements and steps for creating an effective DRP for your business. After creating one, you would need to regularly test your DRP to improve its efficacy. Computronix is a Managed Service Provider that has been providing disaster recovery services for over 25 years. Contact us today to establish your disaster recover plan before disaster strikes.
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