Disaster Recovery in the Cloud

With cyber attacks and cyber crime ever more prevalent and growing more sophisticated over time, a robust disaster recovery plan is essential to secure and restore your data in the event of a compromise.

What is disaster recovery?

Similar to backup, disaster recovery, or DR, is used in larger instances. The process involves taking a complete copy of your drives, serves and files. In the event that a recovery plan is needed, this copy allows your systems to be restored quickly and efficiently, without the need to reinstall an OS or copy files. 

Is disaster recovery the same as a backup?

Whilst taking regular backups of your data is essential, these backups are not enough on their own, as they will be of no use to you if you cannot access them. If a disaster does occur, you should have a robust, tested process in place which will ensure you can quickly retrieve and restore your data.

Building your backup plan

When you are creating your DR plan, it’s important to identify critical data and apps which should be prioritised, as these should ideally be backed up first. You will also need to choose how you wish your data to be stored.

You’ll also need to choose where you wish your data to be stored. Locating it close to your primary location is not advised as, should a disaster take everything in close proximity to you offline, your backup data could be compromised or lost. To protect your data most effectively, it’s advisable to use a Cloud service, which provides storage in locations around the world, keeping your critical data and backups safe.

What is the Cloud?

The Cloud is a network of servers, each of which has a different function. Some provide a service, such as Adobe’s Creative Cloud, whilst others store data, such as Apple’s iCloud. Others allow you to store and access data, such as Instagram and Dropbox.

You are likely to use the Cloud on a daily basis, often without even realising.

Cloud storage is a system whereby data is maintained, managed, backed up remotely and made available to you, should you need it, over a network. The network is usually the internet.

What are the advantages of using the Cloud?

Using a Cloud-based system is financially agreeable, as it removes the need to purchase expensive hardware, which typically depreciates in value quickly.

Businesses can also scale their storage needs up and down as and when they need to, much more flexibly than previously. 

How secure is the Cloud?

Understandably, you may be vary of storing sensitive or business-critical data in a system that you cannot physically see.  However, Cloud storage is, on the whole, more secure than traditional storage systems, providing you follow some basic security and access measures:

  1. Understand your security requirements – don’t under or over complicate access
  2. Be aware of potentially areas that could be breached – place restrictions on who has access to your data and regularly change and encrypt passwords
  3. Test, test and test again – an untested system or service is an unsecured system or service. Regularly test for areas of vulnerability which can then be secured

Can I manage disaster recovery in-house?

While disaster recovery is often handled in-house, it’s often advisable to seek expert advice. Treating your DR plan as a service ensures you can focus on the day-to-day needs of the business, whilst ensuring you have the peace of mind that your data is safe.

If you are unsure if the Cloud is for you, or you wish to create a disaster recovery plan, get in touch and our team of experts will be happy to assist you.

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