If your company loses IT systems, could it continue to function? Would your employees remain productive? Would your customers and suppliers be able to access your website?
If you are a victim of malicious activity (hacking) and your data becomes corrupt, could you switch to an alternative data source and continue to trade?
The answer to these is almost certainly ‘no’. An IT disaster may be caused by hacking or a power cut. It could be a mistake by an employee or an essential task that hasn’t been done because the employee responsible is in lockdown, working from home.
Do I need a backup and disaster recovery strategy?
Let’s be certain here. Yes, your business needs a backup and disaster recovery strategy!
It’s insurance, risk mitigation. The equivalent of wearing a seat belt in a car or a helmet on a pushbike. You are a great, safe driver, but everybody else may not be!
Companies that experience an IT systems disaster often go out of business.
Let’s look at what you need to consider to succeed.
Preventative Measures – Security
Cyber security means protecting your vital data. Security measures include:
- access controls, only authorising essential users to access data
- Use of strong passwords to prevent unauthorised individuals from logging on to IT systems
If you have experienced and professional IT support or an IT managed services team, they will ensure the best security for your systems:
- Your data will be encrypted
- Your IT system users will have secure messaging and email systems
- Antivirus software is installed and monitored
- Software is updated and patched to the latest versions
- Employees are trained in identifying security risks
Data is vital for your business. Employee data, customer data, including financial details, stock levels, plans and budgets are all essential data for your business.
Backups should be taken regularly. In the event the IT system is ‘down’ when data is restored, it will be restored from the most recent backup. Any changes since that backup will need to be done again. A separate record of transactions would help this process. Many companies maintain a record of transactions and their disaster recovery plan includes a means of automatically reapplying transactions that occurred since the most recent backup of data.
An ideal data backup process records the output from each online transaction onto two, or more, individual databases. This ensures there is always a ‘real-time’ mirror of actual, current data available.
The best recovery strategy is the one you don’t even notice.
Essential infrastructure has an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). This is an alternative power supply that kicks in if the mains power stops. Early forms of these were petrol-fueled generators, which made a lot of noise. A modern UPS is a standby battery silently ensuring a constant power supply for your IT systems in the event of a power cut. The UPS can supply power for a limited amount of time, depending on the size and design.
Data includes proprietary software. The ideal recovery strategy ensures an almost instant switch to a system with real-time ‘mirrored’ data.
Most businesses, especially smaller companies, will have a simpler, still effective, recovery plan. Most likely, in the event of a power cut, for example, the power company will repair any damage and restore power. If data has been compromised, IT systems will access data from the most recent backup. There may be some work needed to replicate any changes made since the last data backup. This process should happen as quickly as possible.
The smallest changes to infrastructure, software or the volume or type of data stored may be unnoticed and may impact, or prevent your IT system restore. It’s vital a disaster recovery plan is tested. Regularly.
If you have a professional, experienced IT support team or IT managed services consultants, they will take care of this. Rest assured systems will recover when necessary and you don’t need to worry about it.
This is what you need!
All the other stuff: backups, resilience, security, disaster recovery; these are concerns for your IT managed services team. All you want is for your business to continue trading, profitably, no matter what happens!
Expert, professional, proven success – Starboard IT
When you employ Starboard IT’s Managed Services team, you are putting your IT security into safe hands. We have experience and many delighted clients as evidence of our success.
We have IT business continuity solutions for your business We will develop a tailor-made backup and disaster recovery (BDR) strategy which suits the needs of your company. We will test it and it WILL work.
Contact Starboard IT today to discuss your IT needs and let us deliver peace of mind.