Essential Disaster Recovery Points to Consider

Disaster RecoveryEvery data center is bound to deal with some form of natural or man-made disaster at some point. That’s why it’s important for every business to have a disaster recovery plan. Here are specific metrics businesses should to track to ensure they have a sound plan, along with considerations to maximize data protection. 

Metrics to Analyze

The most important metrics for evaluating a disaster recovery plan are Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO). These metrics are important for limiting downtime and accelerating problem-solving. While RTO measures how long a business can tolerate being offline, RPO reflects how much data loss the company can tolerate while in recovery mode. The combination of RTO, RPO, and budget should shape any company’s recovery plan. 

Recovery Objective and Options

The primary focus of a disaster recovery plan should be making a smooth transition back to normal business continuity while protecting data. Ideally, the business does not need to rebuild infrastructure, and can shift to accessing copies of data with minimal disruption. 

Recovery options include cold and warm sites. A cold site may require tape backups or could just be a cool room with network access. This type of plan leads to a slow recovery spread out over several days or weeks, since tapes must be rewound and it takes time to transfer data from one medium to another. It’s still a viable option for companies trying to save money. 

A warm site is an infrastructure that’s ready to pick up where the system left off before the disaster.  It contains all the main components to resume data center operations. One option includes using dedicated spaces to house backup servers. Electronic vaulting, which involves automatic backups, has replaced tape backups in recent years due to greater efficiency. Warm sites cost more, but are the more reliable solution for resuming normal business activity as quickly as possible. 

Cloud Recovery Plan

The cloud is a haven for ideas that have revolutionized the internet, including “as a service” providers. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is an option for companies looking for a turn-key solution that continuously backs up data. Cloud-based providers reduce data loss concerns since they provide constant availability of data due to the amount of redundancy from backing up data in multiple places. 

Regardless of where the disaster occurs, there’s a strong chance that it will not impact all servers. Cloud providers are the best bet for achieving almost zero downtime. Cloud recovery is also an effective solution for scalability without investing in new technology. It allows data to be moved quickly from one place to another without interrupting business continuity. 

A recovery plan can be segmented into different priorities. Business-critical data can be prioritized to be more readily available, while archived data can be stored in more affordable media storage spaces that may take time to access. 

Conclusion

Preparing for disaster recovery should be a solid part of every business. Backing up data regularly in different, easily accessible places helps limit downtime. By relying on modern solutions such as the cloud, downtime will likely last only minutes.

Tailoring Security Technologies to Meet Business Needs

SecurityTechnological advancements have impacted business operations in a positive way. However, managing the security required to maintain compliance and protection isn’t as easy as deploying new applications that allow organizations to increase productivity. In fact, developing risk management plans that accurately and efficiently mitigate threats involves a lot of work. So called “black box” network solutions that claim to meet every need will never replace a specific, tailored design.

Therefore, to ensure that organizations meet changing compliance standards, develop adequate preventative measures, and choose the best investments, they must first assess their real and specific needs, and then incorporate the technologies that will suit.   

Identifying Essential Requirements

The first step in discovering the right security technology for any company is to identify the areas that must be secured.

  • What is the value of the data collected, used, and maintained? Companies must accurately determine the value of the data used in order to ascertain the type of protections to introduce.
  • Where is the data stored and how is it accessed? These considerations also outline which procedures, policies, and tools will be required for efficient protection.
  • What are the current regulations, risks, and penalties associated with non-compliance? Understanding which regulations apply to the data used by the company provides key indicators on how to mitigate threats and limit the impact of an attack.  

Assessing Security Posture

Before investing capital in technology, organizations need to honestly assess their current security posture. Glossing over weaknesses or overrating strengths will result in a failure to protect the company in the event of an attack. For example:

  • Are polices for personnel enforced throughout the hierarchy, or are there ways to bypass them for ease of use?
  • Are physical barriers adequate in-house?
  • Are mobility practices equally protected and secured?

Taking an honest assessment of current strengths and weaknesses is vital to the success of any security strategy or risk management plan.      

Increasing Employee Awareness

Accurately tailoring protection to an organization’s needs means making sure that employees understand the reasons for each tool and policy, and have the opportunity to become actively involved. For any plan to work, companies must have feedback from users. For instance, is one tool causing issues with productivity? Are employees experiencing a positive or negative impact from the controls in place? This type of response from users helps identify weaknesses and helps pinpoint any additional lack.

Although tailoring risk management and strategies based on specific needs takes time and effort, the result produces a cost-effective solution that ensures proper compliance and protection. Staying one step ahead of attackers requires continual evolution.