Backup isn’t enough anymore

by | May 3, 2021 | Business

It’s Emergency Preparedness Week in BC this week. This is a great time to spend some time reviewing your business continuity and disaster recovery plan. Simply thinking about data backup is a good first step, but in today’s world of technology dependence it’s not enough.

Business Continuity, on the other hand, involves thinking about the organization at a higher-level. Ask yourself: how quickly can I get my business operating again in the case of system failure?

Business Continuity should be the primary consideration, as it ensures your organization is able to get up and running in a timely manner following a disaster (ransomware, hardware failure, natural disaster, etc.).

For example, if your server dies, you wouldn’t be able to get back to work quickly if you only had file-level backup. Your server would need to be replaced, all of the software and data would have to be re-installed, and the whole system would need to be configured with your settings and preferences. This process could take a couple of days. Can your business afford to lose that time?

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Internally, we’ve worked hard to replace the word “backup” with “Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR).” We pay attention to the recovery of data and business operations, which should be the overall focus of a backup system but too often it isn’t.

Here are a couple of questions that you can ask when evaluating your BCDR requirements:

  • What is my RTO? The Recovery Time Objective is the duration of time within which a business must be restored after a disruption to avoid unacceptable consequences.
  • What is my RPO? The Recovery Point Objective is the maximum tolerable period in which data might be lost due to a disaster.

By calculating your desired RTO, you have determined the maximum time that you can be without your data before your business is at risk. Alternatively, by specifying the RPO, you know how often you need to perform backups. You may have an RTO of a day, and an RPO of an hour depending on what your business requires.

Calculating these numbers will help you decide what type of solution that you need.

As we increase our dependency on technology, we also increase our risk of downtime and data loss due to cybersecurity threats. Businesses should be shifting their thinking from backup to business continuity, and planning to invest more in this area.

For more information about BCDR, please give us a call or, if you’re a Smart Dolphins client, chat with your vCIO at your next Technology Steering Meeting.