Disaster Recovery Planning for Business

Why We Need Disaster Recovery Planning?

Because Things Can Go wrong

We all know it, and we fear the moment something goes horribly wrong in our lives or business, so having a business disaster recovery plan is a must. From natural disasters to hacked systems, there are many scenarios to consider.

In addition, considering how much we trust our employees, our cloud systems providers and the computers and devices we use, we can accept there are multiple points of failure. No matter how small or large, disasters can have a damaging impact on our businesses and to be prepared to bounce back rapidly from such events is of utmost importance.

At PRETERION, we provide the tools, the knowledge and the skills to prepare our BUSINESS RESILIENCE plan and implement it. We make sure disaster recovery is as natural as a boxer rising after being knocked down by a punch, every time more prepared to win the fight.

disaster recovery

Disaster Recovery Planning Should be Easy

An efficient disaster recovery plan is not something to build from the IT infrastructure perspective. This may lead to unnecessary high budgets and still fail to cover what is important for the business when a disaster strikes. A good resiliency plan begins with the business strategy, reflected in your technology strategy. Ultimately, it is about how everything is implemented and configured.

You can choose the most critical elements of the infrastructure and services in ways that ensure the resiliency is built-in or comes naturally from their characteristics. Take, for example, the Internet connection – a critical service when many core services are cloud-based. Nowadays, one can opt for an NBN router with built-in 4G connectivity and also chose a provider that delivers a 4G connection backup as part of their business offering.

Preterion - Local IT Support technician in data center

PRETERION: Simple Disaster Recovery

Our approach to business continuity and disaster recovery comes with a simple philosophy: all services provided by technology should be resilient through built-in redundancy and recovery scenarios.

Having said that, we allow the business full control over how the resilience is deployed, how much it costs and to what extent. Not all businesses require critical services to be back in no time, which is important to consider, especially from a budget perspective.

Disaster recovery is teamwork

Planning your business resilience is a collaboration between the business and the IT support team, with a continuous dialogue taking place to keep up with the changes in the business environment.

Irrespective of your technology infrastructure design and components, there are ways to plan and implement disaster recovery in ways that make sense for your business, your budget and your need for resilience. Our job is to bring the solutions and make sure the time to recover from a minor or major disaster is in line with your expectations.

Things to consider when planning disaster recovery

The most important step in planning your disaster recovery is to evaluate various scenarios and what your response can be in preparing the recovery. From extreme power outages to floods that affect your office location, weather or earthquakes, you should consider all possibilities. Whilst the most common disaster may be a ransomware attack, the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic proved that one could never be too prepared for disastrous events.  These events may be unknown in nature at the time of planning, but they can be categorised by the extent of damage they can do to our operations:

  • affecting only a business unit due to location
  • affecting the entire business
  • affecting a single or  few services
  • making one person or a team unavailable
  • affecting a portion of, or the entire business data, making it unavailable.

These scenarios can be generalised further, making resilience planning better whilst more encompassing.

Whilst convenient and providing a huge benefit for the business due to their flexibility and availability, cloud applications can also be a reason of concern when disasters strike. 

In August 2015, a freak lightning strike in Belgium caused a major outage of a Google data centre, leading to a permanent minor loss of data. Whilst the amount of data may seem insignificant - 0.000001% - several hundred businesses were affected and lost data, some of it forever.

Never rely only on the cloud provider to ensure the resilience of your data - it is always better to have independent means of backup.

You may be one of the business owners or executives who feel better when in control of your infrastructure and prefer to keep your infrastructure on-site rather than in the cloud. If that's the case, your resilience planning includes response for a power outage - from minor one or two hours until the electrician is on-site to events that may affect the local power grid for weeks on end.

With climate change becoming almost a certainty and many areas with old infrastructures, having solar panels or an electric generator may make total sense.

Although praised as the best option for business resilience, cloud backup services usually have big budgetary needs and aren't suited for all businesses. For small to medium businesses, deploying a smart Network Attached Storage (NAS) device that can run its own private cloud is a much appropriate solution. A NAS has almost the same feature set as most cloud providers; it is a long-term, one-off investment and can have added benefits that cloud providers do not offer.

No infrastructure is perfectly protected against hackers - that's the reality. Zero-day threats and socially engineered attacks can bring your data under threat, and you should plan your response in case of a ransomware scenario well.

Hackers can not only encrypt your data automatically, but they can find local backups on the network and aim to destroy or encrypt that one too.

It makes sense to plan against such scenarios by uploading backups to the cloud or running your own private cloud with replicas across the internet, at the locations. Even a USB disk swap to be taken off-site makes sense sometimes.

Many businesses disregard the importance of a telecommunication disaster recovery plan, only to determine how damaging it may be for the business brand when the phone system is unavailable for hours. Customers become confused about what is going on.

Having planned to avoid this kind of situation means your brand is safe, and the business can continue serving customers without hiccups. Modern telecommunication systems allow for automated failover by diverting to mobile numbers or even for automated cloud systems to come online when disasters strike.

Don't let disasters complicate your life! Download our

SIMPLE DISASTER RECOVERY TEMPLATE

Download our simple and ready to use Disaster Recovery Template, to protect your business in case of a disaster.

Three steps to prepare for disasters

Ennumerate
Critical Services

Disaster recovery planning begins with ennumerating all the critical services, in order of importance and how they may affect the business if unavailable for prolonged periods...

Categorise
Level of Impact

Depending on how much of the business can be affected, as well as how much it will affect the business, services and business units can be categorised by level of impact...

Design
Recovery Scenarios

Different services from your service catalogue will be affected differently and can be back online in different ways, following a minor or a major disaster. Hence, scenarios will be different...

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