Backup & DR

5 Things You Didn't Know About Disaster Recovery

Written by Amy Hitchmough

Even the most confident and optimistic business leaders need a disaster recovery plan. 

It's easy to minimise the risks against your IT infrastructure, thinking that downtime won't affect you, or at least won't cripple your business. However, data loss can be an overwhelming crisis, costing valuable time, resources and even your reputation. 

According to our partner Zerto, 69% of IT decision-makers feel that the risk of downtime is increasing. 

Disaster Recover and Backup services come in all shapes and sizes, which can make them difficult to understand. 

We've compiled 5 things you may not have known about disaster recovery, to help you make informed & proactive choices about your DR strategy. 

1. It's not all about natural disasters. 

Fires, earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters get most of the attention when it comes to conversations about disaster recovery. That makes it far too easy to rationalise the risk away. However, Zerto's research identified the top causes of downtime, and 45% of downtime was due to hardware failure, while 35% was due to software failure! 

2."Non-critical" data deserves your attention! 

When budgeting for disaster recovery, it might be tempting to protect and store just your critical data and systems in a secondary environment. However, the costs of restoring or replacing even 'background' apps and systems after data loss can be incredibly high. Look for a disaster recovery partner who can provide you affordable hosting for your entire infrastructure, and then relax knowing you're covered no matter what happens. 

3. Annual testing is key.

One-size-fits-all packages means one-size-fits-all recovery.

Unfortunately, research shows that many businesses treat their disaster recovery plan as 'shelfware' to set up and then leave to run in the background without a second thought. 

You don't want to wait until your systems are down or data is lost to discover that your DR plan doesn't actually meet your needs. In addition to helping you meet compliance standards, testing your DR plan annually will ensure that you can restore your systems to their current status, not to an outdated version. 

4. Recovery takes longer than you think. 

One study showed that only 2% of companies recovered from downtime in less than 1 hour. Without a clear recovery plan, restoring your systems will be an incredibly complicated process. You can avoid this with frequent backups and a managed DRaaS plan, where snapshots of your entire IT infrastructure are taken often, and recovery really is easy with several clicks. 

5. Your team is a valuable asset. 

So much data loss can be traced to human error. In fact, human error accounted for nearly 2/3 of data loss reported to ICO. Rather than seeing your employees as vulnerabilities, choose to see them as a valuable defence against cyber crime and data loss. Invest in effective security awareness training and encourage their diligence in maintaining security procedures. 

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