Your coronavirus DR checklist
IT departments often struggle to get the budget they deserve for a comprehensive backup and disaster-recovery system.
Your coronavirus (COVID-19) DR checklist
As more and more employees work from home to lessen the impact of the coronavirus, there has perhaps never been a more pressing time to review disaster-recovery plans and address any shortcomings
IT departments often struggle to get the budget they deserve for a comprehensive backup and disaster-recovery system.
However, the fall-out from the Covid-19 virus is changing minds. Organisations are accelerating plans to improve the way they protect data - while others are reconsidering long-standing policies, no longer seen as adequate.
The health and well-being of employees will always remain of paramount importance, but not having access to data, even for a few hours, is of huge concern too as it can cause irreparable damage in the form of lost business, catastrophic fines and reputational damage.
When a business looks at how best to cope with the disruption a human virus will have on its workforce, preparations are not too dissimilar to those needed to reduce the impact of a computer virus, flood or other disaster.
To find out whether your organisation is at risk, read our five-point DR guide to keeping your business in a healthy condition in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak:
Consider educating more of your workforce about how you back up, monitor and restore data
What happens if the few people who know about the way your company protects its data fall sick?
Consider giving basic training to more employees to minimise the chances of a lack of expertise.
The easier the solution is to configure and install, and the simpler it is to administer, monitor and recover data, the better.
You don’t want to leave the company waiting for data to be restored.
The speed of recovery should not rest on a few inexperienced people.
If your data management is a complicated task, requiring extensive training, getting to grips with everything quickly may be difficult - and it may be time to reconsider the protection of your data.
Only a true, cloud-first approach supports remote and home working with no tapes to swap, no transportation issues in a lockdown and no on-premise storage to manage. With a cloud-based solution, you can manage your data remotely, access it from anywhere, recover to anywhere . . . and scale capacity up or down with ease - ideal for home workers now working from laptops.
Switching to a solution that requires minimal human interaction and no professional services is not just desirable under a lockdown. Long after coronavirus has hopefully gone, you will still be saving on management overheads and freeing up time for staff to focus on business-driven initiatives.
Test your DR capabilities NOW!
Surveys suggest that 23% of organisations never test their disaster-recovery plan at all and only 29% test their plan once a year.
Most claim there’s not enough time for testing while a third insist it’s just not a priority where they work. Well, it really should be right now!
Regular testing of your DR processes gives you peace of mind and the confidence that even with a skeleton staff, you can respond rapidly in a coronavirus-induced crisis.
Establishing, refining, and recording the steps you need to make will improve your operational confidence and minimise disruption, should an incident occur.
Now might also be a good time to gauge how easy it is to test your disaster-recovery plan.
Tape-based backups involve getting onsite, difficult during a lockdown with travel restrictions. With a cloud-based solution you can stream and test DR on demand.
Do you get charged for restores or bandwidth? Would you prefer not to have any cost associated with testing your DR provision?
How useful is it to have temporary remote access given to staff working in isolation and the capability for permanent recovery to a destination of your choice?
Did you know that there's no longer any need for users to wait on lengthy downloads in the event of a disaster? Massive systems and millions of files can seemingly be recovered in moments with a unique technology that streams the data users require straight from its datacentres.
There are clear benefits of being able to test DR plans as many times as you want - streaming data with no egress charges and no worries about getting onsite when there are travel restrictions. If you have the option of a free local copy of your data as part of the service, further protecting you and your assets, then so much the better!
When was the last time you tested your DR processes?
- Within last week
- Within last month
- Within last six months
- Within last year
- More than a year ago
Mitigate against the risk of a mobile workforce on less well protected networks
Even if most people in your organisation are comfortable working on laptops and mobile devices, staying at home for extended periods of time - in response to a global pandemic - increases the chances that critical files and folders will exist outside of your data environment.
Important data created on laptops may not necessarily be included in centralised company storage. Even worse, networks are typically more vulnerable when employees work remotely on their own devices. Many companies fail to provide backup and recovery for the devices that staff use while on the road, despite most experts insisting they should.
Cyberattacks are the fastest growing of all crimes and predicted to cost the world 6 trillion dollars annually by 2021. All it takes to leave a business wide open is one ill-advised click or a visit to the wrong website.
Ideally you need a solution that automates the process of securely sending data offsite, keeping your backups isolated from your live environment so they can't be targeted by hackers or malware authors. A solution should guarantee recovery from a ransomware attack by giving you instant access to protected data.
It's critical that your backups are not permanently on the same network as your live data. If you use the cloud, ensure that your chosen service encrypts data before it leaves your devices - and that it remains encrypted at all times, in transit and in storage.
Ensure preparations have been made for employees storing vital data in G Suite or in Office 365’s OneDrive and SharePoint.
A typical alternative to roaming device backup is a centralised communication and collaboration system.
Coronavirus has escalated to a point where employees are encouraged to make more use of Office 365 or G Suite, but are they trained in the best ways to do so?
Ensuring business continuity can be difficult and risky if IT staff rely on inbuilt protection since this is not only limited, but often complex and time-consuming to manage.
Organisations have a responsibility not only to protect critical data in O365 and G Suite, but also to comply with regulations.
However, to believe that a SaaS vendor like Microsoft has automatically taken care of your backup is a dangerous assumption - particularly when data has been deleted and this has gone unnoticed for a while.
Section 6 of Microsoft’s own Services Agreement specifically states 'we recommend that you regularly back up your content and data that you store on the services . . . using third-party apps and services'.
In this way you avoid relinquishing control or being beholden to the service provider and can rest assured with a separate backup policy as security standard.
True cloud-to-cloud protection should require no on-prem servers and have no impact on local bandwidth or storage management.
It is recommended that you protect your O365 or G Suite data as part of a unified, automated, policy-driven data management strategy, ideally with a web-based control centre that provides complete visibility and allows you to assign consistent protection policies across your entire data estate.
Do you have a separate backup for data in O365 or G Suite?
Have contingency plans for when there is no way to transport removeable media or visit sites
The global pandemic has led to restrictions on travel, and this has subsequently put a massive strain on non-automated solutions that involve the transportation and storage of physical media.
That in turn makes it difficult to recover data within an acceptable timeframe - or without losing an unacceptable amount of recently created data.
The solution is a flexible technology that can be deployed to physical and virtualised environments - VMs, public cloud servers and mobile devices.
Ideally you will want to be able to back up from any location - to a choice of your own data centre, the cloud, a hyper-scale environment or a combination of all three.
Whatever the issue, you need to be sure you can quickly and easily restore data to its original location or a new location of your choice.
It is also vital to have the capability to complete ad-hoc file recoveries or full system restores at any time and as often as you require.
That is difficult if you are using tape-based backups and a lockdown means that employees are confined to home or prevented from retrieving tapes from a company’s secure storage facility.
If your company used a cloud-based, fully automated disaster recovery service, you could fail-over your entire IT infrastructure without ever having to be physically present anywhere.
Whether data is on-prem, hybrid or in the cloud, in today’s on-demand world you need to be sure of instant access to the data you need to get up and running within seconds, not days.
If you think you may have difficulty implementing any of the measures outlined here, don’t worry because it’s not too late to take action.
There's a cloud-based technology out there that can protect you before the day is out.
Get up and running today
With easy installation and no hardware costs, you can choose what data you want to protect and scale up or down as demand changes.
Deployed and configured in 15 minutes, Redstor makes your data management problems smaller and simpler.
Free up resources (minimal training) and reduce complexity (no compatibility challenges).
Ideal for MSPs
Designed for multi-tenancy through a single, web-based control centre, Redstor is the ideal cloud data management platform for MSPs.
Remotely manage data from anywhere on any device and evidence value through extensive reporting and insight.
Pay for one get the rest for free
Take advantage of backup and recovery, DR, archiving, search and insight - all for a single cost per GB.
With 4-in-1 data management you can slash recovery times and reap the financial rewards of cost-effective DR and instant access to archived data.
Find out how Redstor helped the CVS veterinary group:
- Protect any new acquisition’s entire infrastructure in a matter of minutes
- Manage and protect large data sets, wherever they may be, via a single control centre.
- Reduce management of backup from almost a full-time job to minutes every day
- Manage by exception and easily evidence compliance
Keep calm and carry on
With a backup and DR system that can handle the worst, you’ll be able to ride out any nightmare scenario with ease. You can then focus on what is truly important – keeping your team safe.
Data management for an on-demand world
Data Management for an On-Demand World. Take it as Red.
We are disrupting the world of data management with our pioneering technology, which provides borderless visibility and on-demand access to all your data, wherever it is stored, through a single control centre.
Trusted by more than 40,000 clients and 350 partners, we use our proven, industry-leading technology to help you discover, analyse, control and protect your critical data.
Redstor is available worldwide through a network of resellers. For further information please visit www.redstor.com.