A sound business continuity plan keeps your company running despite the interruptions: IT system crash, power failures, pandemics and natural disasters.
High-end flood in Sydney. Wildfires across Australian territory. Windstorms across the Midwest. Multi-dimensional hacking and ransomware attacks by Russian hackers. And not to forget the global pandemic.
If any business is not thinking of having a disaster recovery and business continuity plan as their priority, you have not paid any attention to the recent events. As we have started to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, enterprises move their interests to digital, cloud-based service and remote work culture.
Unexpected, Unpredicted and Unbelievable natural disaster, data breaches, and the global pandemic have made it vulnerable to the business achieving its aim!
Starting to question your business existence?
Business requirement for the disaster recovery has changed drastically. Before, recovery times were measured in days or hours; now, they are evaluated in minutes. In 2021, there are cases where business units are demanding zero downtime if an unplanned outage occurs.
Today, even the business typhoons and leaders cannot find the solutions when a disaster or ongoing pandemic might strick the businesses. However, they are only trying to control the enterprise reaction to a disaster on their respective business segment (HR, IT, marketing, accounting).
Since all of the risks cannot have a specific root elimination, companies are taking support and practising the backups and disaster recovery for their business continuity to prepare for potentially uncontrollable circumstances. Both procedures are vitally valuable, as they provide determined proper strategies for the continuation of the business after severe disasters.
Here are the essentials for a few bare state-of-the-art-disaster recoveries and business continuity (DR/BC) for 2021 and beyond. Without getting gripped on the definitions, let’s say a backup is making a duplicate copy of your records. At the same time, disaster recovery is the process of restoring your critical IT conditions if they are compromised. If you have no idea what’s their importance, your company could end up paying or losing a significant amount of money.
There can be no doubt that the necessity of backups and disaster recovery can never get underestimated. The best way for business owners to start is by assessing their current situation in terms of existing threats, identifying and eliminating them, and ensuring that no circumstance threatens the organisation’s survival.
No backups? Too bad for business
Backups refer to the process of transferring data to a secondary form or computer (such as an archive file or in complex disk form) to recover the original file in case of a disaster.
Backups can be deduplicated and packed to save disk space. However, simple backups are no longer sufficient for a modern business; maintaining business continuity in the face of any failure or unexpected occurrence is a must for any organisation that does not want to fall behind.
If you do not have a continuity plan, there isn’t much left for you. You must move ahead without your data, or you are left negotiating with the criminals for the payouts.
It is the point where disaster recovery comes to the rescue.
Disaster Recovery (DR) is a strategy protection planning concept aiming to shield a company from the effects of natural or human-made disasters such as a cyber attack or tornado.
A disaster recovery plan aims to keep essential functions running before, after, and next to a disaster, with minimal disruption to business operations.
Integrating cyber-security, disaster recovery into a comprehensive data protection plan
For managed service providers in NSW, the only goal of disaster recovery is to eliminate the disaster, becoming increasingly challenging day by day. Firstly, data is not securely tucked away on the premises of the data centre. It’s indeed distributed evenly on the hyper-scale clouds and the edge of SaaS application.
Secondly, the pandemic drove out millions of employees out of the corporate offices, where the Wi-Fi is less secure. The employees are thoroughly sharing sensitive data on the collaborated applications.
Thirdly, hackers took notice of the expanding vectors and launched a barrage. As stated in the report produced by the Sophos State of Ransomware 2020 report, hackers have moved to server-based attacks instead of spray-and-spray desktop attacks. These are indeed the deadliest ones as they take over your highest value encrypted assets, which can cripple organisations for multi-dollar ransom.
As a response to the changing conditions, the MSPs must focus on beefing up the endpoint security for the remote workers, deploying the VPNs and encryption, protecting data no matter where it’s destined, and making sure the collaboration tools do not become the source of the security threat.
Performing a business impact analysis (BIA)
Enterprises must perform a thorough business analysis to evaluate the potential effects of disasters through regulatory compliances, legal liability, financial fallout, and employee safety.
Gartner estimates that 70% of the organisation makes disaster recovery decisions without marking the business aligned data points. Remember, you don’t need to protect every one of your data. Business must learn to prioritise the applications and figure out the dependencies associated with the business process.
Protect only those data that keeps your business running. You need to go through the process of locating, identifying and classifying data. But don’t ignore the data’s that fall under regulatory requirements and intellectual property.
Considering the disaster recovery as the service (DRaaS)
DRaaS is a popular option for SMEs organisations who want to improve their IT resilience, meet compliance or regulatory requirements, and have resource deficiencies. Gartner address that the DRaaS market is expected to mature with a growth rate of 12% every year.
So, backups are crucial for the business continuity plan, as they can help minimise the effects of a disaster in various ways. Disasters, on the other hand, are a much broader category.
The latest coronavirus outbreak serves as further evidence of the importance of data backups. Not only has the number of coronavirus-related cybercrimes (i.e. phishing, malware, spoofed sites) increased significantly, essential business functions have been interrupted or stopped during a disaster.
If it’s a lack of personnel or data structures, each of these situations can be disastrous for a company’s survival. Still, they must also drastically alter their work environments and operation protocols with careful planning.
In an organisation, the team’s only task after the disaster is to devise emergency strategies for various unpredictable scenarios. After crises, business continuity preparation aims to have a recovery plan to maintain company health and preserve the company mission.
A robust solution of backups covers all of your bases, including the ability to quickly and seamlessly recover sensitive data and resume critical staff positions.
If the business continuity strategy works, it will reduce losses and provide the best conditions for recovery.
How do you keep your company from being harmed in any way? Business Continuity entails putting systems and processes that will enable the business to continue operating even if there is a failure.
Internet connectivity, for example, has become a critical Business Continuity discussion due to the widespread use of online Cloud-based technology. Consider redundant firewalls and dual Internet feeds if an Internet outage would significantly affect your company.
The significant aspect is to keep your company going. In the case of a disaster or ongoing pandemic, COVID-19, backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity all work together to keep your business operational.
You can count on your return to operations within weeks or days if you are using a disaster recovery or simple backup solution. With progress toward business continuity, time gets reduced to minutes or seconds. To create a complete and efficient business continuity plan, you need first to understand the company’s data and operations.
Want to understand more about the trending BC/DR? Let’s connect!