IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Beyond Backup Solutions: Preparing for Natural Disasters with Business Continuity: Page 2 of 2

MSPs should encourage their clients to invest in five basic mitigation essentials. By Ryan Weeks

Beyond Backup

Many organizations think they’re safe just because they have taken steps to back up their critical files. The problem is that those files depend on applications and systems if they’re to be of any use. For this reason, it’s essential to be able to run applications on demand from virtual machines backed up in the cloud in the event of a disaster.

Warning times are another detail MSPs and businesses can pay attention to when mitigating disaster. Though different disasters have decidedly different warning times, often they are clear and present, but not appreciated as a tool for reducing the impact of a disaster.

For example, water damage from failed plumbing can short-circuit electronic equipment with zero warning. However, building alarm systems typically give employees a few minutes to shut down critical systems and evacuate the premises, reducing the amount of damage to machinery and other casualties. The National Weather Service and other agencies typically issue advisory alerts, giving businesses 24 hours or more to prepare for an event. Even so, they are often ignored because storm paths are notoriously difficult to predict and result in false alarms. Yet hurricanes and coastal storms can wreak enough destruction to put a data center out of commission for a day, a week, or even permanently.

Clients rely on their MSPs not only as technology and services advisers, but also to fully understand and implement robust security strategies. As we’ve all learned recently, disasters can happen at any time, and the resulting downtime they can cause is truly catastrophic, leaving unprepared organizations incapable of recovery.

The best offense is a good defense; protect your clients’ businesses by understanding their vulnerabilities, safeguarding against risks, and preparing for the worst with a plan that will shield their data, protect their business, and keep their systems available and reliable no matter what happens. MSPs must assume control in order to ensure their clients are secure, and more importantly, that their clients’ businesses are protected should something unexpected occur.

RYAN WEEKS is chief information security officer for Datto.

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