Data Protection: Stretching Beyond the Data Security Horizon

Data Protection

A data breach is one of the gravest threats facing organisations today. Time and again, data breaches and cyberattacks against businesses have rattled the tech and security industries. Whenever IT security experts have responded to these threats, hackers always prove to be a step ahead of them, and find ways to circumvent new security measures. What IT Security teams need to understand is that data protection involves more than just strengthening security measures. It is also about realising that any hacker can find a way to get into your business’ data records.

The question that really needs to be asked by companies is: are we prepared to get our data back if it becomes compromised?

In this article, we emphasise the importance of data protection in addition to data security. Here we share some of the key practical measures you should be implementing in your organisation to prepare for a breach.

What is a Disaster Recovery plan?

All businesses should be equipped with a robust Disaster Recovery (DR) plan outlining their strategy in the event of a data breach. It essentially acts as a long checklist to ensure recovery is orderly and everyone involved knows what they’re doing.

However, DR planning itself is a broad term. It can include responses to a wide range of incidents such as power outages, natural disasters, and commonly cyberattacks. Generally, your DR plan should detail clear objectives with strict time frames to allow your operations to resume swiftly.

In the case of a breach, your DR strategy is there to mitigate the damage caused and minimise costs required to stay afloat. An effective plan would focus on the protection of data and cyber assets, as well as addressing any concerns over data loss.

The importance of a Disaster Recovery plan for data protection

Reducing downtime

Your DR’s primary aim is to get your business back up and running as normal in as little time as possible. Without these strict guidelines in place, your organisation will waste time on procuring solutions and suffer longer downtime. This could further impact your productivity, client retention, and ultimately your reputation.

Maintaining business continuity

Establishing a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plan ensures key operations continue during disaster. This is a more comprehensive strategy going beyond IT to ensure mission-critical systems remain functional. BCDR considers other factors such as employee safety and crisis management to safeguard operations whilst actively resolving an incident.

Limits liabilities

Over the years, DR plans have evolved to helping limit liabilities. In today’s highly disruptive business environment, holding any sensitive data without adequate security would be a big mistake. So equally, lacking an organised DR plan would be like running into a burning building with no protective gear.

Data backup best practices 

The first step of any DR plan involves outlining data backup protocols. To ensure quick and easy data protection and recovery, organisations must follow the 3-2-1 rule. This rule suggests that businesses store at least three copies of their data. Two of these must be stored on different types of media and one with a cloud service provider.

The next best practice involves running backups at regular intervals. The backup frequency will vary depending on your business’ unique needs and the industry you operate in. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should back up every 24 hours to strengthen data protection.

If your processes and tools are outdated or quickly losing effectivity, following these best practices alone will not help you prepare for disaster. To ensure your business is ready to face a sudden incident, it is imperative that your tools are tested regularly.

Disaster Recovery best practices

When designing a DR plan, you need to be aware of a few important terms:

Workload prioritisation

When moving data to a DR location, you need to understand the priority levels of your applications. Nevertheless, the most critical workloads must take precedence over the less critical ones.

Recovery Point Objective

Simply put, RPO defines the age of data to be recovered. Expressed backwards in time, RPO can be specified in seconds, minutes, hours, or days. For most businesses, a four-hour RPO is a threshold beyond which they start falling apart.

Recovery Time Objective

RTO is the time taken for a business to restore operations after a disaster. To keep your RTO to a minimum, look for advanced software. Loaded with intuitive features, these solutions can help you bring your RTO down to as low as one minute per machine.

Storage-Agnostic solutions

In an IT context, agnostic refers to any solution that is interoperable between different systems. When choosing a service provider, make sure they provide storage-agnostic solutions. This will help you avoid the headache of maintaining parity between their processes and yours.

Testing and Failback

When choosing a solution, make sure you can test it frequently. Look for a software with a failure mechanism that can help mitigate damage and recover data swiftly. Test the solution at least once every four months.

Reach out to an expert for IT support

Navigating disaster recovery planning alone can be an enormous struggle for small-to-medium sized businesses in London. So, if your business requires London IT support for its disaster recovery and data backup strategy, then look no further than the totality services team! Beginning with a confidential, no obligation chat, we will understand your current data protection concerns and suggest any suitable services.

Since 2008, we have served over 150 clients in Central London and beyond to help maximise their operations and safeguard their data with tailored IT support and robust security measures. We are also Microsoft Certified and hold the highest customer service rating in London for the IT services sector.

Or, if you would simply like to seek further guidance on best practices for data protection, please don’t hesitate to give us a call today!