A Good Disaster Recovery Strategy Can Save Your Business

There are countless ways your organization could face down a disaster, whether it’s a high-profile natural disaster, a physical disaster, or a technology-related disaster. If you aren’t prepared to face the consequences, your business could falter in the face of such incidents. How can your business best prepare itself for all manners of disasters?

Disaster Recovery Is a Big Issue

There are two ways to approach a disaster: reactive and proactive. The reactive approach involves the mindset that you cannot prevent the disaster; therefore, there is no reason to try, as you will experience the consequences anyway. The other mindset, proactive, subscribes to the idea that you can be ready for a disaster and can mitigate the damages ahead of time with the right amount of preparation.

 

In just about all situations, it’s better to be proactive than reactive, especially in the case of disaster recovery. Due to the nature of the situations, you never know if and when they will strike, so you had best be prepared to handle natural disasters, physical disasters, and technology disasters. Let’s go over them.

Natural Disasters

A natural disaster is usually what people think of when they think of disasters, and they include situations like fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, and so on. You could even put a pandemic in this category. While the severity might vary, there can be no denying that these situations can impact operations. You need to have a plan to address unexpected weather and illness for your business; the continuity of operations hangs precariously in the balance.

Physical Disasters

A physical disaster has to do with the physical infrastructure of your company, which might include your building, its utilities, physical security breaches, or theft. Examples include burst pipes, HVAC system errors, and power failures. While it might not seem like a massive loss, you can be sure that the accumulated downtime will be costly enough to make you wish you had a contingency plan in place.

Technology Disasters

Technology disasters are the result of technology failures, including the components of systems, as well as cybersecurity breaches. These are the most likely issues you will deal with regarding your hardware, and it will inevitably fail with enough wear and tear. Furthermore, they require a very specific skill set and expertise to maintain. Technology-related disasters like data loss and cyberattacks can both be prepared for, so it’s your responsibility to do so.

How to Go About Planning for the Worst

The general goal of a disaster recovery plan is to reduce downtime and get back to business as usual as quickly as possible. The devil is in the details, here; you need to know exactly what must be done, including metrics and benchmarks you want to hit, in order to successfully prepare for a disaster incident. There are certain things you’ll need regardless of the situation, though, such as data backed up both on and off-site. With the appropriate preparation, you can ensure that these situations don’t derail your operations.

 

Point North Networks can help you build out a disaster recovery plan and test it periodically to ensure your business can recover without a hitch. To learn more, reach out to us at 651-234-0895.

Data Backup

Why Should You Bother with Data Backup?

A good business owner envisions the future and what it could bring about. You may have already devoted a considerable amount of time to the good things that could happen, but how often do you picture the bad?

If you don’t imagine the worst-case scenario, you could be putting your business’ life on the line. Are you prepared to deal with a data loss incident?

You might think we are being a bit dramatic, and maybe we are, but a business that doesn’t focus on longevity is one that will ultimately fail in the face of adversity. You need to consider what a worst-case scenario could mean for your business.

Data backup and disaster recovery are critical components of any successful business. Most companies rely on data in at least some capacity, so without it, operations can be stymied significantly. This data might include client information, metrics, corporate data, important files, and so on. If you lose this data, how do you plan on keeping your business running?

Disaster Recovery Process

The process of disaster recovery is just as important, as without it, you cannot get back in business following critical data loss. Disaster recovery is what enables your business to maintain operations even in the face of severe disasters, like a hacking incident or a natural disaster. While having data backup is helpful, you still need a method to restore it as quickly as possible so as to avoid downtime. You might consider concepts like data backup, operations, workforce longevity, and alternative working conditions when putting together your disaster recovery plan, whether the disaster is from nature or your fellow humankind.

Your business should implement a cloud-based data backup system and disaster recovery tool that takes periodic snapshots of your data. This will allow you to accomplish the following:

  • Backups can be taken throughout the workday rather than only once at the end of the day.
  • Your backups will be accessible at a moment’s notice, something which is incredibly valuable when recovering from a disaster.

When your company is under pressure from a disaster, time is of the essence. You don’t want to be worrying about how and when to restore your data. It helps to just have the cloud take care of these processes for you.

Start taking your data backup and disaster recovery seriously before you suffer from a situation that could easily have been prevented. To learn more about how you can take advantage of enterprise-level data backup and disaster recovery solutions, reach out to Point North Networks, Inc., at 651-234-0895.

Data recovery

Protecting Digital Assets a Must for Modern Businesses

Business can be difficult when everything goes right, but when disaster strikes, serious issues arise that need to be answered fast and if you don’t have a business continuity plan in place, your business will be in peril. It doesn’t matter what you do, if circumstances decide that your business needs to shut down, having a disaster recovery policy in place as a part of a larger continuity plan, will do more than you think to save your business.

Consider the Risks

Having a business continuity plan is to consider the risks your business is likely to face. Some of them have to do with your geographical location and the types of disasters that you could legitimately face, some have to do with operational downtime and the causes of that, but regardless of what risks your company could potentially face, having a plan to circumvent those potential risks is at the core of your continuity strategy.

When we talk about disaster recovery, we are talking about instances that stop your business’ ability to function. Sure they could be flood, fire, or weather, but they could just as easily be computer component or utility failure. Most businesses were not ready for the COVID-19 pandemic, which turned out to be a huge disaster for a lot of businesses. The businesses that were able to quickly pivot to deal with the problems of state-sponsored quarantine or the lingering uncertainty of operations in response to the global pandemic, were the businesses that thrived over the past couple of years.

So while you can’t rightly have a response to every problem, covering your bases to help maintain your business’ ability to operate is essential to overcoming these issues. Let’s take a look at some variables your disaster recovery strategy needs to ensure that digital assets are protected.

Data Backup and Recovery

The truth is that any business that is unable to recover data when struck by a data disaster will likely lose customers. This can happen from malware attack, component failure, or any natural disaster caused by weather. The best way to mitigate this scenario and protect your business’ data is to have a reliable, redundant backup of all files and applications. Not only should you keep an onsite backup, you need a solution to the fact that many times, that backup would be compromised due to the disaster. A cloud-hosted backup that is incrementally updated makes the most sense for almost every organization.

Think about it, a data backup service can effectively keep your whole organization from descending into chaos. Think about all the negative circumstances there are surrounding the  compromise of people’s personal and financial information, and a data backup and recovery service begins to pay for itself. Here are a few scenarios:

  • Ransomware attack

    Your business gets hit with one of the millions of ransomware attacks that hackers are disseminating and your files are locked down. With a timely backup, you can restore your systems rather than paying a huge ransom to get your files back. There’s no telling if you would even get them back, either, a whole other can of worms that you don’t want to face.

  • Natural disasters

    Regardless of where your business is, disasters come in many forms. If you are knocked out of commission because of a natural disaster, ensuring all your operational data is safe in an offsite data center, it makes it easier to make the important moves necessary to get your business back up and running.

  • Human error or sabotage

    End users are the cause of 88 percent of all data breaches. With that knowledge, understanding your data is protected against employee mistakes, negligence, or sabotage makes dealing with an internal data breach that much easier.

Those are just three examples where disaster recovery can save your bacon. Having the ability to restore your data and applications quickly in the face of a perilous situation not only provides peace of mind, it provides stability in situations that demand it. If you would like to talk to one of our security professionals at Point North Networks, Inc., about getting a backup system in place that is right for you, give us a call at 651-234-0895 today.

component of a successful business

The Components of a Successful Business Continuity Strategy

With the future so uncertain, it’s no surprise that many organizations are turning their focus toward business continuity. There are a lot of components that go into making a successful continuity plan, and if you want to optimize your chances of survival in the face of a disaster, you need to ensure that all your bases are covered.

First, let’s take a look at what business continuity means, particularly in a post-pandemic world.

Defining Business Continuity

A lot of things can go wrong when you run a business. From natural disasters like electrical storms, fires, floods, and so on, to not-so-natural disasters like hacking attacks, ransomware, and user error, there are a lot of ways that your business’ operations could be disrupted for extended periods of time. At its core, the business continuity plan is a list of steps that must be taken following such a disaster to keep downtime and losses to an acceptable minimum. It should be noted that business continuity and disaster recovery, while two sides of the same coin, are not one and the same. Disaster recovery is simply one of the many components of a successful business continuity strategy.

The Primary Components of Your Strategy

Before identifying where you should invest your time and effort when planning for business continuity, it’s best practice to run what is called a business impact analysis, which helps to identify critical functions of your organization. Basically, you take a look at which operations would be most costly during a disaster scenario; this helps you shore them up with your business continuity strategy.

 

The various parts of your business continuity strategy will generally fall into one of these three categories, based on what the above critical functions are for your specific industry:

 

  • Digital resources: Most businesses rely on data of some form or another, whether it is stored on-premises or in the cloud. Making sure that you retain access to that data in the worst of times will be crucial. Data backup systems can aid in this process and make certain that your digital assets are not lost forever.
  • Human resources: Your business cannot function without its employees, so you need to account for them, too. Establishing a chain of command and guaranteeing that you stay in touch with any clients or vendors will be critical to ensuring business continuity.
  • Physical resources: This includes things such as your office space, physical assets like your hardware solutions, and anything else of the sort that’s needed for your employees to do their jobs in an effective way. Especially if you rely on manufacturers or a supply chain, ensuring that this is not broken is critical to success in the face of a disaster.

 

At the end of the day, your business continuity strategy should be accessible to anyone who will need it, along with a list of necessary equipment, the locations of your data backups, and contact information for additional resources as needed.

Reinforcing Business Continuity

A business continuity strategy is only effective if it can be feasibly pulled off and it meets your expectations. Imagine going through a disaster scenario only to discover that your business continuity strategy simply does not return the expected results, or perhaps it doesn’t execute well at all. This is why it is important to routinely test and adjust your strategy; you don’t want to be caught unawares. Here are some details to look for when testing your business continuity plan:

 

  • Expected downtime: Does your plan meet the expected minimum amount of downtime and the costs associated with it?
  • Ease of implementation: Is your plan able to kick off without a hitch?
  • Feedback from staff: Have you listened to key staff who might be able to identify opportunities for improvement?

Need a Hand Getting Started?

The world of business continuity can be a bit daunting, but in today’s business climate, you cannot afford to be passive with it. Point North networks, Inc., can equip you with the tools needed to ensure minimal downtime and disruption in the face of a disaster. To learn more, reach out to us at 651-234-0895.