Backup & DR

Disaster Recovery for Education Decision-Makers

Written by Amy Hitchmough

If your school or university suffered a disaster tomorrow, how would you react?

An office flood, fire, power cut, hardware failure or computer virus could bring learning and teaching to a halt and put sensitive student information at risk. As a key decision maker, do you know your disaster recovery (DR) plan? Maybe it's been a few years since you last re-evaluated your DR plan and it's time to set new priorities and put your plan to the test.

Disaster recovery plans are incredibly important for education, a sector where safeguarding students and providing a stable learning environment are the highest priorities. 

With a DR plan designed to your institution's unique needs, you can eliminate service interruptions, lost time and disruption to your staff and students. Preparation truly is the key to success, especially considering the financial and operational costs of downtime, which can swamp smaller schools or universities.

If you're re-evaluating your DR plan or building one from scratch, don't just focus on the worst-case scenarios, like an earthquake. This tunnel vision diverts your focus from simpler vulnerabilities in your system, like infrequent backups or legacy hardware on its last legs. 

Common threats for the education sector include:

  • Power loss or outages
  • Human error, including falling prey to phishing scams or social engineering
  • Viruses, malware and other cyber threats
  • Lapsed software updates or security patches
  • Unsecured wireless networks or poor endpoint security for connected devices
Building an excellent disaster recovery plan:
  • Assess your overall IT infrastructure and your current DR plan (if one exists). Where are your greatest strengths and weaknesses? What types of 'data loss disasters' are your biggest risks?
  • Identify your mission-critical servers, apps and systems. Determine which ones need to be restored first in case of unplanned downtime or data loss.
  • Determine how much downtime you can tolerate. This is referred to as your RTO (recovery time objective) and RPO (recovery point objective). How much downtime can be allowed, and what is the variable amount of data you can acceptably 'lose' and re-enter?
  • Enlist the help of a managed services partner with the expertise to build a DR solution for your unique needs.
Your next steps:

A successful DR plan will equip your school with a cost effective means of replicating your critical IT systems to an enterprise class secondary location. It is tested frequently and can scale with your business as your needs evolve.

Our consultancy services can help you make a clear business proposal to help you meet even the strictest budgetary requirements.

Does this sound like your current plan? If not, start your process today with the help of our disaster recovery experts. 

Resources

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