In the IT field and specifically in cybersecurity, the term “Disaster Recovery”, often abbreviated with its more famous acronym Disaster Recovery, is used to define that set of activities, strategies, and organizational dynamics, which are the basis of the concrete recovery of any infrastructure which, for various reasons, may have ceased or limited its operation.
Today the priority for any company is to guarantee operations 365 days a year. Almost all the operational processes of a company depend on the continuity of the workflow and therefore it is essential to approach the concept of “Recovery from Disaster” with a well-structured emergency plan, a Business Continuity Plan that contains a DR Plan or Disaster Recovery Plan as detailed and functional as possible that allows to reduce, in an important way, the risks of interruption of the company’s operational tasks.
What Is Disaster Recovery
To better understand what is meant by Disaster recovery and why it is of fundamental importance for every modern company to have a Disaster Recovery Plan, we must first define what, in factual terms, can be defined as a “disaster to be recovered”. Disaster recovery services are often incorrectly referred to as exclusive protection tools from cyber attacks. Although a good Recovery Disaster Plan must certainly deal with this increasingly frequent eventuality, it must be emphasized that it is not the only one for which it must protect us. Some events unrelated to cyber attacks of any kind should and could trigger the Disaster Recovery process.
For example, if we leave out all cybercrime activities for a moment, the following events could trigger the actions of a Business Continuity Plan:
- General hardware malfunctions and general damage not attributable to natural events
- Particular natural phenomena, with events of absolute gravity such as tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, fires, floods, landslides
- Consequences of real attacks perpetrated by physical criminals, not on the internet, such as theft, extortion, and robbery
- Injuries resulting from human errors, unforeseen events, misfortunes, and accidents caused by man unconsciously or through negligence
It is clear that a Disaster Recovery Plan is not only essential to give continuity to the business of a company in the face of some unforeseen events, but it is evident that today it is an indispensable tool for recovering documents, information, and precious files that otherwise would have been lost.
Disaster Recovery Plan Example And Application
All companies of a certain value and conducting solid businesses are aware that having an operational continuum is the basis for the success of all their interests.
If something affects company interoperability, the minimum risk is that of loss of turnover, while the greatest risk is closure. Even if it is impossible to prevent all the events that can create discomfort for the company, a DRP can facilitate the management of events and indicate in a concrete way the actions to be taken.
In the previous paragraph, we saw how a definition of a Disaster Recovery Plan can be that of a strategic and operational plan aimed at obviating possible criticalities. In reality, if done well, a Recovery Plan can not only prevent some disasters, but it allows us to immediately guide the resolution of adverse events and is able to concretely identify those business systems and vital operational areas that require frequent and continuous monitoring, precisely for their peculiarities.
To simplify, we can say that a perfect disaster recovery plan must be capable of:
- Offer immediate and effective responses to adverse events
- Objectively outline alternative ways to restore operations in time
- Reduce any stop imposed by the adverse event to a minimum in terms of time
- Train all staff on the procedures to be implemented and the strategies to be undertaken
A concrete example of a disaster plan must include a BIA, acronym for Business Impact Analysis, it is an analysis that identifies the vital and critical components of the entire infrastructure. It must offer information about all the mandatory company policies, that is, all the formal directives that employees must know and implement in the event of a critical situation in order to restore the continuity of the company. Outline a list of preventive checks upstream that can avoid adverse events and finally define in a concrete way all the data recovery strategies and the actions to be taken for the immediate recovery of any damaged systems
Disaster Recovery And Data Backup
Disaster Recovery and continuous data backup are often confused as the same thing, nothing more wrong. In reality, they are two essential elements to guarantee the operational continuity of a company but different. If backups allow us to guarantee safe copies of data, documents and in part applications, the goal of Disaster Recovery is very different and is not limited to the protection of a single file or a single portion of physical or solid memory. The Disaster Recovery target is the entire system of infrastructure, intended as a whole.
Disaster Recovery protects our data, all sensitive information not contained on servers, cloud networks, and networks. The focus is to manage the operational continuum, the objective is to foresee and where it is not possible to be able to manage the negative event in a linear manner and to remedy it immediately to restore normality.
Within a Recovery Plan, if they must consider all the hypotheses that may lead to an interruption of service and not only the most serious or statistically significant accidents.
Certainly to return to the topic of Backup, within a Continuity Plan the different backup methods, the frequency, and quantity of the backup operations, the final machines outside the network where those data can be safely stored must be identified and outlined in an irrefutable way to avoid them being compromised.
So, in conclusion, each company may have to deal with different types of problems, each company chooses how to scale its business and often there are cost cuts deemed unnecessary. But in 2021 it is mandatory to take into account budgeting a solid Recovery Plan system that allows the company to continue operating despite criticalities and adverse situations. Knowing how to manage serious incidents or know how to get up immediately following an unexpected outage is the key to running a successful business.