The worst tech disasters that can hit your business
Thu 10 Dec 2020 | Jon Lucas | Jake Madders
As cyber threats and natural disasters continue to grow in scope and severity, DRaaS is going to play a key role in ensuring businesses can operate safely and securely
Data is the new currency of business. It lends power to organisations, such as the ability to make game-changing decisions, draw up long-term forecasts, and anticipate the needs and behaviours of consumers. But with great power comes great risk and responsibility. That risk has manifested itself in many forms over the years, from cyberattacks to natural disasters, but in 2020 the risk landscape is more intense and diverse than ever before.
According to research from Accenture, security breaches have increased by 67% since 2014, costing businesses an average of $3.92 million. As more and more businesses move their operations to the cloud, particularly in the wake of COVID-19 and the push toward remote working, these figures are likely to keep rising.
While man-made threats like cyber attacks generate a lot of media headlines, one of the biggest threats to data comes from nature in the form of fires, hurricanes, heatwaves and floods. 2020 has seen the largest and most destructive wildfire season in California’s history, tornadoes and hurricanes are materialising in record numbers, and rising global temperatures are leading to flash floods and intense heat waves.
Natural disasters pose such a risk to data, that US-based FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Fund) actually commissioned a report to assess the damage. It found that up to 60% of businesses never reopen their doors following a natural data disaster.
Whether man-made or natural, threats to data are on the rise, but many businesses are still woefully underprepared for a data disaster. Nearly 70% of business leaders feel that their cybersecurity risk is increasing, but a staggering 82% report a major shortage of cybersecurity skills.
Similarly, almost 40% of small to medium-sized businesses have absolutely no disaster recovery plan in place should a natural disaster befall them. This lack of preparedness massively threatens business continuity, impacting everything from shareholder confidence to consumer trust.
That’s why an increasing number of businesses are beginning to outsource their ‘failover’ services to third party disaster recovery teams. Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) works in a similar way to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) in the sense that businesses buy into a scalable solution that removes the pain of having to deal with it themselves.
This trend toward third-party solutions-as-a-service has gained a lot of momentum in recent years, allowing businesses to outsource the ‘housekeeping’ elements such as resource provisioning, software management and disaster recovery, freeing them up to focus on whatever it is they want to specialise in. The DRaaS industry was valued at $8.42 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $16.62 billion by 2025, according to Mordor Intelligence.
While traditional disaster recovery approaches can be slow, cumbersome and overly-complex, DRaaS is a cloud-based cost-effective solution that is simply available on demand. It also allows businesses to capitalise on a wider pool of knowledge to inform and influence their data recovery operation, rather than just basing their recovery plan on their own outdated notions.
In other words, several million heads are better than one. One of the major advantages of this approach is the ability to identify commonly missed red flags that a disaster is about to occur. Frequent server reboots are one early warning sign, which can be symptomatic of anything from memory shortages to the presence of advanced malware. Outdated servers are another, which can lead directly to hardware and software failures that cause data loss and disruption. Even the physical environment of a company’s chosen data centre can increase the risk of disaster.
All of these issues are particularly dangerous because they exist very much ‘behind the curtain’, and aren’t something employees are likely to ever think about. Another critical way in which DRaaS benefits businesses, particularly over more traditional methods of disaster recovery, is that any disaster recovery plan will always be fully tested and up-to-date.
No business is invulnerable. All are exposed to the same environmental and man-made risk factors. The key is being able to mitigate against those risks as much as possible, putting steps in place to ensure business continuity as – and when – disasters occur. That’s where disaster recovery comes in, and as cyberthreats and natural disasters continue to grow in scope and severity, DRaaS is going to play a key role in ensuring businesses can operate safely, securely and with full confidence.
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