The Importance Of Data Backup And Disaster Recovery Procedures
Data backup and disaster recovery is more important than ever for businesses. As more and more organisations come to rely on digital services, they need to protect these parts of their infrastructure.
Losing access to your computer systems or your historical data could seriously hurt your ability to do business. Therefore, many companies are now investing in data backup and disaster recovery procedures in order to safeguard them against this. This includes backup systems and redundancies for several business processes to prevent downtime and data loss.
The Difference Between Data Backups and Disaster Recovery
You’ll often see these two terms used together, but they refer to two separate procedures.
Data backup refers to keeping more than on copy of a piece of data. A good rule of thumb for data backup is to follow the “3, 2, 1 rule”. This means you should keep three copies of your data. You should store the copies on at least two different media and you should store at least one of those copies should separately.
Disaster recovery strategies often include data backup, but there is more to it than that. It refers to the procedures undertaken during, and after a “disaster” to reduce the impact and help maintain business continuity. This is why you will sometimes see disaster recovery services referred to as business continuity services. A disaster recovery plan is sometimes also known as a business continuity plan.
What Is A Disaster?
A disaster could refer to any single event which would cause a major problem for your business. They can be physical or digital, covering everything from cyberattacks, to human error, to natural disasters. A ransomware attack which prevents you using your computers would be classified as a disaster. Equally, a snowstorm that prevents you entering your office for a prolonged period would also be classed as a disaster.
Unfortunately, you can’t control when a disaster will strike, but you can make sure your business is prepared.
Also Read: How to Backup iPhone to Computer on a Simple Ways?
What Does A Disaster Recovery Plan Include?
In the event of a disaster, every business should have a bespoke disaster recovery plan which is tailored to their business. Many will partner with a managed IT services provider who specialises in devising and implementing disaster recovery plans. However, whatever your business is, there are some key elements which every disaster recovery plan should contain:
Business Impact Analysis
A vital first step in devising an effective disaster recovery plan is to conduct a thorough business impact analysis. This will help identify the most salient threats to your organisation and what their impact would be. You could think of this as a very in-depth risk assessment.
Recovery Point Objective
The recovery point objective (RPO) is the point in time when you need data to be restored from. For instance, some businesses would only need that day’s data in order to continue trading. If this was the case, their RPO could be 24 hours. Other businesses might need months or even years worth of data to continue operating.
The further back your recovery point objective is, the more expensive your disaster recovery service is likely to be.
Recovery Time Objective
The recovery time objective (RTO) specifies the maximum amount of time it should take to implement the disaster recovery plan. Your RTO will depend on the amount of downtime your business can sustain without seriously harming its profits or reputation.
Depending on your business, your RTO could be anywhere from an hour to several days. The shorter your recovery time objective is, the more expensive your disaster recovery service is likely to be. For this reason, it is important to be reasonable in your expectation.
Data backups play an important role in almost every disaster recovery plan. These days, the most cost effective, popular and reliable form of data backup is a cloud-based one. Cloud data backups have the advantage of being accessible from any location in the world with an internet connection.
Backup Communications System
If you can’t use your phones, you still need a way of contacting your customers until your normal business operations resume. This is why backup services for your business telecoms are a vital part of disaster recovery plans. VoIP telecoms platforms are a preferred method as you can access them from any location and on almost any device. In fact, some businesses will continue to use these VoIP platforms year-round due to this advantage.
Hopefully this has been a useful overview of the key elements of a disaster recovery plan. By now, you should understand why having one is essential for every business, no matter how big or small. If you do not currently have a disaster recovery plan for your organisation, you should contact a managed IT services provider. Your chosen provider should have a proven track record of devising and implementing disaster recovery plans.