The 'must ask' questions for business continuity

Fri, 28/02/2014 - 06:25
Cloud Services

A challenge faced by almost all businesses today is the ability to audit and manage their data. The amount of information created and stored by businesses is continuously increasing and regardless of the size of your organisation, if you cannot fully audit and control your data, how can you protect it and exploit it to its fullest potential?

Having good information management procedures in place aids an organisation in meeting a number of objectives, notably a business continuity plan. The best time to make arrangements for a disaster is before you have to, as the age-old saying goes, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” Despite this, surveys suggest as many as 60% of UK businesses do not have a disaster recovery procedure in place.

Regardless of the reason behind your decision to embark on a suitable business continuity plan, be it reactive or preventative, the purpose of the plan is to protect the information that keeps your business wheels turning. Whether a disaster is due to human error or fire or flood,  the consequences can be equally dire. In fact, it is estimated that the ability to generate revenue during a disaster decreases by on average, 37%.

The first step in creating a business continuity plan should be to create an asset register and a risk register. Knowledge of what information you have, what is critical and the economic cost should this information be lost is crucial. The risk register should additionally include the impact on staffing, revenue and other known quantifiable costs to allow you to succinctly work out the RTO of the disaster recovery solution.

Ask yourself what if? What are the possible problems that could arise in your business? And how likely is it for these hazards to occur? Then, you need to determine which are the most critical business systems that need to be recovered before all else. Following that, it is imperative to determine how critical it is for the business to recover quickly from the issue, and to determine what resources will be needed to enable recovery. Additionally, decide who is in charge of invoking the disaster recovery solution, and create contingency plans to speed the process.

For business critical data and for organisations who cannot afford access to such data for even a few hours, utilising a cloud service provider for their business continuity plan is sensible and can remove the costs and risks associated with the manual processes required to handle offsite tape backups. Organisations are learning to trust the cloud, its almost innate for organisations to use the cloud for services such as email and CRM applications and so it is only natural that they will turn to the cloud for business continuity and disaster recovery as well. 34% of businesses in a survey conducted by CA Technologies admitted they were unable to meet compliance and regulatory commitments due to business downtime.

As we all know this can be hugely detrimental, so when choosing a cloud provider for your business continuity plan, check that the service meets regulatory standards, such as those set out by the ICO and the Data Protection Act. Honestly, how often do you test you disaster recovery process? For organisations using Redstor's Virtual Disaster Recovery service, your servers and data are tested nightly to guarantee successful recovery should it be required. Should a disaster occur, the fully managed service is invoked by a single phone call and your systems will be up and running within minutes.

Doesn't that sound a whole lot easier? To find out more about Redstor's Virtual Disaster Recovery service please visit our VDR webpage.

Redstor’s range of secure, encrypted services for the public and private sectors ensure that the burden of maintaining compliance with the Data Protection Act is made easier and can be achieved more cost-effectively. Redstor is a market leader in providing security, storage and disaster recovery services to the public and private sector. Our range of secure and encrypted cloud services are already protecting the data of over 10,000 organisations across the UK. Redstor’s Remote Backup service ensures data is safely backed up offsite in an encrypted format. Our cloud file sync and share service, Centrastor, enables organisations to store and share files securely online from any device with an Internet connection and our CentraStage service enables support providers to guarantee that devices they support are regularly audited, patched and safely up-to-date for effective endpoint management. Our Virtual Disaster Recovery service guarantees to have your systems up and running within minutes following a disaster. To find out more about our services and how we can help you comply with data protection laws and prevent data leakage, please contact us either by giving us a ring on 01189 515 200 or emailing [email protected].

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