Data loss and security breaches are becoming increasingly common events in today’s world. It is not a matter of when, but if a disaster of any kind will happen.
All of an organization’s information must be protected and readily available at all times in order for a business to survive. Considering this fact, the importance of backups cannot be overestimated.
However, while backing up vital data is an integral part of any business’s IT strategy, having backups − whether they are a cloud backup or on-prem − is not the same as having a disaster recovery plan. Differentiating backup from disaster recovery can help you develop effective strategies for avoiding the consequences of downtime and business disruptions.
Understanding the basics of backup and disaster recovery is critical for minimizing the impact of unplanned downtime on your business.
Across all industries, organizations recognize that downtime can quickly result in lost sales and revenue, interrupted service, possible supply chain disruptions and loss of reputation due to bad press about an outage. Unfortunately, natural disasters, human error, security breaches and ransomware attacks can all jeopardize the availability of IT resources.
Any downtime can disrupt customer interactions, employee productivity, destroy data and freeze business processes.
What's the difference between data backup and disaster recovery?
There’s an important distinction between backup and disaster recovery. Backup is the process of making an extra copy (or multiple copies) of data. You back up data to protect it. Disaster recovery, on the other hand, refers to the plan and processes for quickly re-establishing access to applications, data, and IT resources after an outage.
With a backup strategy you might need to restore backup data if you encounter an accidental deletion, database corruption, or problem with a software upgrade. It is important to have a backup solution in place.
Backup protects your data in case of theft (a single laptop to office break-ins), employee accidents (deletion of an important file), or a technical issue (crashed hard drive). With this protection, you can access a copy of your data and restore it easily.
A disaster recovery plan might involve switching over to a redundant set of servers and storage systems until your primary data center is functional again. Don’t get caught up on the term “disaster” and believe it has to be a major incident.
A disaster can be your entire network crashes and your employees can no longer work for the day (or longer). With a disaster recovery plan, your employees can continue to work by using the mirrored system. With your employees set, your IT works on fixing the problem with the original network.
Having an inadequate DR plan can negatively impact your organization leading to interrupted service, lost sales and revenue, high costs, potential supply chain disruptions along with possible loss of reputation due to the bad press around an outage.
Some organizations mistake backup for disaster recovery. But as they may discover after a serious outage, simply having copies of data doesn’t mean you can keep your business running. To ensure business continuity, you need a robust, tested disaster recovery plan.