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The Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Challenge

The Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Challenge
July 17, 2017 / Scott Kinka

For IT leaders contemplating disaster recovery and business continuity issues, one of the key questions begins very simply: “When…?” or “If…?” Much more than simple conjunctions, these two terms represent a widening technology gulf and risk mindset that could potentially undermine an entire company. For most IT professionals the alarming words after the conjunction are “a major disaster strikes.” And unfortunately for many, the story that emerges isn’t likely to have a happy ending. That’s because disaster recovery and business continuity is a complex and moving-target concept. Especially in light of rampant cybersecurity threats, organizations are increasing the time, effort, and resources dedicated to ensuring survivability.

Ask any IT professional and they will acknowledge that IT disasters, both big and small, happen; you can probably add them to the death and taxes list. In fact, one third of organizations have reported having an incident that required initiating their disaster recovery plan. Whether it’s hardware failure, cyber-attacks or a weather event; a myriad of incidents are regularly impacting businesses and their associates – driving the need for disaster recovery and business continuity plans that are thorough and tested.

These threats could not be any more real. Recently one of our Managed disaster recovery as a service (Managed DRaaS) support professionals received a 1am panic call from a customer in the real estate field.  An employee at the firm had clicked on a malicious file and activated a ransomware virus. Every server, desktop and document in the company was completely locked down and totally inaccessible. However, instead of taking weeks to rebuild and attempt to recover their systems, or pay a massive ransomware fee, their IT professional called the support team to initiate the pre-established disaster recovery and business continuity plan. Inside of 1 hour they were back up and fully operational. Unfortunately, this kind of story, without the happy ending, is becoming more of the norm and less of the exception.

In my role as CTO I work with a team of DR professionals to determine customers’ current levels of preparedness to help address issues like the one in the story above. Additionally, in conjunction with our product marketing team we regularly survey the market for the latest trends and deployments. This research informs the technology that we develop and the customer service that we provide.

We recently conducted a survey of 500+ C-level executives and IT professionals and uncovered some fascinating data. The disaster recovery and business continuity survey delved into the respondent organization’s experience with outages and related incidents as well as DR plan contents. As you might expect, with risks growing every day, IT professionals are more concerned than ever.

In the next blog, we’ll review these key findings, including the answers to questions such as:

  • How prepared do organizations feel that they are?
  • Which industries are most prepared?
  • In what circumstances do IT professionals feel prepared?
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