Businesses today face an unprecedented number of exposures. Every day we hear about cyberattacks or natural disasters that bring businesses to a standstill. More often than not, the damages are too big to overcome, and businesses can’t recover. This article looks at the future of disaster recovery and how it will speed up the turnaround time from future disaster occurrences.
The changing definition of disaster recovery
As 2021 approaches its end, we must be mindful that the concept of business continuity has changed due to the pandemic. Moreover, the traditional definition of disaster has changed. While earlier, they were defined by an act of nature, today even internet, system, or electrical failure could be disastrous, crashing operations and communications. But the businesses have to function even when the critical systems are down. That’s why disaster recovery and backup plan is pertinent for them to operate using alternative process or locations for periods of time.
With increased digitization and more people relying on data-driven applications and remote access to business systems, stakes are a lot higher, and there is an urgent need for businesses to have a solid disaster recovery plan heading into 2022. They must be ready for whatever may happen now and in the future.
What are some common threats to businesses?
Businesses have to deal with many threats that jeopardize data and system availability, including:
- Cyber threats and unplanned service disruptions
- Insider threats
- Human error
- Unnatural disasters such as power failures
- Natural disasters, such as an earthquake
All these threats have the potential to disrupt operations, make systems and applications unusable via malware or encryption or can physically shut down the company.
Disaster Recovery (DR) in 2022 and beyond
In the face of disasters, backups make an enormous difference in how fast you can get the business back up and running. Today, data is distributed across highly complex ecosystems, such as hybrid cloud, multi-cloud, IoT, and edge. This has made backup and recovery even more complex, requiring innovative automated solutions.
Also, as the new strains of ransomware target backup files, it’s important that the classic 3-2-1 backup rule goes through an upgrade. In the 3-2-1 plan, you have three copies of your data on two different media (disk and tape) and one copy off-site for backup. Below are some backup and recovery options that are more future-ready.
A 3-2-1-1 plan is a better option for disaster recovery as it adds an air-gapped copy of your data away from your company’s network. The “3” in this plan comes from: people, process, and technology. The “2” refers to your recovery strategies. The first “1” refers to maintaining, at minimum, one off-network immutable copy of your data, and the last “1” means you need to maintain an off-network secure environment.
Multi-cloud data backup and recovery solutions are constructed through the use of containers and microservices, which enable you to deploy workloads and data in multiple cloud environments.
Hybrid cloud backup
Hybrid cloud backup solutions are also growing in popularity as they first back up data to an on-premises appliance and then duplicate that backup to cloud resources.
Cloud-native backup and recovery methods are increasingly becoming necessary as more organizations move to cloud-only environments. Built into cloud services, these solutions enable you to automate backups easily and recover data and workloads with ease.
Backup using IoT devices
IoT devices are very helpful for early identification or prevention of disasters, which could be used to trigger an upload of device data to the cloud to ensure it isn’t lost. IT teams can also be alerted on time to download on-site backups to remote devices.
Using AI as a part of DR
Just like IoT, Artificial Intelligence can be used to prevent disasters, and it can also aid in the recovery effort when a disaster occurs. It can ensure patches and updates are performed regularly, and recovery processes are launched as soon as they are required.
Revamping old security policies
As mentioned earlier in the article, threats and challenges evolve every year, so security policies need to evolve too. So businesses need to re-evaluate definitions of threats from time to time. Security assistance and training should be provided to the remote workforce periodically, and there should be backup available for each member of the crisis response team. Also, be sure to address how you will maintain SLAs during and after an unplanned disruption. Your company’s backup and recovery plans should also include health and safety protocols and backup staff for critical processes. There should also be a robust plan for crisis communication to guide how you communicate with customers, stakeholders, and employees in case of a crisis.
With 2022 fast approaching, it’s time for businesses to reassess their disaster recovery plans to handle future disruptions. As new threats and challenges emerge with time, businesses need to be ready for whatever comes next.