IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

3 Steps to Disaster Recovery and Security in the Cloud

Developing a backup plan is not enough. Data must be restored as quickly as possible to get businesses up and running again. Here’s how. By Ian Trump

Disasters happen. Whether they take the form of fire, power outage, ransomware attack, or natural disaster, IT systems need to be restored in a timely fashion or businesses will suffer. According to the recent TechNavio Global Disaster Recovery Services Market 2015-2019 report, the global disaster recovery services market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.47 percent during the next four years. The biggest drivers for this growth are the increase in natural disasters, the significant effect of data loss on businesses, and the adoption of cloud-based disaster recovery solutions.

Although there are obvious drivers for disaster recovery solutions, there are significant challenges in the market, including high cost of deployment, inability to check backup data, and complexity of cloud infrastructure. Fortunately, virtualization technology in disaster recovery solutions and increased adoption of hybrid cloud allow for implementation at a rapid rate.

Through disaster recovery, security can reduce downtime and provide 24/7 access to business-critical data. Disaster recovery is an integral part of the security triangle: confidentiality, integrity, and availability of systems. Most businesses have mastered a backup plan, but when was the last time a full restore was necessary? Cloud disaster recovery takes backup a step further by encompassing planning, process, integration, and testing. The key is to find a disaster recovery and business resiliency plan that meets your customer’s specific needs. Below are the three steps needed to implement the right solution.

  1. Setup: The first step to implementing a disaster recovery plan is determining your customer’s recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO). This way a business can prioritize its data recovery and determine the amount of downtime that is acceptable before there is a significant impact on the business. Analysis will determine which data is considered critical and drive a plan around restoring that data first. This means having specific criteria around availability, redundancy, and an ability to continue business operations off-site in case of a physical disaster. In protecting against loss or interception of cloud-based data, it is best to adopt a strategy of on-premises data protection. Often called hybrid data protection, this approach keeps business data on-site as well as in the cloud, and it is one of the best and least expensive methods to protect against loss. Local and cloud backup guarantees the successful restoration of services and data.
  2. Maintenance: Figuring out the right plan is an important first step. Testing is necessary to keep recovery times as quick as possible and to keep the data relevant—the longer time between backups, the greater the business loss. Cloud-based backup has become safer, more reliable, and easier to control through advanced management tools. The cloud industry provides encrypted access (SSL), firewalls, identity and access management, private subnets, intrusion detection, and 24-hour security with foot patrols. By outsourcing data backup to a hosted provider, the technology can do the work of monitoring, maintaining, and supporting the disaster recovery of the business.
  3. Recovery: A backup-as-a-service offering can be turned into a full disaster recovery solution. These solutions deliver the fastest protection and minimize recovery times after a failure. Hosted or cloud-based backup services has changed disaster recovery by making it easier and more cost effective, with lower risks associated with the process and reduced costs associated with recovering the data. System upgrades, bad patches, and database corruption are all easily mitigated by local and cloud backup solutions.

Channel pros need to take into account the importance of critical data and take the actions necessary to develop the right disaster recovery plan for their clients. Developing a backup plan is not enough. Data needs to be restored as quickly as possible to get businesses up and running again. Almost all data within a company is critical to its operations. Therefore, it is important to protect this data and be prepared when disaster strikes.

IAN TRUMP is security lead at MAXfocus, a global provider of cloud-based IT security and management solutions for the world’s largest community of MSPs.

About the Author

Cecilia Galvin's picture

Cecilia Galvin is Executive Editor of ChannelPro-SMB.

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