Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity are often discussed together, but it’s important to know the difference between the two. In a nutshell, data backup for Disaster Recovery asks the question: is my data safe? While Business Continuity involves thinking about your business at a higher level and formulating a plan for quickly getting your business back up and running in case of a disaster.
Would you know how to respond if there was a cyber attack on your business? Staying prepared and ensuring your business is ready with a continuity action plan will help to mitigate any catastrophic failures and streamline your recovery process.
But how do you know if your data is safe, and are you positive, you could get it back should there be a complete system failure? It’s important to know how to calculate the potential cost of downtime to your business and have a plan for how it will continue to operate during and after a disaster.
What is Disaster Recovery?
Disaster Recovery refers to a company’s plans for dealing with a major incident such as a natural disaster or cybercrime. More importantly, this point refers to your business data; where are you storing your data and is it protected?
It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan for your data, with the best solution being one that syncs to the cloud or offsite server. Data backup can include critical systems passwords, financial records, customer lists, or other important business files which your business needs to access to resume normal operations as soon as possible.
Having a secure offsite backup plan will ensure smooth sailing and minimal interruption to business-as-usual should there be a breach in your network or physical disruption.
What is Business Continuity?
Business Continuity is a business’s plan for how your business will continue to operate during and after a disaster. Two metrics to consider are Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO).
- Recovery Time Objective: Everyone’s business is different and can absorb varying degrees of downtime. The RTO is set by you and outlines the amount of time your business can be down or the timeframe within which your business must be restored after a disruption to avoid unacceptable consequences.
- Recovery Point Objective: The RPO outlines the maximum tolerable period of time in which data might be lost due to a disaster. How long can your business operate without access to important information and data?
Once you’re able to determine the timeframe for these two variables, you can use the information to determine your Business Continuity and data recovery strategies.
When developing a Business Continuity plan, we look first at calculating your desired RTO to determine the maximum time that you can be without your data before your business is at risk. And, by specifying the RPO, you know how often you need to perform backups. You may have an RTO of a day and an RPO of an hour, depending on what your business requires. But calculating these numbers will help you understand what type of data backup solution you need.
What is the difference between Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery?
The key distinction between Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery is when the plan goes into action. Business Continuity, for instance, necessitates keeping business activities operational both during and after the event. On the other hand, Disaster Recovery is concerned with how you respond after a disaster has occurred and how you go back to normal.
Why is it important?
Simply put, Disaster Recovery means that you have backups of your data, locally or offsite, that you can access to restore your data. This can be from your physical or virtual workplace should your business fall victim to a disaster or a ransomware-type incident.
Business Continuity combines Disaster Recovery with a plan to continue your business as quickly as possible after a disaster or data loss scenario. It’s a strong step-by-step strategy taking into account the time it would take to resume normal business operations after an incident.
Most small businesses may not have the same IT budget as larger corporations, but the threats to their data are the same. So, regardless of the technology you choose, data backup, Business Continuity, and Disaster Recovery should be a top priority for your company.
TLC Solutions offers a range of managed IT services, including Disaster Recovery, data backup and Business Continuity planning, consultation and management. Get in touch with one of our IT consultants today to discuss data management options for your business.