Recovery

3 Min Read

Everything you need to know about Disaster Recovery for your business

Disaster recovery planning (DR) is an essential component of security planning. DR plans guarantee business continuity, so it’s only natural that these systems are often known as business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions. BCDR solutions aim to minimize the damage that could be done to an organization or business. It’s put in place along with a strategy for maintaining company operations.

Slik Protect Team

September 25, 2022

Disaster recovery planning (DR) is an essential component of security planning.

DR plans guarantee business continuity, so it’s only natural that these systems are often known as business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions.

BCDR solutions aim to minimize the damage that could be done to an organization or business. It’s put in place along with a strategy for maintaining company operations.

Why you need a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan

Hackers, viruses, or natural catastrophes and accidents don't discriminate. Effective data backup and disaster recovery (DR) strategies are essential for any organization that wants to avoid data loss, excessive costs, and lengthy periods of downtime. The following are five compelling arguments in support of maintaining a data backup and disaster recovery plan:

The cost if you don’t have a DR strategy
Every year, the staggering cost of data being lost is estimated to be $1.7 trillion. Just in the past two years, there has been a 400 percent rise in the amount of data that has been lost. The average cost of a small data breach is between $18,120 and $35,730, while the average cost of a major data breach (more than 100 records are lost) is between $5 million and $15.6 million

Nobody is safe
Regardless of its size and scope, every business is vulnerable to cyberattacks, regardless of the type of service or product it provides to its customers. (Take the Microsoft Exchange Server hack in 2021 that happened despite taking every necessary security measure); the compromised data included 30,000 reputed companies that used Exchange Server. Hackers, ransomware attacks, viruses, and accidents don't discriminate. They may target your company for various motives, including revenge, data theft, or just because they can.

Humans are human, hardware can glitch, the software has vulnerabilities
Hardware problems and human error are the most common causes of data loss rather than natural disasters. This indicates that losing the data you saved is relatively simple.

When it comes to business, sensitive data is simply too important
Losing data causes downtime since employees can't work without it. A lack of data about your customers' accounts and contact information can make it impossible to handle or work without your mission-critical business apps. Without a reliable recovery solution, your efforts to restore the system will automatically transition into efforts to rebuild the system.

Your reputation relies on it
Downtime and data loss will undoubtedly affect how other stakeholders see your company and the nature of their connection with you. Your company may suffer substantial setbacks due to a damaged reputation, particularly if stakeholders do not believe they can trust you with their data.

What you need to put a BCDR plan in place

For this plan, you first need to perform a business impact and risk evaluation. You can use these procedures to find IT services that serve your company's most critical functions. They also contribute to determining recovery point objectives and the timeframes within these objectives that need to be achieved.

Understanding the Risk Assessment Methods for Data Recovery

Two essential measurements for your data recovery strategy are Recovery Point Objective and the Recovery Time Objective, as they assist in determining the level of risk and expense.

The Recovery Point Objective (or RPO for short), is a metric that determines how much data you could lose without it affecting your business too badly. The further back in time your RPO is set, the lesser data may be recovered, which means an attack could result in you losing more data. Therefore, the RPO should be as recent as possible before an incident, and as a result your data will be backed up more frequently. However, this also means that the cost of maintaining backups will increase proportionally. 

Your RPO will be determined by your available resources and your risk tolerance.

Alternatively, you could implement an RPO hierarchy, to run multiple RPOs. In a nutshell, this works by backing up vital data more frequently than less important data. You see, with the tiered system, each type of data has its RPO. A shorter RPO is assigned to data considered critical, while a longer RPO is assigned to other data. 

Now the next metric – Recovery Time Objective (RTO for short), determines how quickly you can recover data. When it comes to running a business, time wasted is money wasted. The typical RTO is between four and eight hours. However, the RTO you pick will determine how urgent a data recovery is to you and your company. Having a shorter recovery time objective (RTO) will cost more, but it will lessen the effect of a data loss incident

What does Disaster Recovery include?

Disaster recovery consists of two main stages:  data backup and recovery. A DR plan will often consist of many different components. Software, hardware, electricity, networking gear, connectivity, and testing are usually part of the package. If you’re handling Disaster Recovery, you should consider the following:

  • Every bit of technology and software is vulnerable to theft or damage.
  • Plan for power outages. Not having a backup power supply is a problem for any company especially because of increased natural disasters due to global warming.
  • The networking equipment components such as hubs, switches, routers, firewalls, gateways, multiplexers, and transceivers; all have the potential to be compromised and, as a result, must be well safeguarded, and you need to have alternatives.
  • Connections (both those of local interfaces such as SCSI and USB, as well as those for long-distance technologies like Ethernet, Fiber Channel, and the Internet). A disaster could cause damage to the connections that are necessary to keep the business operating. Plan for backups accordingly.
  • Regular testing is an essential component of any DR plan. Tests and drills should be conducted to ensure that a recovery plan can be carried out at a moment’s notice.

Types of Backup and Data Recovery

Full Backup

This is a backup of everything you have in terms of data. All the files and folders you've selected (or even the entire system) are copied to a new location. Full backups are usually done the first time you backup your data (after this you can save time and storage space by only saving the changes and additions made, via differential or incremental backups.

If you choose full backups every time, your website’s entire directory structure, including all files and folders, will be copied every time a backup happens. The benefit to backing up everything every single time? Your restoration procedure is easier (because each backup task contains all of your data). 

Differential Backup

A differential backup starts with a full backup and then subsequently backs up all the changes made since the most recent full backup. This enables substantially faster backups and makes more optimal use of the available storage space. Recoveries with this type of backup are slower than full backups, but not too slow since it combines the most recent changes with the full backup and gives you the most recent complete copy of your website’s data. 

Incremental Backup

Incremental backup is almost the same as differential backup, with one notable difference: following the initial full backup, incremental backups make sure that the following backups will store any changes made to the data since the last backup, not since the full backup.

Mirror Backup

A mirror backup is a real-time copy of the source being backed up. When a file is deleted from the source, it is erased from the mirror backup. So, mirror backups are used with care because a file that gets deleted accidentally, on purpose, or because of a virus could also get deleted at the mirror location.

Backups can also be categorized based on the storage location and media.

Local Backup

Local backups are preserved on-site. In most cases, storage is either physically attached to the source computer being backed up or connected to the source via a local area network (LAN). This is the most basic form of disaster recovery and backup. The problem is that this system does not have any off-site or cloud redundancy, which increases the chance of disaster.

Cloud Backup

Cloud backup, also known as remote backup, is a sort of off-site backup that gives users the ability to retrieve, restore, or manage backups regardless of where the backups were created. This kind of backup offers some of the most robust protection against the effects of natural disasters and unscheduled downtime.

Cloud Backups can be performed on decentralized storage systems to ensure maximum uptime, availability, and redundancy. Decentralized storage is the best way to get the RTO duration down, as it can recover the data within minutes of being lost (the easiest way to kickstart your journey into decentralized backups and integration of recovery systems, is via Slik).

Hybrid Backup

Cloud backup copies data files to a distant place for disaster recovery. With hybrid backup, you get the best of both worlds regarding backup and recovery: a local backup and cloud backup.

A hybrid backup solution's local component is often a USB drive; a network shared drive, or network-attached storage (NAS) device. Cloud backup is also a component of a hybrid backup solution. The ideal hybrid backup solution combines data recovery methods into a single, hands-free, fully automated application that operates invisibly in the background.

Managing the Data Recovery Process

Consider your management and maintenance capabilities before choosing a business data backup and recovery system. Ideally, this should be your data backup system checklist:

Are routine operations automated?
You don't want to be in a position where you have to start the backup process from scratch every time! Make sure to set the system to automatically back up your data at regular times, so you don’t have an extra task, and can relax knowing that your data is secure.

Can your backups be verified?
The verification of the backup is an essential maintenance procedure. One must look for a backup system that checks backups regularly because not all backup systems do this for you.

Do you have a data-retention policy?
Policy-based retention involves keeping data based on set rules. Setting criteria for data preservation in a backup solution is extremely useful since it allows for implementing more complex backup schemes, even if data is deleted because of company data retention policies.

Do you have support for different databases?
A variety of connections i.e. integration with other apps (like Dropbox, Office 365, etc.) and databases (such as MongoDB, Firestore, PostgresQL, etc.) enables the backup software to work seamlessly with the tools that your company is already deploying. This can be an effective option because it prevents you from dealing with the trouble of connecting software from numerous companies. Slik Protect enables easy integration of decentralized data recovery into company and government infrastructure.

Ultimately, good data backup management reduces redundancies. A long-term benefit is that it saves time and frees up space. 

So there you have it! A complete guide to upgrading your business's ability to restore hardware, software, and data after a disaster.

Disaster recovery planning (DR) is an essential component of security planning.

DR plans guarantee business continuity, so it’s only natural that these systems are often known as business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions.

BCDR solutions aim to minimize the damage that could be done to an organization or business. It’s put in place along with a strategy for maintaining company operations.

Why you need a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan

Hackers, viruses, or natural catastrophes and accidents don't discriminate. Effective data backup and disaster recovery (DR) strategies are essential for any organization that wants to avoid data loss, excessive costs, and lengthy periods of downtime. The following are five compelling arguments in support of maintaining a data backup and disaster recovery plan:

The cost if you don’t have a DR strategy
Every year, the staggering cost of data being lost is estimated to be $1.7 trillion. Just in the past two years, there has been a 400 percent rise in the amount of data that has been lost. The average cost of a small data breach is between $18,120 and $35,730, while the average cost of a major data breach (more than 100 records are lost) is between $5 million and $15.6 million

Nobody is safe
Regardless of its size and scope, every business is vulnerable to cyberattacks, regardless of the type of service or product it provides to its customers. (Take the Microsoft Exchange Server hack in 2021 that happened despite taking every necessary security measure); the compromised data included 30,000 reputed companies that used Exchange Server. Hackers, ransomware attacks, viruses, and accidents don't discriminate. They may target your company for various motives, including revenge, data theft, or just because they can.

Humans are human, hardware can glitch, the software has vulnerabilities
Hardware problems and human error are the most common causes of data loss rather than natural disasters. This indicates that losing the data you saved is relatively simple.

When it comes to business, sensitive data is simply too important
Losing data causes downtime since employees can't work without it. A lack of data about your customers' accounts and contact information can make it impossible to handle or work without your mission-critical business apps. Without a reliable recovery solution, your efforts to restore the system will automatically transition into efforts to rebuild the system.

Your reputation relies on it
Downtime and data loss will undoubtedly affect how other stakeholders see your company and the nature of their connection with you. Your company may suffer substantial setbacks due to a damaged reputation, particularly if stakeholders do not believe they can trust you with their data.

What you need to put a BCDR plan in place

For this plan, you first need to perform a business impact and risk evaluation. You can use these procedures to find IT services that serve your company's most critical functions. They also contribute to determining recovery point objectives and the timeframes within these objectives that need to be achieved.

Understanding the Risk Assessment Methods for Data Recovery

Two essential measurements for your data recovery strategy are Recovery Point Objective and the Recovery Time Objective, as they assist in determining the level of risk and expense.

The Recovery Point Objective (or RPO for short), is a metric that determines how much data you could lose without it affecting your business too badly. The further back in time your RPO is set, the lesser data may be recovered, which means an attack could result in you losing more data. Therefore, the RPO should be as recent as possible before an incident, and as a result your data will be backed up more frequently. However, this also means that the cost of maintaining backups will increase proportionally. 

Your RPO will be determined by your available resources and your risk tolerance.

Alternatively, you could implement an RPO hierarchy, to run multiple RPOs. In a nutshell, this works by backing up vital data more frequently than less important data. You see, with the tiered system, each type of data has its RPO. A shorter RPO is assigned to data considered critical, while a longer RPO is assigned to other data. 

Now the next metric – Recovery Time Objective (RTO for short), determines how quickly you can recover data. When it comes to running a business, time wasted is money wasted. The typical RTO is between four and eight hours. However, the RTO you pick will determine how urgent a data recovery is to you and your company. Having a shorter recovery time objective (RTO) will cost more, but it will lessen the effect of a data loss incident

What does Disaster Recovery include?

Disaster recovery consists of two main stages:  data backup and recovery. A DR plan will often consist of many different components. Software, hardware, electricity, networking gear, connectivity, and testing are usually part of the package. If you’re handling Disaster Recovery, you should consider the following:

  • Every bit of technology and software is vulnerable to theft or damage.
  • Plan for power outages. Not having a backup power supply is a problem for any company especially because of increased natural disasters due to global warming.
  • The networking equipment components such as hubs, switches, routers, firewalls, gateways, multiplexers, and transceivers; all have the potential to be compromised and, as a result, must be well safeguarded, and you need to have alternatives.
  • Connections (both those of local interfaces such as SCSI and USB, as well as those for long-distance technologies like Ethernet, Fiber Channel, and the Internet). A disaster could cause damage to the connections that are necessary to keep the business operating. Plan for backups accordingly.
  • Regular testing is an essential component of any DR plan. Tests and drills should be conducted to ensure that a recovery plan can be carried out at a moment’s notice.

Types of Backup and Data Recovery

Full Backup

This is a backup of everything you have in terms of data. All the files and folders you've selected (or even the entire system) are copied to a new location. Full backups are usually done the first time you backup your data (after this you can save time and storage space by only saving the changes and additions made, via differential or incremental backups.

If you choose full backups every time, your website’s entire directory structure, including all files and folders, will be copied every time a backup happens. The benefit to backing up everything every single time? Your restoration procedure is easier (because each backup task contains all of your data). 

Differential Backup

A differential backup starts with a full backup and then subsequently backs up all the changes made since the most recent full backup. This enables substantially faster backups and makes more optimal use of the available storage space. Recoveries with this type of backup are slower than full backups, but not too slow since it combines the most recent changes with the full backup and gives you the most recent complete copy of your website’s data. 

Incremental Backup

Incremental backup is almost the same as differential backup, with one notable difference: following the initial full backup, incremental backups make sure that the following backups will store any changes made to the data since the last backup, not since the full backup.

Mirror Backup

A mirror backup is a real-time copy of the source being backed up. When a file is deleted from the source, it is erased from the mirror backup. So, mirror backups are used with care because a file that gets deleted accidentally, on purpose, or because of a virus could also get deleted at the mirror location.

Backups can also be categorized based on the storage location and media.

Local Backup

Local backups are preserved on-site. In most cases, storage is either physically attached to the source computer being backed up or connected to the source via a local area network (LAN). This is the most basic form of disaster recovery and backup. The problem is that this system does not have any off-site or cloud redundancy, which increases the chance of disaster.

Cloud Backup

Cloud backup, also known as remote backup, is a sort of off-site backup that gives users the ability to retrieve, restore, or manage backups regardless of where the backups were created. This kind of backup offers some of the most robust protection against the effects of natural disasters and unscheduled downtime.

Cloud Backups can be performed on decentralized storage systems to ensure maximum uptime, availability, and redundancy. Decentralized storage is the best way to get the RTO duration down, as it can recover the data within minutes of being lost (the easiest way to kickstart your journey into decentralized backups and integration of recovery systems, is via Slik).

Hybrid Backup

Cloud backup copies data files to a distant place for disaster recovery. With hybrid backup, you get the best of both worlds regarding backup and recovery: a local backup and cloud backup.

A hybrid backup solution's local component is often a USB drive; a network shared drive, or network-attached storage (NAS) device. Cloud backup is also a component of a hybrid backup solution. The ideal hybrid backup solution combines data recovery methods into a single, hands-free, fully automated application that operates invisibly in the background.

Managing the Data Recovery Process

Consider your management and maintenance capabilities before choosing a business data backup and recovery system. Ideally, this should be your data backup system checklist:

Are routine operations automated?
You don't want to be in a position where you have to start the backup process from scratch every time! Make sure to set the system to automatically back up your data at regular times, so you don’t have an extra task, and can relax knowing that your data is secure.

Can your backups be verified?
The verification of the backup is an essential maintenance procedure. One must look for a backup system that checks backups regularly because not all backup systems do this for you.

Do you have a data-retention policy?
Policy-based retention involves keeping data based on set rules. Setting criteria for data preservation in a backup solution is extremely useful since it allows for implementing more complex backup schemes, even if data is deleted because of company data retention policies.

Do you have support for different databases?
A variety of connections i.e. integration with other apps (like Dropbox, Office 365, etc.) and databases (such as MongoDB, Firestore, PostgresQL, etc.) enables the backup software to work seamlessly with the tools that your company is already deploying. This can be an effective option because it prevents you from dealing with the trouble of connecting software from numerous companies. Slik Protect enables easy integration of decentralized data recovery into company and government infrastructure.

Ultimately, good data backup management reduces redundancies. A long-term benefit is that it saves time and frees up space. 

So there you have it! A complete guide to upgrading your business's ability to restore hardware, software, and data after a disaster.

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