Importance of Having a Business Continuity Plan vs Simple Disaster Recovery
You often hear business continuity and disaster recovery used interchangeably, but these two things are not exactly the same.
Disaster recovery is just one piece of business continuity, so if that’s all your company is focused on, you could still have big problems keeping your business operational during and after a catastrophe.
Here’s an overview of what each term means:
Disaster Recovery: This is about restoring data to servers, PCs, and software applications after it has been damaged or lost in some way.
Business Continuity: This is about keeping your business functions operational during a crisis event or outage and ensuring it’s resilient.
Just focusing on disaster recovery leaves out a lot of important structure that needs to be in place to ensure continued operations.
For example, where you to be hit with a ransomware attack and only had a disaster recovery plan, but not business continuity planning, you may have the physical mechanisms necessary to restore your data. But how do you keep operations going while that’s happening? Who do you have to notify of a potential breach? What are employees to do?
Beyond the disaster recovery component, there’s a lot more that needs to be done to ensure your company is resilient in the face of an attack or other event. Knowing what those things are and having a plan of action to accomplish them is what a Business Continuity Plan is all about.
Why It’s Vital to Have a Business Continuity Strategy in Place
Keeps You Operating While Recovering
Say that a major storm wipes out your analog business lines. It’s going to take 48 hours before your phone provider can get those back up and running. In the meantime, you’re missing important business calls, and someone that might have placed an order with you hears “This line is out of service” and assumes your company closed for good.
What a business continuity plan would include is an alternate method to make and receive business calls after an event like this. For example, having a VoIP account ready to go that you can forward your business line to. Employees could continue receiving calls while the damage is being fixed.
Recovery efforts often take time, and it’s important to know how you’re going to operate in the meantime while those are underway.
Gives You the Flexibility to Operate from Anywhere
Whether there is a winter storm warning or a global pandemic, events can happen that require people to work from alternate locations. If you don’t have a business continuity plan in place, you can be left scrambling and trying to put something together during a crisis. The last minute is not when you want to be figuring out what to do if your office data is wiped out by a flood.
At AhelioTech our Business Continuity Appliance enables offsite replication of all the software and data that run an office. So, a team can immediately switch locations with their technology infrastructure virtual and entirely intact.
Reduces the Cost of Downtime
It’s important to have a good disaster recovery plan in place that is practiced as part of your overall business continuity planning. As mentioned, there are other pieces to downtime that go beyond just the restoration of data.
Business continuity planning can ensure that if a server hard drive crashes, you have another alternative in place, physically or virtually, that you can restore your data to.
If you don’t already have a plan in place for multiple data loss or business disruption scenarios, then downtime during an event is going to be longer and more costly.
Downtime costs businesses approximately $84,650 per hour.
Prevention of Cyber Attacks & Data Breaches
Disaster recovery is reactive. It includes some planning ahead in the terms of backing up data so it can be recovered, but beyond that, it’s mainly involved with reacting after data is lost.
Business continuity planning includes both proactive mitigation as well as reactive response and recovery.
It’s important to anticipate what could go wrong and cause a work-stopping outage at your business, so you can then put plans in place to mitigate your risk.
Business continuity mitigation planning would include things like:
- Cybersecurity best practices
- Cloud access security
- VPN to secure remote connections
- Automating notifications to ensure an important bill isn’t missed (like one for your ISP)
- Using managed IT services for proactive maintenance and support
- Ongoing employee security awareness training
- Annual IT security assessment to ensure protection against emerging threats
Mitigating potential disasters like hard drive crashes and ransomware infections are an important part of keeping your company resilient and it’s part of business continuity planning, not disaster recovery.
Learn More About AhelioTech’s Business Continuity Appliance
AhelioTech can help your Columbus area business automate your business continuity plan to reduce time and cost while staying resilient.
Contact us today for a free quote. Call 614-333-0000 or reach out online.