It was not too long ago when people began suggesting the data has become more valuable than oil. As a highly valuable resource that drives today’s economy, companies have to put safeguards and protective barriers in place when it comes to their data. This is especially crucial for companies and businesses that would potentially lose significant amounts of money from data loss.
There are ways to prevent and minimize risks but there are some things that people cannot control. For example, there are no guarantees that can protect a data center from a massive earthquake or a raging hurricane. Cybercrime and malicious security breaches can also have the same effect. This is why DataSite in Atlanta encourages companies to have a data disaster recovery plan on hand.
What is Data Disaster Recovery?
Data disaster recovery is essentially a plan or set of protocols that help people be prepared for unexpected events that could lead to interruptions in their IT infrastructure. While it contains the necessary steps to help prevent and minimize loss in the first place, it also contains strategies to restore data in the unfortunate event of a loss.
Data disaster recovery can practically be compared to a safety guide that instructs people what to do in case of an emergency such as a fire. For example, in case of a fire, people are instructed what to do, what to avoid, and where the exits are.
There are also people assigned to do specific tasks in an event of a fire. Just like that scenario, a data disaster recovery plan is a set of protocols that get initiated once something goes wrong with a company’s data or IT infrastructure. It aims to solve a problem as efficiently as possible, achieving a solution in a minimal amount of time.
A Checklist for Data Disaster Recovery
Does every company need a data disaster recovery plan? Probably not. Especially for companies that technically do not rely on IT infrastructure or the internet. However, it’s a good thing to have especially when it’s finally needed.
Understandably, the need for data and technological infrastructure grows as the company grows. A startup might not need to focus on data disaster recovery as much as a company that has already amassed quite the clientele following. However, for companies that are looking to develop their own data disaster recovery plans, here are some things to consider.
One of the first and easiest ways to protect data loss and have a plan towards recovery is to have a backup. Some even suggest having more than one backup. Backups are essentially copies of data that can be stored in other places, both physical and virtual. Having a backup that is geographically located somewhere different compared to where the company is based is one of the best ways to mitigate disasters.
This way, even if the company’s IT infrastructure gets affected by some local disaster or event, a backup copy is safely located somewhere else. Thus, it is important to have an off-site data center that would potentially be far enough so that it would not be vulnerable to the same disaster as the company’s IT infrastructure.
However, it should be considered that while a data center far away is safer, a farther data center will also take more time to visit.
Another thing to consider regarding backups is when the backups will be updated. It highly depends on what the company is not able to afford to lose. For example, a backup once a week is fine as long as the company is prepared to lose a week’s worth of data in the unfortunate event of data loss. Thus, some companies have backups updated multiple times a week – even everyday if they can.
Since data is very different from a piece of paper, it can be stored in different places. In data centers, data can be stored and processed inside physical servers. However, data can also be stored online in a cloud that acts like a virtual server. Having data stored in a physical server and a cloud has pros and cons that should be considered.
While storing data online makes it more convenient to access it, it can be prone to cybercrime and malicious attacks. On the other hand, storing data in a physical server is safer but someone has to go there to access the data.
Just like in the example of a fire, there should be people assigned to execute certain tasks in a data disaster recovery plan. A team should be assigned with certain roles.
For example, someone should be assigned to lead the disaster recovery team to have someone oversee the entire team and report back to management. This role does not need to understand all the technical aspects of the data disaster recovery but they can be the liaison between the company higher ups and the IT team and be the voice for both.
A partner to the executive leader should be an IT manager to lead the disaster recovery team regarding the technical aspects of the operations. The position is for a skilled member of the IT team that can understand the problems and the solutions that are needed to take place.
Beyond those two, a data disaster recovery team can then be made up of roles that the company feels the need for. There could be some specialists assigned to specifically take actions to prevent disasters while some could be assigned to take action for recovery.
A recovery team can even include business advisers that will help provide insights that would prove valuable to the team and the company as well.
These are just some things to consider and there are surely many other boxes to check when developing a data disaster recovery strategy.