Talking about disaster recovery planning, it’s interesting to note that as business continuity becomes more critical to revenue, the sources of IT downtime multiply. Part of this is due to the abundance and diversity of cyberthreats staring down every type of organization – schools, hospitals, government agencies, hotels, utilities, etc. A single ransomware infection can hamper operations for days at a time. This is significant considering the average cost of IT downtime is more than $8,000 per minute.
With so much at stake, it’s worth going back to basics for a minute, and reassessing disaster recovery planning from the ground up.
Prevent What You Can
To be fair, there are some causes of downtime that cannot be prevented (i.e., certain acts of nature). That said, there are many others that arise from inadequate cybersecurity or unstructured computer management. In fact, cyberattacks accounted for 22 percent of all cases of data center downtime in 2016, up from only 2 percent in 2010. While some of these attacks are highly targeted, ingeniously engineered intrusions, others are just zero-day attacks that exploit flaws in a program’s code or keyloggers that were downloaded onto computer kiosks by careless users. To prevent these sources of downtime, we recommend the following:
- Use active protection: Deploy a threat detection/ remediation solution like (anti-virus, malware detection software) that runs in the background and actively analyzes all executables.
- Manage updates: Make sure admins can easily apply critical security updates to an entire computing environment; equally important, ensure admins have the ability to assess all software updates before implementation. An incompatible update can significantly disrupt proprietary software performance and hurt productivity.
- Monitor login sessions: Log all workstation data and analyze it frequently to scout out unusual login activity.
The fact is, nowadays, cybersecurity and business continuity are intrinsically linked. Fail at the former, and you’ll fail at the latter.
Have a Response Plan in Place – And Not Just a Recovery Plan
Over the years, disaster recovery vendors have started to conflate backups and business continuity. It’s true that Disaster Recovery planning is vital to eventually resuming business operations in the event of a data center catastrophe such as a flood. That said, DR is not a panacea for business continuity; not to mention, if the backup isn’t properly air-gapped, critical data can be affected by malware that moves laterally over the network.
For disruptions you can’t prevent, it’s important to have a quick and efficient response strategy.
When all is said and done, restoring a backup can take an entire day or more depending on the amount of data that has been lost or compromised. Given the criticality of IT resources in modern organizations, this might be just too long. Businesses need an alternate way to respond to business continuity threats, as quickly and efficiently as possible, in order to reduce the level of disruption caused by that threat.
Reboot to Restore software is used widely by organisations worldwide to tackle unwanted downtime. At times IT admins just need critical systems up and running, with preferred settings. And when persistence is the primary need of the hour, restoring an entire backup for an individual machine or server might not be the best solution. With ‘Reboot to Restore’ software like Faronics Deep Freeze, IT admins can ensure persistence, by having the ability to restore preferred system settings, with just a simple reboot. This can help expedite the time it would normally take to get critical businesses systems up and running after a disruption. In a world as unpredictable as ours, having multiple options to deal with dynamic needs of a dynamic environments, is necessary.
Contact us to learn more about how our solutions help in such situations.