Businesses depend on IT systems to efficiently store and retrieve information, minimise human errors, accelerate workflows, and shield against cyber threats. The significance of well-designed IT systems cannot be overstated, as they enhance convenience, efficiency, and security across all aspects of a business’s operations. However, IT disasters are common, and without proper preparation, the consequences can be dire.
While we may marvel at the wonders of modern technology, it is crucial to be proactive and prepared for unexpected IT disasters. Whether you are new to Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) planning or looking for an upgrade, it’s important to get beyond common myths and see the bigger picture.
Myth #1: Business Continuity and Disaster Rrecovery is unnecessary for a business my size
This is perhaps the most dangerous misconception you could have, particularly given the growing threat from ransomware. This breed of malicious software, used by cybercriminals to prevent businesses from accessing their own data, is often aimed at small to medium-sized organisations simply because they are regarded as easy targets.
By encrypting the contents of critical operational systems such as sales and payroll records and holding that data hostage, bad actors can threaten to put small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) out of business. Even if your business pays the ransom (against the recommendation of law enforcement), you might not get your data back.
Ransomware is a big deal but far from the only threat. Consider what would happen if a flood or fire wiped out your systems. What if a cloud service you depend on suffers an extended outage? Think through the worst-case scenarios, and you will find plenty of reasons to invest in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery.
Myth #2: Backup is good enough
Whilst BCDR plans often rely heavily on backup technology, relying solely on backup can still leave you exposed. This is because restoring extensive amounts of data, such as an entire server can be a time-consuming process. Getting your hands on new hardware to replace failed (or missing) hardware can also result in delays no matter how fast your IT provider can work to provide new or loan hardware. Meanwhile productivity grinds to a halt, and revenue stops flowing.
That’s why businesses need solutions that can restore data quickly too. For many organisations today, that means having in place BCDR provisions (not just backup). Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery solutions use backup, snapshot, virtualisation, and the cloud to protect data and enable fast restores that will keep your business running without a hiccup.
Myth #3: I don’t need BCDR because my data is in the cloud
While having data in the cloud can be useful in some BCDR scenarios (for example, allowing employees to log in to applications from home after the office burns down), don’t overestimate how much protection you are getting “for free” by using the software as a service (SaaS) applications or cloud storage.
Microsoft, the major provider of cloud office productivity suite, explicitly specify that their services are offered under a “shared responsibility” model in which you bear much of the responsibility for data protection and data integrity. That means cloud providers won’t necessarily help you recover a file that was accidentally deleted. Nor are you necessarily protected against ransomware or other hacks if your cloud credentials are compromised and are used to delete, encrypt, or corrupt data.
File sync and share tools aren’t a substitute for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, either. Why? Because, when a cloud file sync and sharing service detects that a file has been deleted, it typically deletes all copies, local and remote, including older versions. If you ever need to get one of those files back, for example, for an audit, lawsuit, insider fraud, or security breach investigation, you could be out of luck.
BCDR planning should be considered a critical aspects of running a business – and not just in relation to IT! Think about everything you need to continue operating – your buildings, phones – even suppliers! Believe it or not many companies disregard it completely – others have some kind of plan in place but fail to grasp how time-consuming the recovery process can be and the associated cost of downtime.
The good news at least is that working with an experienced IT partner can help protect many aspects of your business continuity and work with you to establish effective IT systems with a pragmatic IT disaster recovery plan. We have been doing this since 2005 our team can provide the knowledge and IT support you need to ensure you’re prepared for all eventualities.