Data Recovery in the Face of Disaster: 4 Ways to Prepare for the Worst


If you think disaster won’t strike your organization, you may want to think again. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) lists 31 declared disasters in July and August of 2021 alone. From the massive destruction of Hurricane Ida across the South and Northeast to the massive Dixie Fire—the second-largest in California history as of this writing at about 910,000 acres or 1400 square miles—Mother Nature is making her presence known.

But it doesn't stop there. If you're an IT pro, when it comes to your data, disaster can come in many forms. Say an employee clicks on a malicious link or opens an infected PDF? Suddenly your data is locked up by ransomware, and you've got big problems. The first six months of 2021 saw ransomware attacks increase by 151 percent. Even worse, SonicWall says there were 2.5 billion malware attacks over the same period, along with 2.5 trillion intrusion attempts. The problem is apparent. When disaster strikes, be prepared. Here are some steps you can take to minimize the impacts on the digital side of your organization.

1.    Prepare and Test Your Disaster Recovery Plan

The first step is to plan ahead. We’ve posted an IT disaster recovery planning checklist for you as a starting point. An effective plan will identify critical operations and data and evaluate various disaster scenarios like those listed above. You should also develop a communications plan. It should cover who is to be contacted in the event of a disaster and how, each individual's role, and how your IT team will work together to recover. The next step is critical: Test your plan. Be sure it will work when it's needed. You won't regret it.

2.    Train Your Employees

While we started this story talking about natural disasters, the unfortunate truth is that humans are the cause behind most data disasters, whether a data breach or ransomware attack. That's why you must empower everyone who has access to your data and applications with the ability to recognize typical social engineering schemes, to treat every external communication as a potential threat. Make sure they understand your security policies, and if they are using their own devices for access, make sure they have the proper security solutions in place.

3.    Back Up Your Data Consistently

It doesn't matter whether it's a tornado or a stolen password. If your data is compromised, the best way to make sure you can recover is with regular backups. While it may refer specifically to ransomware, IDC recommends that you architect a system that includes encryption, immutability, air gap, a 3-2-1-1 backup strategy.  You should also have the ability to scan backups for malware. The 3-2-1-1 strategy—a new take on the traditional 3-2-1 backup rule, is critical. It says to keep three copies of your data, two stored onsite on different media or devices, and one copy in the cloud or offsite. The added "1" refers to immutability. When your backed-up data files are immutable, they can’t be altered or deleted. That gives you your best odds of recovery, even in the face of the worst.

4.    Consider Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

Recovery is faster and easier when you rely on a partner whose core focus is making sure you can do so. StorageCraft Cloud Services does just that, offering cloud-based backup and disaster recovery that protects on-premises business systems and data in a cloud that’s purpose-built for total business continuity. With DRaaS, you can access cloud data anywhere, anytime. You can even pre-stage site-wide failover processes to test or execute a failover—all with a single click. StorageCraft DRaaS offers everything from file and folder recovery to machine virtualization. And you can centrally manage your cloud backup and recovery solution through an easy-to-use, self-service online portal.

Get Ready, Get Back in Business

There are many factors to consider as you develop your plan and prepare your organization to be ready for anything that comes your way. Understanding your options and finding solutions that are the best fit for your situation is easier with the help of a backup and disaster recovery expert. That’s why you should consider talking to a StorageCraft engineer today.

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