It is easy to confuse the terms Backup and Disaster Recovery (DR) when evaluating the ever-increasing need to protect data and IT systems. Understanding the difference between the two is crucial as security breaches become more commonplace.
Your backup strategy and your DR strategy are not one and the same. Whilst backup ensure you have a copy of your data, your DR strategy should ensure you are able to recover your business critical IT systems in case of incident or cyber-attack. Failure to recognise this difference and plan accordingly can carry a heavy price.
What exactly is Backup?
This is a copy of your data on another device or in another location. This could comprise of a tape drive or separate storage in your data centre or a completely separate location.
Backups are usually performed on a daily basis. That day’s data is copied and stored away from the original data. This can be done manually by someone physically changing tapes or remotely and automatically in the cloud.
What exactly is Disaster Recovery?
Your DR strategy is about having a plan of action and, importantly, a technical solution in place that will mean that the core components of your company are back up and running as soon as possible following an incident or cyber-attack.
To formulate this DR plan, there are a number of questions that you should be asking yourself, including:
– What are the key systems my business requires to function?
– How long can my business function with the above systems?
– What data is crucial to maintaining my business?
These questions will form the framework of a DR strategy plan that your IT support provider can then help you to implement.