IDC reports that nearly 1.8 zettabytes of data will be generated worldwide per year by 2025. Far too often that data goes un-protected. It gets worse: Ponemon Institute reports that 61% of businesses don’t have an incident response plan. Despite persistent threats of ransomware, hardware failure, or user error, many businesses are unprepared. Some of those without plans might argue that they don’t have the time or expertise to create plans and implement them—or so they think. In this piece, we’ll explore how easy it can be to create a backup and disaster recovery plan that helps businesses respond to everything from disasters brought on by Mother Nature to the fallout from a ransomware attack. We’ll also look at the role that a backup and disaster recovery appliance (BDR) plays in making the process simple and cost effective.
Backup and Disaster Recovery Considerations
Backing up data isn’t usually top of mind for small business owners, but it should be. According to Emsisoft, In 2019 there was a 41% increase in ransomware attacks compared to 2018. Accenture reports that security breaches have increased 67% since 2014. But losing data isn’t the only threat—downtime is costly, too. And, although downtime costs vary, Gartner reports that the average cost is a staggering $5600 per minute! For your small business to successfully protect its data, you must think beyond basic file and folder backups. Instead, a solution should help you back up data so that it’s safe from things like ransomware and human error, while also ensuring efficient recovery. Remember, recovery and backup are two sides of the same coin. With that in mind, the next step is setting backup and recovery objectives, so you know what you must do to keep data safe and recoverable.
BDR and Recovery Objectives
Many small businesses make the mistake of choosing a solution without first setting goals. That’s a great way to waste money on an over-built solution or a budget option that fails when you need it most. So, before you look for BDR a solution, you should understand some disaster recovery (DR) planning basics. There are two metrics that matter.
- Recovery Time Objectives asks the question “If my systems went down, how long can I be without them before the cost is too much to bear?” Is it a few hours? A few days? This metric helps you understand how quickly you must recover your systems if something goes wrong.
- Recovery Point Objectives asks the question “How much data can I afford to lose?” This metric helps you determine how often you need to take backups. Some solutions can take backups as often as every 15 minutes. That means you would at most only lose 15 minutes of data in a disaster.
These goals are the foundation of your backup and disaster recovery plan. From here, it’s a matter of finding a solution that can help you achieve these objectives.
Finding a BDR Solution
Small businesses should ensure that the solution they choose is easy enough for anyone to use, but sophisticated enough to reliably backup and quickly recover data and systems if something goes wrong. For many, the perfect blend of functionality and affordability comes in the form of a BDR appliance. These devices blend powerful hardware components with baked-in software that give small businesses an easy way to take backups, store them, and recover entire machines in an instant.
After a quick set-up, solutions like StorageCraft’s OneXafe Solo work in the background to safeguard data. If there’s ever trouble, these devices provide backup too, so no desktop or server is ever down for long. OneXafe Solo even gives you an easy way to store backups both on-site on the device and remotely in the StorageCraft Cloud. This redundancy gives your business more security in the event that your BDR device succumbs to disaster or user error. BDR can be complex, so as you evaluate solutions keep an eye out for the those that provide plug-and-play functionality. That will help you stay focused on the work that matters while your backups are reliably taken in the background.
Implementing, Maintaining, and Testing
Once you’ve selected a solution, follow the manufacturer’s best practices for installation. During set-up keep your recovery objectives in mind as you determine how often to take backups. Likewise, consider what you’ll need to do to recover quickly if—or when—needed. Is local recovery enough? What does cloud recovery look like, and can it be achieved quickly? Next, schedule regular tests for your backup and recovery plan.
According to data from Spiceworks 23% of businesses have plans but never actually test them. How can you know that your plan works if you’ve never tested it? It’s essential for businesses to verify that backups work and prove that they can recover machines quickly. Testing is also just sound readiness practice. Regular tests help you and your team become comfortable with recovery procedures, so you can act fast in a crisis.
Focus on Simple and Effective
Your BDR plans don’t need to be complex to be effective. Find a solution that’s easy to set up and maintain but also offers powerful backup and recovery features to keep you afloat should disaster strike. And if you’re looking for one of the easiest, most cost-effective, and efficient ways to protect your small business from ransomware, user error, downtime, and more, consider StorageCraft’s OneXafe Solo for your small business.