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January 18, 2017

3 Steps to Improving Your DR Plan

Most business leaders, regardless of the size of the organization or their industry, are familiar with business continuity planning (BCP). And if not, a quick internet search reveals hundreds of resources stressing the importance of a business continuity plan and offering insight into how to build one. Furthermore, regulatory agencies like the SEC, FDIC and FEMA require many organizations to maintain an updated plan to protect mission critical operations in the event of a disaster. BCP is an essential function of organizational leadership and requires buy-in from every level of the organization.

While many aspects of a business continuity plan are logistical in nature, like managing processes, resources and personnel, the plan should also address information technology continuity. CIO.com touches on both the logistical and technological significance of a BC plan, describing business continuity planning as “maintaining business functions or quickly resuming them in the event of a major disruption, whether caused by a fire, flood, epidemic illness or a malicious attach across the Internet.”

A key component of any business continuity plan is an information technology disaster recovery (ITDR) plan. An ITDR plan ensures that your organization will maintain the integrity, availability and security of your IT infrastructure in the event of a disaster and limit damage and downtime. But, how does an ITDR plan differ from your existing BC plan? The answer is simple: ITDR plans focus on data replication. These plans map out how your mission critical data will be backed up, retrieved and restored in the event of a disruption or breach.

To help you prepare for 2017, below are five ways to improve (or create) your ITDR plan:

1. Identify Operational Value of IT Components

As organizations move more of their operations to the digital landscape, it is important to identify which data and applications if lost or unavailable would limit an organization’s ability to maintain operations or provide services. You should define the value of each IT component and quantify the impact a loss would have on your business, including the impact on revenue and reputation.

2. Shore Up Your Data Security Measures

In addition to natural disasters and power outages, cybercrime is a substantial threat to your mission-critical data. Hackers often seek to disrupt an organization’s operations by causing significant damage to files and applications. Furthermore, the number of ransomware attacks, where hackers steal or limit access to valuable data and then demand money to release it, is growing rapidly. And even more concerning, Symantec reports that 70% of cyberattacks go undetected. Make sure your data security protocol includes a network intrusion detection (IDS) system, which allows you detect threats and identify suspicious network traffic, then respond rapidly.

3. Utilize Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery

Data replication once required storage at a second physical location. This led to limitations in scalability, availability and recovery speed. These physical environments were also expensive to build, manage and expand. Organizations can now avoid the challenges associated with physical replication by utilizing virtual replication technology.

By replicating your data in the cloud, your organization will be able to quickly deploy, access and adapt your back-up environment. This approach also eliminates the high costs associated with building, buying or leasing a physical location and providing the resources needed to secure, manage and monitor that facility.

One of the most cost-effective ways to move your disaster recovery strategy into the cloud is to partner with a Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) provider. Purchasing a DRaaS solution gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your strategy meets the most current compliance standards, is built to scale and installs seamlessly with your existing environment.

QTS DRaaS utilizes only virtual replication technology and is powered by dedicated Cloud Engineers. We can help you reduce complexity and maximize investment when building your ITDR plan. Contact us or call 877.QTS.DATA (877.787.3282) today to learn more about QTS DRaaS today.
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