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Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

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Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

Business continuity and disaster recovery are two distinct areas that deal with the issue of possible business interruptions. Learn key differences between two to make your infrastructure free from interruptions during disasters.

Business continuity and disaster recovery are two distinct areas that deal with the issue of possible business interruptions. These practices reduce the major disaster's damage to a company's capacity to supply its products and services consistently and reliably.

However, even though both of these areas are extremely significant and share some similarities, the two terms are not interchangeable. Understanding the fundamental differences between disaster recovery and business continuity can benefit people in leadership positions or who are responsible for emergency planning.

Business continuity seeks to build a proactive approach that would keep organizations alive and working even in the face of a significant disaster, in contrast to disaster recovery, which narrowly focuses on how to restore systems up and running after a disaster.

Therefore, a disaster recovery plan is restricted to the preservation of data, the prevention of damage to systems, and their speedy data recovery, but the business continuity plan involves all areas of the business, including business processes, employees, partners, and suppliers.

In the current environment, business continuity and disaster recovery are receiving more attention than ever. To generate income, provide services, and support consumers who always demand applications and data to be available, every organization, from the smallest operations to the greatest businesses, is becoming increasingly dependent on online technologies.

According to the findings of the 2021 Global Data Center Survey conducted by the Uptime Institute, more than two-thirds of respondents have experienced some kind of data center outage in the preceding three years.

Outages and Disasters cause issues for everyone, not just the clients.

How are Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Different

While disaster recovery focuses on recovering data access and IT infrastructure after a disaster, business continuity ensures that operations may continue as normal during an emergency. To put it another way, the former is concerned with keeping the store open despite unexpected or adverse circumstances, and the latter is focused on getting things back to normal as quickly as possible.

There are distinct objectives involved in maintaining business operations and recovering from a disaster. Successful business continuity plans minimize the time operations are halted, whereas effective disaster recovery plans limit the time systems run abnormally or inefficiently. Businesses can only be fully prepared for catastrophic catastrophes if they combine these two approaches.

During a crisis, a business continuity strategy helps ensure that communication channels such as phones and network servers continue functioning normally. A disaster recovery strategy, however, ensures that an organization can restore to full functionality once a disaster has occurred. To put it another way, business continuity is concerned with maintaining power and keeping the doors of the company open in some form, whereas disaster recovery is concerned with returning activities to their usual state.

Some companies may implement disaster recovery procedures as a component of their comprehensive business continuity plans. Disaster recovery is just one part of a larger plan to protect a business from all threats.

Steps to ensure Business Continuity

A solid business continuity strategy should address critical issues and provide thorough explanations. Is there a single point of failure in the organization? What are the most important dependencies that the company has on its equipment, its employees, its suppliers, and any other third parties? What are the workarounds for any of these issues?

The following are typical components of a business continuity plan:

  • The objectives of the approach should define which elements of the business are regarded as vital and how easily they should be able to continue operating even during an emergency.
  • Budgetary allocations for business continuity planning and preparedness.
  • Business Impact Analysis is a comprehensive examination of essential business operations, including how those processes are vulnerable and likely to be impacted by various disasters.
  • People in charge of ensuring business continuity and carrying out practical measures in the event of a disaster. It is important to know the other stakeholders and how they should be contacted or included in the process.
  • Proactive strategies must be carried out consistently to avoid disasters or more easily overcome them.
  • Immediate reactionary tactics describe the actions that an organization needs to take in the event of an emergency to continue business as usual. As an example, if the power goes out, you can use a portable generator to provide electricity. Data Recovery comes under this category.

Steps to ensure Cloud Disaster Recovery

When it comes to business continuity, cloud disaster recovery is a valuable tool. If a disaster occurs, businesses can restore data from previously backed up versions into either on-premises or cloud platforms. One of the most important advantages of cloud disaster recovery is the ability to automate various operations and swiftly grow to meet corporate demands and requirements.

Analyzing current IT infrastructure and applications is essential to your disaster recovery plan's risk assessment. All these risks must be considered before identifying potential disasters and weaknesses.

Once you've gathered all this data, you can assess how well your current infrastructure stands up to these problems and determine your workloads' recovery point and recovery time objectives.

The implementation phase of a disaster recovery plan outlines the steps and technologies needed to respond to disasters as they arise. Building a strategy that will allow you to take the necessary actions and respond quickly is important. For DR implementation, below are five steps:

  • Having a well-thought-out strategy outlining how you'll react in the event of an emergency, along with specific roles and responsibilities, is essential to being well-prepared.
  • To prevent potential risks and weaknesses, preventative actions are implemented. Employee training and regular updates are usually included in this package.
  • Choosing precise RTOs and RPOs makes it easier to see the technical solutions required to meet your recovery objectives.
  • Automated and manual techniques are used to provide rapid response during emergencies.
  • Performing a data recovery after a disaster. Data recovery is the ability to quickly retrieve lost or corrupted data via manual and automated methods.

Regular testing and updates are necessary to maintain the long-term success of your approach. This will ensure that your employees are adequately taught and that the plan is still relevant to your demands. Testing can also find issues in your plan and make necessary revisions.

How are Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Similar

Disaster recovery and business continuity planning sometimes appear to be intertwined. Both concepts overlap in several places and operate best when developed in tandem, even though they are not identical.

In both cases, they are proactive tactics that assist a company in preparing for unexpected, devastating situations. When calamity strikes, both disciplines adopt a preemptive approach, looking for ways to limit the damage before it occurs.

Businesses can deploy both strategies to better prepare for natural and man-made disasters.  Prepare for pandemics, natural disasters, fire, and even cyberattacks with business continuity and disaster recovery.

Each of these must be reviewed regularly and, if necessary, revised to stay current with the company's changing objectives. These strategies will be constantly tested and reworked by an emergency management manager.

There's every indication that ransomware and other cyberattacks will continue to play a larger role in disrupting company operations. Separate departments in a company often handle business continuity and cybersecurity.

A significant number of managed decentralized cloud storage providers like Slik offer backup and disaster recovery services. Business continuity services provided by managed service providers are likely to become a one-stop shop for small and medium-sized businesses that lack in-house expertise in this area.