Data security is the practice of protecting data from unauthorized access and corruption throughout the data’s lifecycle. Implementing adequate data security practices protects businesses against cyberattacks that jeopardize company data, assets, finances, and reputation.

One part of data security, however, is to plan for the worst: a breach of some kind, with the attendant disruption to your organization. To anticipate and reduce that disruption, the business should draft business continuity and disaster recovery plans.

What Is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a document listing detailed instructions on how the organization plans to respond to unplanned incidents and disruptive events, such as power outages, cyberattacks, and natural disasters.

It also includes carefully crafted strategies to minimize the effect of the incident. This allows the organization to continue operating in the event of an interruption, and to resume key business processes quickly.

What Are the Different Types of Disaster Recovery Plans?

The point of having a disaster recovery plan is to safeguard data and maintain business continuity. A single, “standard-issue” DRP for all businesses isn’t viable, however, since every company is unique. A business must draft a disaster recovery plan that suits its needs best.

Here are four types of disaster recovery plans you can consider:

  1. Data Center Disaster Recovery

    This disaster recovery plan isn’t limited to the specific data center itself. The entire organization plays a huge role in data center disaster recovery, including features and tools such as physical security, backup power, utility providers, fire suppression, and HVAC.

    In the event of an outage, all the elements within the building must be in working order. This is necessary to protect your data against intruders and cybercriminals.

  2. Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery

    When you embrace cloud-based IT, you can lower your costs by using a cloud provider’s data center as a recovery site instead of spending more money on your own data center‘s facility, systems, and personnel.

    One of the biggest advantages of this disaster recovery strategy is the high competition among different cloud providers. That can lead to affordable costs and feature-rich deals for the customer, and the cloud provider should also be able to assist you with disaster recovery as well.

  3. Visualization Disaster Recovery

    In this case, you don’t have to reconstruct a physical server in the event of a disaster. Instead, you can achieve your targeted recovery time objectives (RTO) by placing a virtual server on reserve capacity or the cloud.

  4. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Although Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is often based in the cloud, it isn’t exclusively cloud-based. A few DRaaS providers offer solutions as a site-to-site service, where the provider runs a secondary side. They can also rebuild and ship servers to an organization’s site as a server replacement service.

    Contrarily, cloud-based DRaaS lets users to failover apps immediately and organize failback to rebuild servers and reconnect users through VPN.

What Is the Difference Between Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity?

Business continuity versus disaster recovery is a common dilemma. While both terms may seem similar, they aren’t.

A disaster recovery strategy helps businesses recover information or a system in the event of an unforeseen event. In contrast, a business continuity (BC) plan covers details about how a company will maintain critical functions and services during and following a disaster or extended disruption.

In other words, disaster recovery focuses on restoring data access and IT infrastructure after a disaster; business continuity focuses on keeping the business operational during a disaster.

Additionally, a business continuity plan and disaster recovery plan have different goals. DR plans restrict abnormal or inefficient system functions, whereas BC plans limit operational downtime. It’s why a business needs both plans to prepare for disruptive events.

Is Disaster Recovery Part of the Business Continuity Plan?

Disaster recovery is a subset of business continuity planning, yes.

DRPs involve storing important support systems aimed at minimizing business downtime and trying to get technical operations back to normal as soon as possible. Its scope is smaller than that of business continuity plans that are developed to keep a business operational during a disaster.

Why Are Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Important?

Jointly, business continuity and disaster recovery plans (BCDR) have a single motive: to minimize the effects of outages and disruptions on business operations.

Organizations with an effective BCDR system in place can get back on their feet more quickly in the event of disastrous events faster and improve operations. Plus, they face a lower risk of data loss or any additional harm.

Keep in mind that BCDR is a broader concept than IT, since it encompasses issues including crisis management, alternative work locations, and employee safety, among other factors.

To reiterate, business continuity and disaster recovery can help organizations prepare for destructive events and enhance their ability to continue uninterrupted operations. It also minimizes their risk in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

What Are the Benefits of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery?

If you’re still wondering why your company needs a BCDR plan, here are the main benefits of business continuity and disaster recovery:

Safeguards and Preserves Data

Disasters, man-made or natural, can cause unavoidable downtime and destruction. And while BCDR cannot prevent natural disasters, system failure, or human error, it can do an excellent job at safeguarding and preserving a company’s digital assets, allowing the company to remain operational.

As a business owner, you’ll always have peace of mind that you can regain access to valuable data anytime in case of a breach.

Reduces Vulnerability Against Cyberattacks

Cybercrimes are at an all-time high. Even worse, cybercriminals are continuously developing new techniques to gain access, change, alter, and expose their victims’ digital assets. This leaves businesses exposed to all kinds of risks, such as intellectual property theft or financial loss, fraud, blackmail, and so on.

An effective BCDR plan can help to prevent a cyberattack from inflicting damage, and also reduces downtime in case a data breach occurs. Businesses can stop hackers from getting further access to your systems and do effective damage control.

Builds Credibility

Any businesses working with confidential client data must assure that all sensitive client assets are secured and protected from data loss. In the event of a destructive incident, the company should have a system in place that assures its clients that information can be recovered.

BCDR solutions make this possible, which is why they can help companies keep their clients’ trust and confidence and maintain a good business reputation.

Is There a Difference Between Data Backup and Disaster Recovery?

Yes. Data backup and disaster recovery are not the same.

Data backup refers to storing a copy of original data separately; data recovery is the process of restoring the lost data in case of failure. You can say data backups are an important part of disaster recovery plans, since using the backup to restore lost data is almost always a part of disaster recovery.

Use ZenGRC to safeguard your business against potential threats. This easy-to-use business continuity software can help you plan for worst-case scenarios and collaborate across the organization to ensure prompt remediation and effective business continuity and disaster recovery planning.