Confront Business Continuity Risks Head-On with a Disaster Recovery Solution
IT infrastructure is critical for businesses in every industry – from collecting payments to communicating with staff and customers, essential business activity is conducted via digital connectivity. This means your business needs reliable access to power, internet, and computing resources. But what happens when the applications and IT infrastructure upon which your business depends are impacted by an outage?
Downtime is caused by a variety of sources worth consideration, including cyberattacks, storms, infrastructure failures, and simple human error. Understanding the possibilities and planning ahead makes all the difference between protecting your investment and losing it unexpectedly. Anticipating various impacts and developing recovery processes will help you protect your employees and your business while ensuring business continuity in the face of multiple risks.
Extreme weather is becoming more frequent
With extreme heatwaves in the Pacific Northwest, increased wildfires around the globe, a higher frequency of intense tropical storms with heavier rainfall, and rising water levels in coastal cities, it seems that climate change is affecting geographies of all types. This means it is increasingly more important to have data center deployments in diverse locations. In addition, many enterprise businesses utilize the extra office space colocation data centers provide during disasters. Not only will this ensure business continuity, but you can provide staff with a safe location to work and stay until the event passes.
Data breaches and cyberattacks are up after the pandemic
With more employees working from home, and an emerging 5G network that will result in even more devices being connected to the internet, cybersecurity is more important than ever. At the end of September this year, the number of data breaches surpassed those of 2020 by 17%. Interestingly, a 2021 joint report put out by IBM and the Ponemon Institute found that organizations that had implemented a hybrid cloud approach had lower data breach costs ($3.61 million) than those who had a primarily public cloud ($4.8 million) or primarily private cloud approach ($4.55 million). For reference, IBM defines the private cloud as a cloud computing environment in which all hardware and software resources are dedicated exclusively to, and accessible only by, a single customer.
Malware, phishing, social engineering attacks can also lead to downtime or data loss, damage your reputation, and result in revenue loss. If you have a small business, you may think it is unlikely that you would experience an attack, but a study by Verizon found that 43% of data breaches involved small or medium-sized businesses. Not only do you need to protect your own network, but you also have to consider the possibility that your internet provider could experience an attack. For this reason, it’s imperative to have a business continuity plan that includes access to more than one internet provider.
Some companies ensure business continuity by using colocation facilities to implement a hybrid cloud strategy and protect their private cloud in a resilient environment that has access to multiple network providers.
Power outages are increasingly common
According to several different analyses, power outages are becoming more common in the U.S. One study found that the U.S. has more power outages than any other developed nation. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, utility customers experienced an average of six hours of power disruption in 2018. This means your business can expect at least one outage annually. These outages not only have to do with weather events, but they are also a result of a failure to maintain energy infrastructure. This is why it’s essential to ensure your IT infrastructure is backed up by redundant power and network infrastructure.
Companies often choose a disaster recovery solution that involves a colocation provider because their data centers are built on the principle of redundancy. Everything that is vital to keeping your servers online has a backup — redundant cooling equipment, network gear, and generators. They also have UPS equipment and switchgear to flawlessly shift your mission-critical infrastructure from substation power to generator power in event of a utility outage.
All businesses are subject to human error
Even after taking more frequent extreme weather events into account, human error is still the number one cause of downtime. According to the Uptime Institute, human error accounts for 70-75% of data center downtime. There are multiple reasons for outages resulting from human error, and these usually don’t have to do with the mistake of a single individual. These reasons include failing to follow policies and procedures, failure to maintain and enforce policies and procedures, a lack of infrastructure planning, a lack of training and investment in IT staff and skill development. Regardless of the reasons, human error will always be a risk. This makes it essential to have a backup plan in place.
Heed Murphy’s Law
It’s no wonder Murphy’s Law is so commonly mentioned in IT circles: If something can go wrong, it will. This is not to say that you should focus on gloom and doom all the time. Invest in the resources you need to ensure business continuity, and you can rest assured knowing that you are well prepared. You made a major investment in your business and your people, and likewise, you can protect your reputation and mitigate risk by preparing adequately for adverse events.
Download Our Disaster Recovery Ebook
Element Critical provides data center colocation services in purpose-built facilities with redundant power and network connectivity across the U.S. Download our IT Leader’s Disaster Recovery Guide to learn more about IT disaster recovery and start building your DR solution.