Unexpected events happen and being prepared is key to the success of any business.
Ensure your IT is ready with CloudCoCo’s Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Services
Sometimes referred to as BC and DR respectively, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery are similar practices pertaining to a business’s handling of an adverse situation such as cyberattacks and data loss. You can also find helpful information in our cyber security section here.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery affects all kinds of businesses from smaller start-ups to large scale corporate enterprises.
BC and DR frameworks, also called BCDR Plans, are designed to minimise downtime, ensuring that the business its self and the applications and data the business relies on are always available.
Disruption to data availability can be seriously inconvenient, costly, harmful to a company’s reputation, and even put firms out of business when inadequate plans have been put in place.
Cyberattacks, flooding, fires, pandemics and other disasters can also quickly ramp up huge financial costs for a business.
Preparation for the unexpected is crucial in many aspects of our business and daily lives, although we do not expect to have an accident in our cars we have insurance to make sure we are protected. Business continuity and Disaster Recovery planning is equally important for a business.
CloudCoCo’s BC and DR services cover your IT systems and data but this is not the whole picture.
As BCDR Plan is 2 separate elements:
The BC aspect covers the People, Processes and Resources needed in preparing the plan, testing it and although we hope to never happen, to enact the plan if needed and after the event manage returning your business to normal operations after an event has happened.
Disaster Recovery forms an integral part of the BC plan, its purpose is to ensure any business critical systems and the data are backed up fully. Also, any critical systems are identified and plans put in place to return these services to normal as soon as possible, in IT we call this the Recovery Time Objective (RTO).
As part of the DR planning a business will also identify information which if even 1 minute of it was lost would have a detrimental effect.
Different types of information are backed up with different Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) to ensure minimal data is lost without incurring unnecessary costs.
The daily trials and tribulations of running a business are enough without the added stress of data being compromised or lost.
Ensuring that you have the right data backup and disaster recovery plan in place means that your business can quickly recover if something goes wrong.
In summary, the goal of BC and DR involves minimising the adverse effect disruption and outage has on a company's operations.
Working with leading industry vendors, CloudCoCo will work with you to identify Business Impact of each service and its data, then working with you to plan the RPO and RTO, who and how the process will be enacted and if required what regular testing of the plan will need to be performed.
Quickly recovering when problems are encountered is essential, whilst ensuring the risk of data loss is minimised, or even better protected in the first place.
There’s a famous saying that it’s better to build a fence at the top of a cliff than a hospital at the bottom.
CloudCoCo are here to help businesses to put the right BC and DR plans in place to ensure your business is protected against any eventuality. We do this collaboratively working with you and will be on standby in the unlike event the plan is needed to ensure your business will be back up and running as soon as possible.
Nowadays, customers and clients expect downtime to be counted in minutes as opposed to hours or days as might have been the case in the past.
In the current work from home environment created by the global pandemic, more and more employees are removed from the secure confines of an office and are using public WiFi for example which is less secure and can up the risk of data loss or breaches.
Aside from this, data tends not to be securely held in an on-site data centre; it's spread across multiple virtual and physical locations which can present greater risks, more complexity, and greater difficulty in maintaining continuity to recover quickly.
Another reason Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery is so important is the ever-evolving growth of cybercrime and hacker intelligence.
Hackers are no longer targeting desktops; they are launching full server-based attacks, a common attack is called Ransomware.
Sophisticated and highly targeted, these attacks can be crippling due to the high value of encrypted assets which could for example be held to ransom.
By having a regular secure copy of your systems and data held in a separate secure location your business can quickly restore any encrypted information and not be held to ransom.
Aside from anything else, having BC and DR strategies in place will make employees and business owners feel safer and more secure in the knowledge that there are stringent precautions in place in the case of an emergency.
Your data backup software must be secure, swift, accurate and scalable. It needs to be from a vendor who invests in keeping their services updated and secured against any cyber threats.
CloudCoCo’s managed back up solutions have been chosen to ensure reliability and security above all else.
Swift file transfers can be achieved using incremental backups, turning the process into something that can be undertaken within minutes as opposed to hours
Data backup software will allow you to monitor disk activity whilst data block updates are occurring; this can be achieved via a software application for each server.
Being able to manage servers and control your backup schedule based on the specific needs of your information business is also very important.
Your data backup software should work continuously, creating a secure record of data incrementally
Designing, implementing and managing a backup solution can put an extra burden on already over stretched IT departments. Backups need to be checked periodically and testing conducted to ensure the backups have no errors.
CloudCoCo has been providing managed backup services to our customers for numerous years and we will have the right solution for you. Ask a question below to find out how we can protected your business from the unforeseen.
How do I Plan for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery?
A good BC and DR framework should be proactive as opposed to reactive.
Planning to protect your business is as simple as following these steps:
- The first step is already completed, you know there is a need to protect your information and you’ve arrived at this page
- The next stage is to identify your internal team and the partner you want to work with. Contact us today to arrange an initial planning session
- Together we will conduct a Business Impact Analysis identifying the effect each service and data you use should they be unavailable. During this phase you will also be able to identify the order in which each service will the restored based on its criticality to the business
- Create you Business Continuity Recovery Plan – your plan will determine which services are acceptable to have extended downtime, who needs to be contacted in 3rd parties to enact the plan and who is responsible for contacting them. CloudCoCo offers Disaster Recovery as a Service, this is where we will manage restoring all your services and work with your 3rd parties to ensure data is restored and accessible in line with the agreed plan.
- Test, test and test again – the last thing you want to happen is your data to become compromised and only then do you find out the plan doesn’t work.
- Review and improve – also referred to as Continual Improvement is the logic that plans like this never stand still, we are constantly growing our business and adding even more data and services, the plan need to be updated to reflect any changes.
The above might seem daunting and ideally you want to avoid the disaster in the first place, but of course this is not always possible!
Conducting a thorough and exhaustive business impact analysis will help you to flag up and evaluate the possible effects of adverse events in terms of financial impact, legal liability, and regulatory compliance.
Lacking a business impact analysis will lead to guesswork and can often result in overspending or baseless assumptions.
Businesses should prioritise their backup needs according to what is most critical to them specifically, this will help to keep costs down whilst remaining protected.
Technology for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery is continually being upgraded and improved, so it is important that you take advantage of this and let us keep you up to date with the latest cutting-edge developments with our Disaster Recovery Services.
If you have any questions the team at CloudCoCo is here to help;
In terms of planning to safeguard against cyberattacks such as ransomware, it's best practice to retain one copy of data which is unalterable – an immutable backup that cannot be touched.
This is achieved by ensuring the data is backup by a separate vendor to your core systems and ensuring the backed up data is stored in a secure, highly available data centre to safe guard you against highly complex attacks.
This is known as air gapping.
Whilst both concepts are often discussed in tandem, there are some differences you should be aware of.
Business continuity is more concerned with maintaining operations during an adverse event, whilst disaster recovery is concerned with reviving the overall infrastructure, getting it back to normal as speedily as possible.
Disaster recovery may also consist of devising new safety measures or getting a hold of emergency supplies.
The separate objectives of business continuity and disaster recovery can be defined as follows – business continuity is all about limiting downtime whilst disaster recovery is all about limiting inefficient system function.
Normally businesses will integrate disaster recovery plans into a wider overall business continuity framework.