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For most people, a backup is the go-to restoration point for their computer when catastrophe strikes. However, for an organisation much larger than an individual, backups are limited in how much they can help post-disaster.
The process of disaster recovery within organisations is a fully planned out process and aims to get your organisation up and running as quickly as possible. Both of these processes are important to ensure that whatever goes wrong, you can get up and running as quickly as possible.
In this article, we’re going to go over the ins and outs of backups and disaster recovery, and why both are essential for any business in 2023.
Backing up your data is the process of duplicating your data and storing it elsewhere as a restoration point in the event of system failure or catastrophe.
The data from a backup must be easily accessible for quick access to ensure easy recovery to mitigate downtime from system or infrastructure failure. This can be done in many forms — external drive storage, cloud backups, remote data centres, and storage arrays and partitions are just some of the different ways to ensure your data is backed up.
Backing up is more on an individual level than an infrastructural level. Duplicating your entire system infrastructure is a massive undertaking that will consume a mass of resources, so isn’t suitable for most organisations.
However, for individual employee devices and file systems, backups are a vital way of ensuring that everyone is covered in case of disaster.
There are multiple practices that you should employ when implementing backups throughout your organisation.
- Follow the 3-2-1 rule: The 3-2-1 rule is a rule that helps ensure that you have multiple backups. To do so, you should make three unique backups on two different devices, one of which should be stored off-site. This will ensure that you’re covered in every case that you can be.
- Encrypt Backup Data: Encrypting your backup data will ensure that your organisation is secure and protected from anyone trying to access your data through backups.
- Backup Frequently: By failing to back up your data regularly, you increase the amount of time since your last restoration point — meaning that you’ll end up losing more data in the long run.
- Test Your Backups: Ensuring that your backups actually work is important, as otherwise, they’re basically useless. This is why testing your backup is vital to ensuring that you won’t be left in a tricky situation.
Disaster recovery is a more complex process to ensure that there’s a plan to protect your data and services against problems and restore them in the event of a catastrophe. Backups are a part of this, but a lot more goes into recovery than just creating backups.
Disaster recovery aims to get all aspects of your organisation up and running swiftly and effectively, to ensure as little disruption and downtime as possible in the case of disaster. This means that there is far more to consider regarding recovery strategy.
There are a lot of different things to consider when creating your disaster recovery plan. Here are a few of the best practices that are vital to ensuring that you lay the best foundation for your disaster recovery strategy —
- Strategise and plan: Creating a detailed plan that’s backed with expert knowledge is key to ensuring that your disaster recovery strategy works for your organisation.
- Create stakeholders for key responsibilities: These responsibilities usually include IT Experts, Department heads, Senior Management, Human Resources, and Public Relations.
- Analyse your business: Business impact analysis (BIA) is the process of breaking down your organisation into individual assets and services. Planning for each one of these assets and services will ensure that there’s a plan for whatever has gone wrong.
- Determine your planning metrics: Calculating your recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) will help set expectations and plan contingencies for any downtime.
- Test your plan: Testing is vital to ensure your plan works. Making sure that your plan works seamlessly can be the difference between disaster and success.
Both backups and disaster recovery are crucial for any modern organisation. This is due to the different applications for which both methods account.
Backups are great for any individual within your organisation to have their data securely recoverable in the event that their data or files become inaccessible. This accounts for device damage, data corruption, or anything else that could possibly disrupt the accessibility of any given individual’s data within your organisation. Restoring a single user’s data from a backup is very simple and is regularly done by administrators worldwide.
Disaster recovery applies more so throughout your organisation, ensuring that there’s a plan in place for any system-wide failure or any disaster that could result in massive disruption or downtime throughout your organisation. Because of this, disaster recovery is vital — and backups are one of the components of disaster recovery.
Essentially, there is no single one that works. Disaster recovery and backups apply to different aspects of your organisation, and so ensuring that your organisation has both can be key to ensuring that your organisation is protected from disaster.
Backups and disaster recovery are both vital parts of any organisation’s action plan to mitigate disruption and downtime in the case of any personal or organisational failure regarding systems and devices. With effective backups and disaster recovery plans, your organisation will be prepared to battle anything.
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