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Invest in disaster recovery strategies and avoid damages to your company

by | Jan 13, 2022 | BLOG

Failures in the IT infrastructure can compromise the continuity of a business. For this reason, organizations must have a disaster recovery strategy to avoid losses.

This solution is useful to circumvent problems that can have different origins: natural disasters such as fires, human error, and cyberattacks are some examples. 

In this article, we go into more detail about disaster recovery and its importance for the security of institutions. We have broken down our text into the following topics:

  • What is Disaster Recovery and What Is Its Importance?
  • Emergence of Disaster Recovery
  • What are the Main Obstacles Faced by Disaster Recovery?
  • Threats to Cybersecurity in Organizations
  • Top Disaster Recovery Methods
  • What is the Best Disaster Recovery Method for my Organization?
  • Building a Disaster Recovery Plan
  • Understand RPO and RTO 
  • Synchronous Replication: Excellent Method for Companies that Cannot Tolerate High RPO from Data to Disaster Recovery
  • Asynchronous and Mixed Replication

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1. What is Disaster Recovery and What Is Its Importance?

As we suggested in the introduction to this article, disaster recovery is important to ensure the continuity of a business. 

This is because it is designed to avoid data loss and enable the company’s operations again whenever there is an interruption generated by unforeseen events, such as natural phenomena, cyberattacks. or system failure.

Thus, it is possible to prevent these inconveniences from negatively impacting the organization’s image in the eyes of its customers and causing great damage to the company.

2. Emergence of Disaster Recovery

 Disaster recovery came on the scene in the early 1970s. Before that, companies were less dependent on computer-based operations. 

In the following decade, American banks had to adapt to a government requirement: according to the determination, they would have to present a backup plan that could be tested. As a result, companies in other areas had adopted the same strategy in order to avoid long pauses in operations. 

In the 2000s, the dependence on network services was greater among companies, which began to capture and store a large amount of data, making disaster recovery a highly complex solution. 

This was simplified after 2010 with cloud computing and disaster recovery services, or “data recovery as a service” (DRaaS).

With the evolution of malicious actor tactics in virtual environments, adopting a disaster recovery plan has become imperative. After all, cyberattacks can affect a company’s work to the point of destroying its credibility, in addition to the immediate financial impacts.

3. What are the Main Obstacles Faced by Disaster Recovery?

In this topic, we cover some inconveniences that can be avoided or tackled by a disaster recovery plan. Check it out:

  • Human Error

People are subject to failures, which can result in incalculable damage if not properly addressed. These errors can occur on purpose or accidentally.

In the case of professionals who deal with computer equipment, any error can jeopardize data and operations and bring great financial impacts to companies. 

  • Equipment Problems

Machines can have faults that generate great inconvenience. This could be associated with software crashes, slow equipment. or system crash. 

This type of failure causes loss of productivity or even downtime when it is necessary to send the equipment for repair. Inevitably, this generates losses for organizations. 

  • Natural Phenomena

While not a frequent issue, natural disasters can occur and be devastating for companies that do not have a disaster recovery plan in place. 

A storm, for example, can destroy a company’s headquarters and computer equipment. For this reason, one needs to be prepared for such situations. 

  • Power Outages

Outages in electricity supply occur much more frequently than a natural disaster and also have a great potential to interrupt the activities of organizations, causing incalculable damage.

This type of unforeseen event can damage IT equipment and cause data loss, which is a major inconvenience. That is, the possibility of having a power outage is one more reason to adhere to a disaster recovery plan.

  • Equipment Theft

Having the equipment stolen creates problems that go beyond the initial scare and the damage caused by the need to replace the machines.

Besides the devices, it is possible to lose customer data and information about the business itself, which can even affect the company’s credibility. 

In this sense, it is advisable to have resources that allow you to recover lost data and keep operations in full swing to avoid damage.

  • Cybercrimes

With the evolution of technology and the action of hackers, organizations are increasingly vulnerable to cybercrimes. 

Cyber intrusions can occur for different purposes: demanding a ransom or appropriating data relating to that business.

Thus, it is essential to have a disaster recovery plan to recover information and files that may eventually be lost.


4. Threats to Cybersecurity in Organizations

Cyberattacks are increasingly sophisticated, which requires security solutions and, often, disaster recovery. Here are some threats:

  • Phishing: This is a social engineering attack (it is based on the manipulation of victims). Its most common methods include links that copy websites of trusted companies used to collect information to steal bank accounts, among other malicious actions.
  • Ransomware: In this type of malware, malicious actors demand payment of ransom to give victims back access to systems and files lost in traps such as spam.
  • Backdoor Attack: A backdoor allows an administrator to access a certain system in order to solve a problem. However, this mechanism can represent a loophole for hackers.
  • DoS and DDoS Attacks: DoS is a malicious action that overloads a server, making access to a website unavailable. In turn, DDoS affects multiple machines, flooding them with false requests and undermining real demands.


5. Top Disaster Recovery Methods

Currently, there are several disaster recovery strategies and organizations often use more than one to ensure their security. Check out the main resources used:

  • Cold Site

Here, the disaster recovery strategy works as follows: the institution has a second facility so that employees can continue to perform their duties even if incidents such as storms or fires occur.

This solution prevents business downtime, but does not enable data recovery. For this reason, we strongly recommend that it be paired with other disaster recovery tools.

  • Hot Site

This feature is very efficient when it comes to avoiding downtime. That’s because it copies data frequently, keeping it always up to date. However, their setup takes a long time and they are not among the most cost-effective solutions.

  • DRaaS

This solution ensures that computer processing is transferred to a cloud infrastructure. In this way, the company can carry out its activities even if the servers are down. 

You can access DRaaS plans through subscription or pay-per-use.  

Building a Disaster Recovery Plan

 

6. What is the Best Disaster Recovery Method for my Organization?

When defining the ideal disaster recovery method, you must analyze the demands of your company. This is because the best method varies according to the needs of each organization.

Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that even before defining the method to be used, companies need to have a disaster recovery plan. Also, certain practices are widely recommended. Check it out:

  • Your business undergoes numerous changes over time. Therefore, it is extremely important to update your disaster recovery plans frequently so that they always meet your needs.
  • Analyze what type of incident may occur in your industry and test your disaster recovery plan to see if it is effective.
  • Make sure you have syour batored ckups in the cloud, on some other equipment, or device so you do not risk losing your data.
  • Keep in mind how you should act so that your company does not remain with activities interrupted for a long time in case an incident occurs.
  • Print your disaster recovery plan and keep it at hand. This can help you to act quickly if an incident occurs with your servers.
  • Decide what your storage method will be. 

7. Building a Disaster Recovery Plan

When it comes to avoiding inactivity that causes damage to any type of business, the best option is prevention. In this sense, it is necessary to have a well-structured disaster recovery plan. See below what aspects this planning should involve:

  • Identify All Risks

The first step in putting together an effective disaster recovery plan is to map the risks in order to focus on preventive measures. After identifying where possible failures can originate, it is time to create a scheme that allows reducing the possibilities of facing them.

This concern should cover all areas of the company and not just the IT sector. After all, the team needs to be prepared to deal with unforeseen circumstances.

  • IT Infrastructure Must be Evaluated

Putting your disaster recovery plan together involves evaluating all IT resources to understand what is available to the company. 

It is also extremely important to analyze what must be part of your IT infrastructure to ensure the operation of your business.

  • Employee Participation

As we suggested earlier, all employees of a company must be prepared to deal with situations that could put the company’s data and systems at risk.

In this aspect, your team must know what failures can occur and be able to handle the resources related to disaster recovery

  • Investment in Crisis Management

We also recommend you rely on the support of a qualified team to manage any crises. 

These professionals must act to prevent the company from being damaged by unforeseen situations. The identification and recovery of data should be their responsibility. 

8. Understand RPO and RTO 

RPO (Recovery Point Objective) and RTO (Recovery Time Objective) are two important aspects to consider when creating a disaster recovery plan.

The first consists of a metric that determines how much time can elapse between the last backup and an unforeseen event that generates the interruption of activities. That is, it makes it possible to calculate how many files and information will be lost if there is an interruption in operations.

RTO, on the other hand, indicates how long a server can be down without causing major problems for an organization.

Using these metrics allows more security, reducing irreversible damage and financial losses.

9. Synchronous Replication: Excellent Method for Companies that Cannot Tolerate High RPO from Data to Disaster Recovery

Companies that cannot have a high RPO find the solution in synchronous data replication. With this method, your data is saved simultaneously in two locations. 

Synchronous replications are especially suited for organizations that have secondary storage space up to 160 kilometers away, due to latency and response times. They make it possible to save data before there is a crash, invasion, or any other problem causing operations to stop.

10. Asynchronous and Mixed Replication

Although effective, synchronous replication has a high cost. Also, other methods may suit your business needs. Check it out:

  • Asynchronous Replication 

This solution makes it possible to copy your data and store it periodically, without suffering impacts related to distance and bandwidth.

What is more, this method guarantees minimal data loss, very close to what synchronous replication offers, while still providing an almost zero RTO.

  • Mixed Data Replication

It is also possible to combine synchronous and asynchronous replication resources in order to reduce the loss of information and files, as well as the time lost with interrupted activities.

For this, it is necessary to store data replications in two locations, one of which is geographically close to the environment where the IT infrastructure is located.

This solution enables access to stored information through synchronous replication with the reduced downtime of asynchronous replication.

 In this article, we covered what disaster recovery is, how important it is to organizations, as well as existing methods, among other information. If our content has answered your questions, please share it with others who are also interested in the subject.

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