Disaster Recovery and Backups: The Two Critical Steps in Protecting Your Business Operations
While both backups and disaster recovery aim to protect your critical business data, the two approaches are not equal. Due to each step’s vital part in recovery, businesses can’t afford to ignore either one when planning for business continuity.
It’s the combination of both that helps deliver thorough protection that builds a resilient business.
Differences Between Backups And Disaster Recovery
Backups retain a copy of your critical data in a secondary location, from which it can be accessed and fully restored in the event of a disaster.
Disaster Recovery (DR) is a strategic planning model that ensures your data is protected and can easily be restored within minutes in the event of a cyber attack or natural disaster.
A DR plan not only backs up data, but it takes a snapshot of critical functions that make it easier to restore your full system and minimize disruption to business continuity.
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How Do the Processes Work?
While backups may appear to be simple, the process is more complex than it may sound. There are multiple different types of backups, and the processes vary greatly.
To get the most reliable results, multiple approaches should be used. 49% of businesses prefer to use various backup options concurrently.
Here are some of the different types of backup solutions typically used:
- Full or Incremental Backup
- Differential Backup
- Mirror Backup
- Local Backup
- On/Offsite Backups
- Online / Cloud or Remote Backups
- FTP Backup
Traditional tape backups are quickly being replaced by more efficient and reliable virtualization methods such as snapshots, replication, and live migrations.
The process for creating each type of backup can vary greatly. For example, snapshots enable quick data restoration by making a copy of your data at a specific instance. Simultaneously, replication tools automate copying your data and moving it to various locations in the cloud.
Each backup method is compared on two main factors: its recovery point objectives (RPOs), which determine how timely the recovery point is, and the recovery time objectives (RTOs), determining how quickly data can be fully restored.
When choosing a backup solution for your business, it is crucial that you not only understand how the solution works, but more importantly, you need to understand the strategy behind it.
Backups refer only to the copies that are made of your business files that are then stored away. However, it does not take into account how these files will be transferred to your system and how your system will be restored so that you can get back to business. This is why backups are only a small part of what it will take to get your business back up and running.
Disaster Recovery (DR) is the full plan for restoring your system and files in case of an incident and includes both prevention and response protocols.
It ensures that you are prepared for worst-case scenarios such as critical system failures and data breaches. It outlines who is in charge of each task, as well as how customer relations will be handled in case of a breach.
A complete DR plan addresses each of the issues that can occur, and it’s a step that businesses cannot overlook in this digital world.
An effective disaster recovery strategy involves establishing application priorities, determining RTOs and RPOs for your backup methods, as well as establishing testing methods to ensure that backups have been properly completed.
This is why it’s critical for businesses to understand the difference between simply making backups and the importance of having a full disaster recovery plan.
Why You Need More Than Just Backups
Backups are helpful in restoring important business data after a loss such as accidental deletion, corrupt files, viruses, system failure, or other disasters.
Unfortunately, the reality is that 70% of businesses are impacted by data loss in their lifespan. This is why 49% of businesses rely on multiple methods of backups to protect their data.
However, it is essential to have a strategy for how you back up your files since a whole system-wide backup is not practical. Your most critical business data should be backed up frequently, while less important files can be backed up infrequently.
Furthermore, you need to take into consideration that some of your data is already being backed up automatically to the cloud through applications such as Office 365 and Google Docs, so creating copies of this data is a low priority.
This is why your business needs a full disaster recovery plan, where each and every application and folder is accounted for.
You need to know exactly where each application is backed up to, how often it is being backed up, the level of encryption, the storage limitations, the testing method used to confirm that backups were completed successfully, and much more.
Create A Disaster Recovery Plan
A full disaster recovery plan is critical to business continuity in case of an incident. Companies need to assess the risks that your business faces and perform a business impact analysis to address the vulnerabilities of each file and application.
Based on your business’s recovery priorities, you will also need to establish RTOs and RPOs that reflect the priority sequence for recovery. Only then will you be well on your way to creating a disaster recovery plan that makes sense for your business.
Leverage Disaster Recovery To Ensure Your Backups Can Be Quickly Used to Restore Your Business
Once you’ve identified the key components that your business needs in order to recover during an emergency, it is time to develop a thorough disaster recovery strategy that includes backup management, disaster prevention, and a response sequence.
90% of businesses do not have an effective disaster recovery plan which would be able to fully restore their business operations. Don’t put your business at risk.
HotHeadTech.com is an NJ small business computer support company that can help protect your business by providing critical assessments, creating and managing a disaster recovery plan, and monitoring your systems through managed support services, both internally and externally.