Keep your business safe with a backup and DR strategy

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Every business needs a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery (DR) system in place to safeguard its digital assets. Statista estimates that server downtime costs nearly one-quarter of businesses (24%) lose up to half a million dollars per hour, while nearly one-sixth (14%) lose up to $5 million per hour. These are big numbers, but backup and recovery needn’t be a big problem.

Whatever the cause of downtime, from cyberattacks and malware to hardware failures and natural catastrophes, having the right plan in place is essential. A good strategy will test your system, prevent loss and recover vital data in the event of a disaster.

Backup and recovery strategy is the key

As an IT manager, your backup and recovery plans should include stress tests to determine how well your system can withstand critical situations while at the same time operating at optimal capacity.

A good backup and DR strategy should include off-site/cloud storage of important information, an uninterrupted power supply (UPS), regular and comprehensive data saves and backups, fireproofing, and protection against malware and viruses.

You should regularly audit your stress tests and recovery plans to ensure your data, servers, intranets and LANs are protected in an emergency.

A stress-testing recovery plan can identify weaknesses in your system and alert you to where improvements are required. This may require data loss-prevention and spam-filtering devices, mobile device management hardware, and firewalls for websites and applications.

Compatibility with business processes

Your strategic planning should include considerations of your business processes and how a loss of computing capability could affect them. This is where fail-over and multiply redundant systems come into play, to protect operations in the event of a problem.

It’s also vitally important to keep your antivirus software current on all workstations and servers within your internal LAN, and to ensure they can isolate an affected machine before the contagion spreads.

Keep your production servers and network devices up to date with the latest patches, and scan for vulnerabilities on a consistent basis. The best DR plans include comprehensive and regular backups of all operations-critical devices, secure and accessible recovery of those backups and clear, step-by-step documentation so relevant personnel can understand clearly initiate recovery procedures in an emergency.

Getting stronger

The good news for CIOs, CTOs and others responsible for ensuring IT infrastructure is up to date and resilient is that backup and DR systems have been converging for some years now.

Today’s data backup software and hardware systems are more tightly integrated than ever, and converged hardware products that can back up and replicate applications eliminate the need for separate software purchases. As a result, backup and DR are becoming faster, simpler and stronger.