Why Data Backup and a Disaster Recovery Plan Are Not the Same Thing - CWPS

Posted by Myra Koshan on August 27, 2015
Myra Koshan

Disaster Recovery StartDon't assume that you have a reliable disaster recovery plan just because you have a data backup solution. While important, a data backup solution is only one component of a disaster recovery plan. There are other elements, such as threat detection and service redundancies, that also play a critical role. In this post, we discuss why a disaster recovery plan is different from data backup and why it is so important that you have a plan in place.

The Danger of Relying on Data Backups Alone

Consider this scenario: your system has been backed up on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis since inception, so you think you're safe. You may have stored them on a private server in another location, on a co-located disk or through a cloud-based backup solution. Regardless, one day, in the middle of the day, you begin getting phone calls. Your service is down and you didn't even know it -- worse yet, your current files are corrupted. No problem, you think; I'll just restore the backup. But while the system is still going, it's churning out new data, none of which is being stored on the backup system. No one knows how to take down the system to restore the backup and no one knows what to tell the clients when they can't reach their services. Once you do finally bring up the backup -- which loses the new data that you had captured and gives you no way to contact the clients that had entered that data -- your system begins to malfunction again.

Scenarios like this are not uncommon, which is why every business needs to have a plan in place to deal with such disasters – one that doesn’t rely purely on backups.

What a Solid Disaster Recovery Plan Looks Like

Essentially, a recovery plan is all about what goes on before, during and after a disaster. There are different elements to a plan, ranging from recovering primary systems as quickly as possible to switching to feature-complete, redundant secondary systems. A solid plan will include a maintenance and supervision procedure or solution that will alert you the moment something is wrong with your system.

Employees need to be trained to react quickly if disaster does strike so that they immediately switch over to redundant systems so that data is not lost. A comprehensive recovery plan will tell your business how to deal with critical issues such as security problems, by locking down data and reducing the risk of a cyber-intrusion. A plan will also include client outreach; employees will know how and when to alert customers to potential business disruption in order to minimize damage.

A disaster recovery plan is not optional for modern businesses. Most companies today are reliant upon their digital infrastructure for the bulk of their business operations. If you don’t have a formal plan in place, then you should develop one immediately.


Topics: Disaster Recovery, cloud data backup