Category Archives: Data Backup

Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR) Plan: Preparing For The Worst

Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR) Plan concept with laptop on water

Be prepared and you can weather the storm

Recently, multiple sudden natural disasters have left millions of people stranded on roadways, stranded at work, or left in their homes and unable to leave, and without electricity, All of these sudden floods, thunderstorms, hurricanes, etc. should all serve as a reminder that we have to be ready at all times just in case a disaster does strike. Today’s weather is completely unpredictable, and with the winter season approaching, there are sure to be more unpredictable weather on the way.
Regardless of where your business is located, it is always important to have a full Backup Disaster Recovery(BDR) plan in place. If you have an effective BDR in place, you will be able to effectively respond to any type of disaster that takes place. Whether you currently have a Backup Disaster Recovery(BDR) plan in place or not, we encourage you to ask yourself these questions:
What would your business do if you ever lost access to data?
How long do you think it would take for your business to recover from a major loss?
If you no longer had access to your server, would your business be able to survive?
How much do you think it would cost to recover from the loss?
Many businesses do have a backup solution ready just in case a disaster happens, but not every business will be able to recover quickly when something does happen. If your business loses data or if there is a power outage, it can be difficult for some businesses to restart their operations quickly. For some businesses, the entire operations can be shut down if there is no access to the server for less than two days.
When creating a Backup Disaster Recovery plan, it is very important that you start by making preparations for the worst possible thing that can happen. When you start by preparing for the absolute worse, you should have an easier time resolving the issue when something minor occurs.
Are you making plans to have a telecommuting plan in place just in case your employees will need to access business data from a different location? When your employees who have access to the data can obtain the information when needed, this will keep your business from losing revenue. Your employees will be able to access vital business information from their new location until they can gain access to the workplace again.
When your employees are able to use file sync services and cloud services, all employees will be able to do their jobs despite the disaster that took place. The use of these services and technologies can be the difference between losing revenue and bringing in revenue. When employees are equipped with the services they need while they are working from home or another location, they will be motivated and prepared to get their work done every day, regardless of where they are working from.
A BDR plan can save your business from completely losing everything and closing its doors for good. When you back up your data in off-site locations and other locations, you will have your business operating again in little time. You may also be able to run your business from another location.
Do you think it is time to rethink and reevaluate your current BDR plans? Are you ready to develop a Backup Disaster Recovery plan that will allow your business to continue operating despite what type of natural disaster or accident takes place? For more information on backup and disaster recovery plans, please do not hesitate to contact us today for more information. Our team is here to help your business plan for any unforeseen events.

9 Tips for Small Business Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery Plan written on a dart board

What is your Disaster Recovery Plan?

As a modern business, you need your network, internet access, and business software. You need the servers to host data, the coffee machines to flow, and you need the constant current of electricity to the entire infrastructure to keep the lights and computers on. When something goes wrong from ransomware to hurricanes, it’s important to have a plan that will get everyone back online and work resumed as quickly as possible. This process is known as disaster recovery and is something that every business has to contend with. Without a disaster recovery plan, you’re at risk of being completely technologically wiped out by malware or a local natural disaster. With one, you could potentially have your employees set back up after a complete system wipe in less than two hours.

1) Identify Your Most Likely Risks

Every time you start building a disaster recovery plan, whether it’s your first plan or an update to one that’s been in place for a decade, it’s important to re-assess the possible risks. These days, you’re more likely to get phished by a hacker than hit by a hurricane, but let’s face it, mother nature has also been doing some serious damage lately. You’ll want a disaster recovery plan that assumes several different possible disasters including malware that must be wiped with a factory reset and small corrections as might be necessary to fix a data entry mistake. Build a plan based on each of the most likely disasters that could take out your IT infrastructure or damage files.

2) Conduct Vulnerability Management

Vulnerability management refers to the process of seeking out possible security holes and weaknesses in your infrastructure and closing them. One of the best ways to prepare for a disaster is to do your best to prevent it. Vulnerability management not only ensures that you close a few security holes with updates and patches, it also lets you know which security holes can’t be completely closed and will need to be guarded and planned for instead.

3) Plan Disaster Recovery from End to Beginning

When you’re building a disaster recovery plan, start with the results you want to see at the end of recovery. What state should the computers be in? Consider the possibility of starting from scratch and establish how much restoration is needed to get to that point for each device and network assets. Department computers will need specific software and possibly data loaded into them and your central network infrastructure may need both software and configuration settings re-established before it is fully restored. Define how much you need to be included in the recovery and then build the steps need to recover.

4) Prioritize Levels of Disaster Recovery

Of course, if recovery is going to take a few hours,  the right prioritization can have strategic departments up and working faster than others. You can, for instance, prioritize to get the customer service team back online first and answering client questions about the service outage or prioritize getting your machinery back online if you handle manufacturing or run tests for clients. By prioritizing, you can get the most possible work out of a disaster recovery day and ensure that your return to functionality is as smooth as possible.

5) Keep the Recovery Plan Current

Disaster recovery plans are very specific to the software, data, and backup protocols that are in place when the plan is formed. If your infrastructure, configurations, or backup schedule are changed in any way, your disaster recovery plan is outdated which could leave the company vulnerable. It is vital that your backup recovery plans are kept completely current and updated every time a change is made to something that will need to be recovered into the new state.

6) Test Your Disaster Recovery Plan Regularly

When talking about the security of your company data and technical infrastructure, you can’t simply trust that a plan works simply because you put it together. Just as you would need to test a new product or appliance before relying on it, a disaster discovery plan also needs to be tested. Make sure that you can restore your computers to full or desired function before relaxing and continue to run regular tests to ensure that no small change has compromised your plan’s effectiveness.

7) Get Top Management Involved

All too often, a security or IT solution is implemented for everyone except top management who seem to float above the normal power responsibility hierarchy. However, if a company is going to be completely secure, everyone needs to get involved. Make sure that top management understands the disaster recovery plan and the right people are ready to lead implementation should they be the highest authority on site when a disaster strikes. This way, recovery plans will both be more thoroughly upheld and more effectively implemented when necessary.

8) Write a Disaster Recovery Guide

Once you have the entire disaster recovery plan plotted out from beginning to end, write a guide that uses the simplest possible terms to explain how to implement the plan. This ensures that no matter what bizarre circumstances a disaster might occur in, including the possibility of a skeleton holiday crew and a new-years malware attack, that backup recover can be put into action. The guide also serves as a fallback plan in case the disaster recovery plan designer is not available when a disaster occurs.

9) Run Regular Response and Recovery Drills

Finally, often the most effective disaster recovery involves the coordinated efforts of whole teams. When every employee knows how to reload their system from the cloud backup, you can even trust them to maintain local units because they can always restore to default. If you want to get your entire office back online in the shortest possible time, train your team thoroughly in how to respond to a disaster. This is a great way to run disaster recovery tests and train everyone in quick disaster response in one unifying company event.

Having a variety of disaster recovery plans with a strong basis in cloud backups and practiced recovery procedures is the key to getting your business back on its feet after any kind of disaster. Whether you’ve been targeted by a hacker or a natural disaster takes out your office, the right disaster recovery plan can have you up and running in a matter of hours. For more great tips and tricks on small business disaster recovery techniques, contact us today!

How Can You Have A Successful Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR) Plan?

Two businessmen looking at broken laptop, operating system crash - Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR) Plan concept

How will your plan hold up in a disaster situation?

When it comes to back and disaster recovery(BDR), one of the keys to making sure your business is still being able to operate efficiently is being prepared for any natural disaster or event. Not only is it important to make sure you have a BDR plan you can trust, but it is also important to make sure you are able to go through a test run so you will always be two steps ahead.

Before any type of disaster ever occurs, we want you to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I really need a backup and disaster recovery plan?
  • Am I currently using a backup and disaster recovery plan? When was the last time someone tested it?
  • How long does it usually take to recover data from the current backup solution?
  • When there is downtime, how much money could I lose?
  • What is the average downtime for my business after a disaster? Can I afford to be down this long?
  • If a disaster strikes, will there be other copies of my data in another location that I can access?

What’s The Problem?

Not every disaster is going to be the same, and this means not every recovery process will be the same. Before you take any action, we want you to understand all the issues surrounding the disaster and your data. How will all of these issues impact you? Is the current issue impacting one system or is it impacting the entire system? Do you have any files that have been deleted? Are any of your systems and servers down?

What Are Your Goals?

When it comes to a BDR solution and a simple backup of your data, the major difference in a BDR is its ability to actually recover. This is why it is so important to know what your disaster recovery goals are. Do you plan to restore only your data? Do you plan to restore only the system? Do you plan to restore both? How much time do you plan to spend on recovering files before the system recovery begins? Once you determine if you want to spend time on the recovery process, you will want to make sure you have identified the systems that are the most critical.

The Recovery

When you are walking down the recovery road, you should make sure you follow the proper procedures. Which recovery procedure do you plan to follow? We encourage you to follow the recovery procedure that will give you the best opportunity to reach the goals you have set, including file restoration.

Once you have verified the recovery, you should make sure that there is a positive interaction with the users by ensuring the network connectivity is working. You will need to make sure everyone is able to access the files, resources, and other applications. If you need to restore your business’s original system, you should carefully decide what process will be better.

After you have answered the questions and created a backup and disaster recovery plan, you should take a moment and think about the process. Did everyone handle the recovery process the way you hoped they would? Do you wish you could have done things differently?

After you have answered these additional questions, you should be able to determine what caused the failure and what things still need to be addressed and corrected. It can be a wise decision to make notes of what mistakes were made and what things can be done in the future to avoid these mistakes.

If you are looking for backup and disaster recovery solutions, we are more than happy to provide you with a variety of options that will protect your data, whether it is in the cloud or on-premise. Contact us today for more information on BDR solutions.

Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR): Disasters Do Not Take Breaks During The Summer

Business man in summer heat on laptop wishing he had a Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR) plan

Planning ahead is key to minimizing the impact of data loss

Summer can bring a variety of things your way, including great weather, long days and nights, and the occasional sunburn. Those things should be at the top of our list of concerns during the summer, right? Unfortunately, there are many other things businesses have to be concerned about during the summer. There always seems to be a major difference between how we think things should be and how they actually are.

Business owners should always make it a priority to backup files so no information will be lost in case there is an unexpected event or emergency. If any information is lost during an event, the files can easily be recovered when you have your files backed up. Unfortunately, too many businesses fail to have a Backup Disaster Recovery(BDR) plan. The commitment to creating a Backup Disaster Recovery(BDR) plan seems to disappear during the summer. We encourage business owners to dedicate some time, energy, and effort into preserving all their data.

You Will Never Know When Disaster Will Strike

Many business owners fail to put as much energy into a BDR plan in the summer because they feel that they only have to worry about certain disasters during the winter or various areas of the year. While the winter does bring its own threats, summer can also have devastating impacts on businesses. Summer brings extreme heat, floods, hurricanes, etc.

Snowstorms can result in power outages, but floods, storms, and heat waves can also result in power outages. If your business is not ready for the impact of a power outage, you can find yourself in a situation that will not be easy to get out of.

It is important for business owners to remember that natural disasters, threats, and the risk of data loss can take place during every part of the year. Natural disasters can have a significant impact on your business, especially due to their ability to increase downtime due to data unavailability.

In addition to natural disasters, hackers do not take breaks during the summer. Businesses are the targets of half or more than half of attacks. As a business owner, you are not able to predict when a disaster will strike, but you will be able to control how your business will be able to make a recovery if a natural disaster or threat to data does strike.

Why Is A Backup Disaster Recovery Plan Important?

Your business’s BDR needs will not be the same as the business’s next door. A BDR will involve multiple processes that will include planning, testing, and monitoring the responses to various types of threats and failures. When you are thinking about taking a vacation to the beach, we encourage you to make some room to think about BDR. It may not be fun to think about now, but if you are ever hit by a disaster, you will be glad you took some time to create a BDR.

You do not want to be added to the list of businesses who lose nearly millions or over millions of dollars trying to recover from a loss of data. Many businesses also have to close their doors for good because they were never able to recover from the data loss. Constantly engage in BDR discussions and ensure that all information that is essential to your business can be recovered easily and quickly.

Disasters and threats can occur throughout the entire year, and it is important that you take the necessary precautions to ensure that losing data will not result in losing your entire business. Contact us today when you are ready to ensure your data will always be available.