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Failure to recover: The importance of business disaster recovery plans

It is time for businesses to review how they back-up their critical data. An expert explains why.

Network cables plugged into a server. — © Michael Bocchieri/AFP/Getty Images
Network cables plugged into a server. — © Michael Bocchieri/AFP/Getty Images

The end of March sees the annual marking f all thing related to digital data capture, storage and back-up – billed as World Backup Day. While almost every day of the year appears to have something latched onto it, the importance of backing-up data is clear – without the ability to retrieve files, data may well be lost for good.

Risks stem from computer hardware failures, accidental deletion, and the pennaceous activities of hacker groups seeking to extort money through the use of ransomware and other disabling technologies. These should be central to any organisation’s disaster recovery plan.

World Backup Day is held on Thursday, March 31, 2022. The aim of the day is to serves as a reminder to schedule regular backups in order to avoid data loss as a result of accident or malice.

Looking into the importance of the event for Digital Journal is Andrew Kahl, CEO of BackBox.

Kahl begins by outlining why this cyber-event should be solemnly noted by businesses, stating: “World Backup Day serves as an important reminder for organizations to evaluate backup best practices and how critical they are to business continuity and security.”

This importance is borne out by the daily news reports of ransomware attacks: “For most organizations, security has never been more top of mind than it is today. Network Engineers, Network Administrators, CIOs, CISOs and IT leaders all understand the importance of regular backups, but human error, complex multi-vendor environments and competing priorities often result in missed or only partial backups that introduce unnecessary risk.”

Therefore, making sure systems are operating and that personnel are following them in order to save data is of greater importance. Here Kahl advises: “In the event of a cyberattack or other security incident that results in network outage, organizations must be prepared with proper backup and recovery efforts.”

Success becomes more likely if there is a plan in place: “A solid backup and recovery plan must include collecting a complete inventory of all applications, software and hardware; outlining specific individual responsibilities in the event of a disaster and ensuring those individuals understand their responsibilities; having alternative communication methods in place; and carrying out regular reviews of this plan as a whole.”

This process is made easier with automation, as Kahl recommends: “Multi-faceted network automation platforms that streamline backup verification and automated disaster recovery into a single process without the chance of human error significantly assists organizations in protecting valuable data stored within their IT environments.”

Extolling the virtues further, Kahl say: “Automating these processes helps IT teams ensure high availability resilience by creating a central backup of network device configurations with one-click recovery. Scheduling regular backups through a network automation platform, as well as knowing exactly what is being backed up and when, are key components to ensuring overall business continuity in the case of downtime.”

As a final comment, Kahli s keen to emphasise the financial impact of getting back-ups right: “According to Gartner, network downtime causes an average loss of $300,000 per hour, but companies that prioritize best practices for backup and unplanned network downtime will experience far fewer outages and radically decrease time spent offline.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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