Backup vs. Business Continuity: What They Mean for Your Business

Everyone knows the importance of backing up data. Typical backups often use external hard drives, local backups, or cloud, but is this enough to support your business in the event of a disaster, truly? Whether it’s a fire, storm or even a security breach, the answer is: not likely. It’s important to understand what your backups will and won’t do in the event you have a disaster and what other measures you should be taking to ensure your business has a proper data backup and recovery solution.

Backup

Whether your data is housed on an external hard drive, USB stick, disks, tape drives, or is located on off-site mirrored physical servers, your data can be or is being backed up. These are better solutions than having no backup at all, but if a disaster strikes, your data can be lost forever. While some of these options require a person to prompt them, such as with a disk backup, hard drive or USB stick, or can be programed to back up on their own, the problem is you’re housing these backups in the same location the disaster is striking.

Imagine that you backup all of your business’s data on your computer. If that computer is lost in a fire, then you no longer have a backup and your data is lost. Aside from natural disasters, recent versions of ransomware are specifically targeting local backups. In situations like this, traditional backups can take weeks to recover your data which means weeks until your business is up and running again. In that amount of time, you’ve not only lost your data but customers’ data as well, which could result in client and revenue loss.

There are other factors to consider when only depending on traditional backup. The devices, as mentioned before, often depend on someone prompting the backup which can open your network up to high risk for human error. As if that weren’t a large enough gamble, it’s also harder to test when using traditional backup if your data did indeed backup properly.

Recent versions of ransomware are specifically targeting local backups.twitter-logo-vector-download-612819-edited.jpg

Because you are relying on someone to do the heavy manual administration for your data backup, you are also asking that person to step away from their other duties which are now more time consuming and costly for your business. Making several copies and storing them in multiple locations will also cost your business time and money that could be allocated elsewhere.

With traditional backup only, physical to virtual conversions are timely and tend to have a high failure rate. Your business will also be limited due to not having redundant backups in multiple locations which will also leave room for increased risk for the original backup system to be destroyed.

Different industries have different standards when it comes to information security, however, depending on your business, traditional backup could be limiting your options for encrypting data as it’s being stored. Healthcare, for example, is an example of an industry that is incredibly strict on how information is stored due to HIPAA laws and other patient information.

When considering how valuable your information is and that of your customers’, data recovery failures, user errors and downtime caused from only utilizing traditional backups will not do. This year, businesses are not only concerned about natural disasters, but also the rise of cyber-attacks. Naturally, with advancements in the world of malicious attacks brings the need for more sophisticated, next generation backup.

Business Continuity

Nowadays, a simple backup isn’t enough to save your data. Threats are everywhere and rarely do businesses have notice before threats strike. Enter business continuity, the “bigger picture” to handling your company’s disaster. To put it simply, it overrides your traditional backups, diving deep into creating a strategy around recognizing there are threats facing your business and more specifically, your network and its security. If you’re operating your business without a disaster recovery plan, chances are your business will endure a significant financial hit or complete loss due to downtime.

Regardless of size or industry, having a business continuity plan will save you time, money and headache when it comes to backing up your data and ensuring it will be properly recovered. This full plan allows you to visualize a disaster from a higher point of view than just your backup, aiding your business if a disaster were to occur.

Establishing a business continuity plan will reduce your downtime to hours or even minutes thus allowing you and your employees to continue functioning and communicating with customers. Unlike with basic backup, this is possible due to having a full automation process in place with very little manual management required. Putting this process into place will allow for more productivity from employees who no longer have to manage the backup process and allow for less user error.

Teaming up with IT professionals like Twinstate Technologies can steer you in the right business continuity direction. Our Disaster Recovery Cloud Service (DRCS), for instance, is one that can keep you up and running at all times.

DRCS is Twinstate’s service to a cloud-based approach system backup specifically designed for customers who have a Recovery Time Objective (RTO) of a day or two. Twinstate partners with backup and recovery expert Datto to ensure that DRCS customers’ data is not only backed up properly, but can be easily restored with quick turnaround time and with the exact information their network lost. DRCS goes a step further in that not only will it backup your data, but it will also protect your business’s production network. As well, it will allow your servers and workstations to be fully operational while ensuring your business-critical applications are protected. Real-time reports will allow your Twinstate expert to monitor your backups and ensure that every backup is successful and can be restored at any time.

Backing up your sensitive information into one place is no longer good enough. You can never be too careful – even your one backup won’t be acceptable. With DRCS, your information will be backed up on the appliance and at multiple data centers. That way, your information is safe and geographically separated in the event one data center goes down.

Utilizing services like DRCS gives you the opportunity to work alongside your Twinstate partner to prioritize your information and schedule which assets should be copied and backed up first.  DRCS will also provide customers the ability to choose when data is backed up whether it be daily or every few hours.

Given the current threat landscape, updating the way your data is backed up won’t just be helpful in restoring your data quickly, but it will prevent your business from experiencing the least amount of downtime.

Twinstate understands the specific needs your business requires if there is a disaster or breach in security, which can be a disaster unto itself. Having a partner that will help your company manage the information restoring process alongside helping to make sure your network security is safe will lessen stress and protect your bottom line.

In today’s world, ask yourself if your business can afford to lose its data and take a financial hit. Most likely the answer is it can’t. Help yourself and your business by creating a solid plan for no matter the disaster. Start by taking the time to list your business’s assets and categorize your computer inventory.