Data security is a topic that is becoming more and more important, especially in the IT industry. The last several years have shown that natural disasters do not only affect private persons, but also companies. Storms, floods, or major fires can come as a nasty surprise, so especially in times of climate change, such sources of risk should be taken into account. Being prepared for emergencies is an absolute must. The basis for this is a complete disaster recovery plan.
The abbreviation DR stands for Disaster Recovery. DR is often an unpopular topic about protecting IT systems from disaster catastrophes. Such disasters can be of natural origin, as described above, or man-made. Examples include power blackouts, airplane crashes, or strikes. Whether natural disaster or human error, such occurrences usually end up causing a site-wide outage.
In this situation, a standby system at another site is necessary. The second site must be far enough away from the source of the failure so that the entire infrastructure is still available. In a worst-case scenario, this second site is switched to production as quickly as possible. In the process, the failure systems are recovered and activated, and operations can continue after a reasonable period of time.
It is important to note that it is not possible to start building a failover system at a second site after the fact. To be prepared for such a crisis, it must be ensured in advance that such a system is available at all times. The disaster recovery concept must first be built and then tested. This is quite time-consuming and cost-intensive. In addition, you never know when such a case will occur, necessitating the failover system to go into operation at the alternative site.
A disaster causes my IT to fail. But in a manageable amount of time, I can continue to work via a second site. My systems are back online thanks to my disaster recovery plan. My customers, my suppliers, my employees - everyone has access to the systems. Overall, my business is alive and well.
I don't have a failover system, let alone a failover site. I also don't know when the systems might come back on. In two hours, in two days, in two weeks?
My business is "dead." No one can do anything without IT. For the outside world (customers, suppliers), the company no longer exists at the moment. The question is: Can I afford it? And: Does my business even exist after such a long time without IT?
Every company should therefore assess for itself whether a DR case also represents a disaster for its own company.
For those responsible for IT, it is their duty to take precautions. That means assessing and informing management about failure scenarios. Insurance companies require a DR failure system for some industries because the damages incurred are immense. Take precautions to ensure they are never existentially affected by such a disaster.
Nowadays, cloud solutions in multiple locations and sometimes even spread over several continents offer opportunities to set up DR systems with foreseeable costs.