A Cloud Disaster Recovery Plan: How to Keep Your Company Data Safe and Secure in Times of Crisis

Everyone wants their data to be safe and secure. But a cloud data breach can happen at any time. Whether it’s because of accidental employee error, natural disaster, or a ransomware attack, everything important to your business can be lost in an instant.  

That’s why having a Cloud Disaster Recovery Plan (Cloud DRP) is essential for every business. 

A Cloud DRP is the 21st-century answer to the challenge of protecting sensitive information and retrieving lost data. 

Companies who implement their own Cloud DRP will benefit from: 

  • Reduced costs 
  • Easier implementation 
  • Scalability 
  • Reliability 

But the question remains — how do you know your information is protected in the cloud?  

In this blog, we’ll explain more about what a Cloud DRP is and break down the seven steps to backup and secure your data. 

What is a Cloud Disaster Recovery Plan? 

A Cloud Disaster Recovery Plan is the systematic process of recovering data from a virtual server after a disaster. It’s like an insurance policy for all your important company information. 

Traditionally, a business would use a physical disaster recovery site where they would back up data until it’s needed. This site would need to be in close proximity to the business and would require ongoing maintenance and funding. 

Companies of all sizes choose a Cloud DRP because it’s faster, more cost-effective, and designed for remote management.  

Cloud Disaster Recovery is also significantly more flexible you can easily expand your cloud storage with a couple of clicks. However, any on-premise storage location would require you to buy completely new hardware.

How Do I Implement a Cloud DRP?

Having a backup or recovery plan could be the difference between minimal downtime and being offline for weeks. But how do you get started? 

Here’s a checklist built from the experience and expertise of our InsITe Business Solutions team. With this in hand, you’ve got the inside scoop on everything it will require to overcome a formidable challenge against every accidental employee error, natural disaster, or ransomware attack that could come your way. 

1. Do Your Due Diligence in Advance

Apply preventative strategies so your team is as trained and informed as possible. Implement multifactor authentication, train your employees to use proper passwords and monitor their emails, and teach overall good tech “hygiene” to ensure fewer mistakes happen. 

2. Assess Your Current Solutions 

Know your current infrastructure and what the existing processes are for what happens if the information is lost or hacked. 

3. Know Where Every Piece of Data Lives 

There’s more to cloud data security than choosing your managed service provider (MSP). You need to know where your company data lives outside of your network and how it’s backed up. What happens if that service was temporarily unavailable or the data was lost? 

The thing most people don’t realize is that many MSPs don’t keep your information past a certain period of time.  

That’s why you need to choose a proven third-party vendor that allows you to easily find and restore any lost information. In fact, even Microsoft advises their users to “regularly backup your content and data that you store on the services or store using 3rd-party apps and services.”  

4. Build Out Your Objectives (RTO/RPO) 

When developing a Cloud DRP, there are two key objectives your team should be aware of — Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO).  

RTO measures how fast you must recover your infrastructure and data in order to continue operating as usual. RPO is the volume of data that could be lost or damaged without causing long-term harm.  

For your most vital information — you could aim for an RTO and RPO of 20 minutes, and restore the rest of your data at a later time. 

5. Implement the Right Tech for What You Need 

Consider all aspects of your business and determine how to best protect your data and your infrastructure across all your cloud services.  

  • What data needs to be secured?  
  • Which cloud services currently host that data? 
  • How often should data be backed up?  
  • How do you determine who has access to manage the backup?  
  • What security needs to be in place?  
  • What are the communication methods needed to augment this plan? 

6. Put the Plan to Paper 

Document your processes so that there is a clear pathway to understand how and why the plan was developed, as well as to help train future employees who may be responsible for maintenance, monitoring, or testing. 

7. Monitor and Test Regularly 

Once your technology is in place, you need to be able to monitor it and ensure it does what it is supposed to do. Test it regularly to discover what obstacles or weak points exist so you can make the necessary changes. 

Working with the Experts: InsITe Takes You Farther 

If you aren’t quite ready to manage an entire Cloud DRP in-house, InsITe Business Solutions is the perfect partner. We understand the real value of what you stand to lose and have experienced professionals in place to oversee the development and real-time management of your infrastructure. 

One of the tools we use to ensure our clients can feel confident in their Cloud DRP is AvePoint Cloud Backup. AvePoint is the largest Microsoft 365 data management solutions provider, offering a full suite of SaaS solutions to migrate, manage and protect data. 

The reason we choose AvePoint is that it makes scaling easy no matter how many users are on it. It also provides our clients with unlimited storage and retention, which means it’s perfect for any sized organization. AvePoint Cloud Backup also encrypts all of the data so you can rest assured your data is safe.  

We then combine AvePoint Cloud Backup with other technologies to protect your IT assets such as: 

  • Azure Backup: a cost-effective, secure, one-click backup solution that’s scalable based on your backup storage needs. 
  • Azure Site Recovery: a recovery solution that offers ease of deployment, cost-effectiveness, and dependability to help keep your applications running during planned and unplanned outages. 
  • Veeam Backup & Replication: a comprehensive enterprise backup solution that protects all workloads, cloud, virtual & physical! 

Using the approach outlined in the above checklist, InsITe has helped more than 100 companies safeguard their data and ensure they can recover from a catastrophic IT incident. 

No matter your budget, staff resources, data type, number of locations, or the kind of in-house training required, InsITe and our partners help your business protect its information and continue to perform uninterrupted. 

ABOUT INSITE BUSINESS SOLUTIONS:

InsITe helps businesses and manufacturing companies get the most out of current and emerging technologies with a customized IT approach to maximize growth, efficiency, insights, and productivity. InsITe is not a typical IT company selling products for short-term, short-sighted fixes. We invest in long-term solutions for a company’s growth by taking the time to learn its products, process, and business goals before bringing tech into the conversation. In this way, we become much like our clients’ very own internal IT department with familiar faces who understand the business. 

If you have any questions about this post please leave a comment. We read and respond to all comments. Or better yet, give us a call and talk directly to our Founder and CEO Mike Schipper at 616-383-9000. 

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