Data protection and disaster recovery; what’s your back up plan?
Data is not only the foundation of businesses in all industries but can also be a vital yet irreplaceable asset for business growth. And with business continuity often hinged on functioning information systems, it is difficult to understand why an organisation would not take the necessary steps to protect its data and ensure business continuity.
So, what is it that stops a business undertaking measures to ensure it has an effective back up strategy in place?
Understanding of back up is vital. Long seen as the ‘IT guys’ remit, a business continuity and back up strategy now needs to have input from, and be supported by senior management; it also needs buy-in from the wider organisation. This isn’t because it’s difficult, costly or time consuming – it really is quite simple:
- Disaster recovery sees data from the perspective of the complete system. If a harmful incident occurs then a disaster recover strategy will ensure data inventory, including the operating system, applications and user data can be restored in a short time enabling work to continue.
- Data protection focuses on the individual data. Looking at the processes in which the data goes through and how it’s used, it will ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA) is protected or can be restored after an incident.
A truly effective backup strategy will incorporate both data protection and disaster recovery, using the CIA principles to answer questions about a business’s specific needs.
So as senior management teams across all sectors look to streamline processes and cut costs, they must understand that neglecting a robust back up strategy will often cost more to their business than implementing one.
Putting the implications of a ‘system down’ into a monetary value often gets people to sit up and listen. Equally, looking at the PR outcomes of lost data can ensure a company realises that back up is a must; not just a nice-to-have. A number of high profile cases over the last 18 months have proved the harsh reality of this.
At Knowledge I.T we offer a consultancy service to our clients, helping them to ask the right questions about their systems and analyse business impacts with a few ‘what if’ situations. It’s often useful for clients to use the ISO27001 standard as a framework to get the right back up strategy in place, and it means they become accredited with this quality standard in turn.
The size and structure of the business and the sectors they operate in will determine what type of strategy is needed.
Some of our clients are still keen to keep their physical servers on-site, in which case we recommend Data Guardian. This means their servers are linked to a local server vault allowing rapid data recovery if an incident occurs. The data is also replicated and stored in our data centres and all data is encrypted to preserve its integrity.
Where our clients find an off-site strategy is more appropriate we deliver mirrored systems, replicating their servers across our Data Centre sites to deliver ultimate protection and data recovery.
For both on or off site strategies, we’re able to deliver enterprise level architecture, and utilising the cloud means a business can pay monthly and avoid large capital investment upfront. Now we’re finding even our smallest clients gain the most sophisticated back up.
Combine this with our office recovery facilities and all our clients can be reassured that they will have access to high quality, fully functioning office environments in response to a disaster Whilst we’re glad that disaster has not yet struck for any of our clients, we want to offer integrated back up solutions that combine disaster recovery and data protection. With a total solution, businesses have the advantage of comprehensive back up and recovery, both in physical and virtual environments and when using cloud storage.
So, whether you’re the ‘IT guy’, CEO, receptionist or sales rep for your business, maybe it’s time to ask ‘what’s our back up plan?’
Mike Hoy is Service Director at Knowledge I.T.