In 2020, organisations all around the world made the move to remote working as a result of the pandemic. Backing up data has never been so important. It’s crucial that backup processes are in place so that any data lost while working from home can be recovered with no damage to the organisation. By ensuring data is backed up, businesses can make sure they have a disaster recovery plan in place which could be their make or break should anything untoward happen.
To mark World Backup Day, we’ve spoken with five industry experts to gather their insight on why an effective disaster recovery plan will be crucial for businesses in 2021.
Backup your data or risk never recovering
Terry Storrar, Managing Director at Leaseweb UK believes that at the centre of every successful disaster recovery plan is data. “Backing-up data is pivotal to a successful disaster recovery plan. One benefit of modern cloud backup solutions is that they are suitable for businesses of any size, enabling data backup from any server or device, anywhere with an internet connection. Cloud backup solutions are easy to manage, and their providers offer reliable, hands-on customer support.
“At Leaseweb for example, we take every necessary precaution to ensure that our customers’ data is available around the clock. This includes the availability of emergency backup services, such as batteries and generators, in case of power outages. Agreements are also in place with energy suppliers for redundant energy connections that enter the data centre from different locations, redundant internet connections, and an agreement with local authorities for evacuation work to reduce possible damage to any important cables. In the event of a disaster, it’s important to keep in mind that a proactive plan for backing up data to ensure business continuity always has multiple moving parts to consider; working with the right providers and products can help you rest easy at night.”
A decade of World Backup Day
This year’s event in particular is a turning point, and we have all learnt lessons from the past 10 years about our data.
Andy Collins, Head of Security at Node4 believes that “the 10-year anniversary of World Backup Day marks a significant turning point in the evolution of data security. We’ve seen some of the most sophisticated global cyber-attacks uncovered over the last year and several high-profile data breaches have already hit the headlines in 2021. With bad actors taking advantage of the rapid move to widespread remote working, 2020 has been described as a ‘record-setting year’ for cybercrime in a report from SonicWall that highlighted a 62% spike in global ransomware attacks, a 28% increase in cryptojacking detections and a 74% increase in previously undetected malware variants.”
Steve Cochran, Chief Technology Officer at ConnectWise wants this milestone to remind organisations to be better prepared to handle any situation. “If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that the pandemic hasn’t stopped the world turning, but it has opened cybercriminals up to finding more of those vulnerabilities and launching unprecedented attacks on all types of organisations to cause havoc. Backup is a basic defence against malware like ransomware. Having backups and a DR strategy in place to be up and running instantly means you’re better prepared to tackle challenges head on and minimise any impact to your end customers. No matter what bad guys do to a computer or system, if you have a backup you are ultimately safe. Even more reason to appreciate World Backup Day!”
Businesses need to see this day as an opportunity to reflect on how they use, store and protect their data, according to Tom Cotton, Agile Workspace Technical Director at Six Degrees.
He highlights, “If your organisation is transitioning workloads to public cloud, you may well have concerns around losing control of your data. These aren’t unfounded – SaaS providers take backups to ensure the integrity of their services, but they will not take responsibility for data loss that results from accidental deletion, malware or operational errors. This year’s World Backup Day is an opportunity for organisations to consider how they protect data stored in public cloud environments. I recommend partnering with a trusted data protection provider to hand control of your mission-critical data back to your organisation.”
Data is the key to survival, don’t risk losing it
Cochran also emphasises that data is key for insights, analytics and to be a competitor in today’s business environment. “Data is the livelihood of organisations – whether that’s a hospital, law firm or a bank – and without having instant access to it can cause unplanned downtime that can affect operations. Hardware failure, cyber attacks such as ransomware or even a natural disaster can cause serious problems for businesses, because the risks associated with data loss can be severe. Hospitals need instant access to patient data, and if the database has been compromised and they can’t access it then lives could be at stake.
“This is why it is absolutely essential to ensure organisations of all sizes, including SMBs, have a backup and DR plan in place. This way organisations can resume normal business operations as quickly as possible while minimising the impact or damage associated with such an event.”
The pandemic has taught us to prepare for the worst
The recent OVH data centre fire was a good reminder for all businesses of the importance of protecting their data, as elements out of our control can have huge, detrimental impacts on businesses.
Mark Jow, EMEA VP, Sales Engineering at Commvault explains: “The past year has more than ever before, emphasised the importance of data for businesses and individuals, and just how crucial it is to have a secure and accessible backup. With the global pandemic shining a bright spotlight on the value of data, it’s perhaps not a surprise given the recent OVH data centre fire, that companies are becoming increasingly focussed on the integrity of their Disaster Recovery processes and solutions. This World Backup Day, it’s key to remember why having a comprehensive disaster recovery plan that includes data backups is invaluable.”
Jow concludes: “While it’s inherent in our human nature to hope for the best, in a business context, the smartest approach is to plan for the worst. Businesses must always operate with the assumption that their data is under constant threat – because it is. So whether the threat is from hardware failure, human error, data breach, ransomware attack, or natural disaster, having a plan in place which is underpinned with the right technology solutions, skills and processes will ensure that if any crisis occurs, you can get your data back quickly with minimal disruption.”