Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 70 - Page 47

FEATURE : DISASTER RECOVERY companies , regardless of size and industry or sector , have made changes across virtually all areas of their infrastructure . Bostan said this rapid shift towards more digitally-led processes have seen gaps emerge in their cybersecurity posture .
He said while the cloud has injected organisations with work from anywhere capabilities , the more prevalent its use and the more disparate the workforce have become , the more operational risks emerge that directly impact on the efficacy of Disaster Recovery solutions . “ Disaster Recovery is no longer just about the data , systems and processes that are in place , but must account for individuals who are accessing the network environment from virtually any devices and geographic location ,” he said . “ This has changed the risk profile of a company that must now treat remote employees as individual network endpoints . Now , more than ever , key organisational data is stored on and accessed from the cloud . In addition to the risks this can create , it also creates confusion about where data is stored , whose responsibility it is to safeguard it and how policies must be updated to reflect the ‘ new normal ’”.
East for example , these cannot be ignored completed especially in areas prone to flooding or earthquakes .”
According to Khaled , the definition of ‘ disaster ’ is changing . He explained that while power outages , hardware , software failures and human errors are still prevalent , cyberattacks such as ransomware are becoming an increasingly widespread threat to small and medium-size businesses ( SMBs ). “ To recover any data during a ransomware attack , you will need a highly customised DR plan and the right enabling capabilities . Your two-year-old DR plan won ’ t cut it ,” he said . “ There are several different Disaster Recovery plans , so choosing the right one for your business can seem daunting . Four primary categories to consider are :
Data centre DR – a separate physical facility located at a safe distance from production systems , cloud DR – Backup and recovery of systems and data , to and from a public cloud , virtualisation DR – Backup and recovery of IT infrastructure to an offsite virtual machine ( VM ) and DRaaS – Cloud-based solution offered by thirdparty providers .
Muhammad Khaled , Senior Solution Engineer , Middle East , Acronis
Muhammad Khaled , Senior Solution Engineer , Middle East , Acronis , said while the COVID-19 pandemic affected people , it also prompted a heavier reliance on technology than ever before : “ We may never see anything like COVID-19 again , but the effects on IT will likely be long-lasting . Businesses pivoted almost immediately to remote work and online e-commerce ,” he said . “ In the case of remote work , business-related devices moved outside of the regular IT infrastructure , creating a whole series of planning scenarios that IT departments may not have previously considered , including but not limited to : maintaining regulatory compliance , backup and recovery of remote devices , protecting the supply chain , changes in documentation , automation and testing , prioritising data , systems and needs , and communications and training .”
Khaled added that each of these considerations need to be addressed when an organisation is planning its Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery ( BCDR ).
Bostan said from natural disasters , network intrusions , human error , cybercriminal and other security concerns , the list of potential threats facing an organisation today continues to grow in numbers , severity , and complexity . “ The pandemic has been the catalyst for those organisations still undecided about the cloud to embrace Digital Transformation at a rate and scale previously unanticipated ,” he said . “ However , this means that Disaster Recovery is crucial to ensure that companies can rapidly recover from any potential risk , regardless its origin . While natural disasters might be a relatively rare occurrence in the Middle
Khaled added that since Disaster Recovery planning is unique to every business , it is imperative to understand available options , flexibility and scalability , and the costs associated with each .
Bostan said becoming more flexible is one of the key learnings from the past 12-months especially when it comes to Disaster Recovery planning . He added that while this applies to how business leaders think about the new challenges emerging , it is also relevant when talking about infrastructure and the way business is done .
According to Bostan , a Disaster Recovery plan must now incorporate all data touchpoints and be able to cope with its decentralisation . “ To this end , a company must understand where its critical data resides and how to manage it tightly while still having the agility to ensure employees can fulfil their job functions regardless of their physical locations ,” he said . “ It must also factor in the risks to its supply chain when delivering products and services to customers . Any disruption can potentially have significant financial and reputational repercussions on the business .”
Bostan said organisations must regard the likes of Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity as key organisational activities and maintain a comprehensive programme to implement and manage its information systems , business premises , employees , and any other workers . “ To this end , the plan must ensure the company can still access key resources to support critical activities while limiting the disruption to business products , services , employees and infrastructure ,”
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