Disaster Recovery Plan for your business is essential to protect against as it is the essential process of recovering data and resuming business operations following a natural disaster, site loss, or equipment failure.
Human error, cybercrime and natural disasters are the leading causes of lost data and lost productivity. Many business leaders think disaster recovery (DR) is too expensive, too complex or that a disaster is unlikely to impact them however it is a business necessity.
Organizations these days are challenged to do more with less in order to stay competitive. There are a large number of projects, advances, and business requirements in every industry. The struggle has come down to prioritizing business needs and goals to fit into the budget.
One major service that is often cut or reduced in capacity is often disaster recovery. It is important to remember that backups are not a full disaster recovery service.
Organizations sometime think that “Disasters happen to someone else” or “it will never happen to me”. This causes them to delay it until the next IT budget or use another service that restricts options in their time of need.
In this day of constant cyber threats, disaster recovery is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Technology and IT management have become a fundamental piece of every business no matter what industry.
When people think about disasters, they initially think of major natural disasters, such as hurricanes or flooding but unfortunately most from less extreme but potentially more damaging such as:
Ways Disasters Can Hit
- Hardware Failure – Most hardware manufacturers rate their business line of hardware at 99.999% of availability, but it still can fail. What happens if hardware fails? How does that impact what is running on the hardware? What if there is data corruption?
- Software Issues – No software package is perfect as you can face issues with upgrades, new releases, or simple patch management. There are many areas it can fail including integration, patches, and vulnerabilities. What happens if your application has an issue and it loses data or fails to start?
- Malicious Threats – The daily news is full of the latest security vulnerability, ransomware or cryptolocker. If your organization’s data is held hostage, how will you recover?
- Malicious Users – You trust your employees and most hope that they would never intentionally do something to compromise your network or data, but it does happen. If you have no recovery options in place, you will not be able to resolve it quickly and can face data loss or corruption.
- Accidents – Click, click, oops. People make mistakes and it can happen to anyone. They can be minor mistakes and resolved easily, while others are more pressing and require immediate IT intervention.
Disaster Recovery Plan Stats: The average downtime across industries costs a company $5,600 per minute according to a survey done by The Ponemon Institute.
Organizations DR Resiliency
It is rare not to find an organization without backups as many feel this is all they need to protect their environment and data. Data backups are necessary for long-term retention, file recovery and even system recovery. Backups are not disaster recovery. If you want a full resilient business continuity solution, you need backups and disaster recovery DR.
“Disaster Recovery DR must be looked at as insurance for something that hasn’t happened.”
RPO versus RTO
RPO – Recovery Point Objective. This is how far back in time you will go when recovering data in an event. Traditionally, backups run once a day at off hours which can lead to unacceptable RPO timelines. Example – If you only have a nightly backup and something happens before the next backup can occur, this would potentially put you back 20+ hours. How much data was lost? How many orders? How many projects? What is the impact of having to find and recreate 20+ hours of data?
RTO – Recovery Time Objective. This is how long it takes you to recover that data. Large data sets or even full systems can take hours to recover. When combined with an old data set, your business could be down for over 24 hours from the recovery process time and the last known good state of your data.
If you can’t afford to be down for 24 hours, you need to be protected with disaster recovery techniques that meet the appropriate RPO and RTO.
Businesses Can’t Afford to Cut Disaster Recovery From the Budget
Organizations cannot afford to cut disaster recovery. The cost of a disaster both from a monetary and perception standpoint can be incalculable. As a business, the “IF” factor should not be considered and measured on “when: it will happen. When it comes to technology, any number of things can happen from malicious software to a simple mistake. Only organizations with a tried and tested disaster recovery DR plan can weather these issues without incident.