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Help, a disaster! How do I safeguard my business continuity?

Would your IT infrastructure be able to withstand a disaster? Are you sufficiently prepared to launch a recovery procedure if something happens? Can you get the most critical applications online again as quickly as possible? Do you have the necessary temporary solutions and high availability? We all hope we’ll never end up in this situation, but if disaster strikes, we need to be ready. Let’s elaborate:
 

IT dependency of businesses:

Have you ever thought about what would happen if disaster struck in your business, making your corporate applications and data suddenly unavailable? The impact is usually much worse than you might think at first:

  • Internal communication (such as phone calls, e-mail or Skype for Business) is no longer possible.
  • You can no longer reach customers.
  • Entrance doors and barriers no longer work.
  • Financial transactions won’t go through.
  • You can’t receive or transport goods.
  • Production lines stop working.
  • Patients can no longer be treated.

Shortly put, a crisis severely disrupts your company’s daily routine, which could severely impact your business financially.

Many businesses, such as financial institutions, hospitals or retail companies, depend on an IT infrastructure that needs to be available 24/7. These businesses can’t afford to lose any data. Luckily, there are some keys to limit the impact of a crisis as much as possible and ensure continuity: thorough preparation, multiple procedures and a strategy.
 

1. Can I prepare for an IT disaster?

Everything starts with thorough preparation: make sure you’ve got the necessary disaster recovery plans and procedures in place. It’s better to be safe than sorry. There are numerous ways to protect your business from different types of crises:

  • Save local backups on tapes and disks which you can store externally.
  • Set up a cloud-based backup solution.
  • Replicate your virtual environment in a private or public cloud. This way, you’ll always have a ready-to-use replica of your environment.
  • Ensure high availability with a second data location with automatic failover features and synchronous replication.

No matter where your data is (on-premises, public cloud, private cloud or hosted), there’s always a solution to protect your data and business continuity.
 

2. I already have a backup. There’s no need to worry, right? 

Remember that repairing and recovering data always takes time. Especially when you need to recover all company data after a disaster, reverting to a backup is usually not an option.

The downtime a company can allow itself and the amount of data a company can afford to lose will determine which data protection and disaster recovery solutions are most suited to guarantee business continuity.

3. I already have a second data location. Am I always protected?

Are you copying your data through a datacentre high-availability system (synchronous or asynchronous data replication)? If so, this can ensure you stay online if an incident should happen, without data loss or with minimal downtime.

But what if your data itself has been compromised? Ransomware, other cyberattacks and even human errors could corrupt your data. A replication won’t help you in this situation, because the data at your second location could also be compromised.

You need to protect your business from these scenarios as well. To do this, it’s important to find out if backups, snapshots or other forms of data copying can offer adequate protection against ransomware and other external attacks. Sure, you could write your backups to another location, but is this location sufficiently isolated from your production environment – and is this location protected against ransom software?
 

4. What if an incident does happen?

Never say never. Disaster could strike in many ways. There could be a fire in your data centre, a server room under attack, water leakage, a human error or ransomware corrupting your data and applications.

Let’s hope that in such a scenario:

  • You’ve got a clear overview of all your applications and company data.
  • You’ve got an overview of the business criticality of your business processes and applications and an order of recovery.
  • You have a scenario and procedures that can help you repair your applications and data.
  • You know who to contact depending on the procedure used and the corrupted process.
  • You’ve got the necessary manual emergency procedures.
     

5. How can Xylos help me?

As your ICT partner with years of experience and the necessary expertise, we can help you:

  • Analyse your current precautions for data protection and if they would be sufficient in all possible scenarios.
  • We’ll advise you about the protection of your business continuity.
  • We’ll work with you to compile an inventory of your business applications describing several aspects of each application, such as:
    • The person responsible for the application
    • Business criticality
    • Interaction with and dependency on other applications
    • Protection through backup and high availability
    • Test plan after recovery
  • We’ll set up the necessary procedures and scenario to help in case of an IT disaster.
  • We’ll make an overview of people who should be contacted in emergency situations.
  • We’ll set up the necessary procedures and analyse how we can test the scenarios in a controlled way and on a regular basis.

Your business continuity largely depends on how you protect your data and on your disaster precautions.

 

Do you want to know more about our cloud-based solutions? Be sure to visit our website.

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