Data is the lifeblood of every business today. It’s no exaggeration to say that data is now the most important asset on Earth. It is more valuable than precious metals, oil, or gemstones to most businesses and individuals. In our digital world, the quantity and quality of data are constantly increasing, as is our dependence on it.
This is why data resilience is such a critical issue these days. If you lose access to data due to a cyberattack or natural disaster, you cannot move your business forward. However, a resilient organization has the proper backup and recovery processes in place, allowing it to recover quickly from any situation in which data is compromised.
Data resilience is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It is a set of technologies and strategies that help to maintain the availability of data and ensure that it is always accessible, thus minimizing interruptions or downtime that could cause tangible and intangible losses for your business.
Some of these data resilience technologies include cluster storage, data replication, backup, and disaster recovery, which help minimize damage from cyber threats, such as ransomware, and any disasters, such as catastrophic weather events such as hurricanes and floods. Having these elements of data resilience in place can help ensure businesses get back on their feet as quickly as possible, with minimal data loss.
Indeed, the critical measure of data resiliency is how quickly you can recover from an outage to resume a normal state of operations and resume business as usual. Having the right technologies and the right mindset allows you to protect your data in the event of a disaster. This means having the right technologies, such as data backup and recovery solutions, and the right strategies, such as simulating a business interruption to assess your resiliency.
Another crucial element of data resiliency is the ability to perform regular testing so you can address issues before they arise. Unfortunately, many organizations don’t test their data resilience plan. Many don’t even have a plan in the first place. At a minimum, organizations should prioritize periodic testing of their data backup and recovery skills to ensure they can reliably restore their data in the event of a cyberattack or natural disaster.
Any solid data resiliency strategy includes recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs) and the means to achieve them. RPO is the critical metric you establish for how much data your organization can lose in the event of a disaster. Your RPO plays a critical role in helping you determine how often you need to back up your data and what infrastructure you need to support your backup plan. The RPO is less about the actual execution of the recovery and more about establishing the framework. When you need to recover from data loss, you will be able to get all the data you need to be restored and available.
In contrast, RTO is a metric that you can use to understand the impact of downtime on your organization. Once you’ve configured your RTO, you’ll be in a better position to make informed decisions about your data resiliency plan. For example, suppose you determine that your business can only handle an hour or two of downtime. In this case, you need to invest in a disaster recovery solution that gets you back up and running within that time frame.
The success of any data resilience initiative is defined by how well you plan and test your processes and tools, rather than waiting for something terrible to happen and then desperately trying to figure out how to get back on your feet. Planning is 90% successful.
Of course, companies should hope for the best but prepare for the worst. When it comes to data resilience, having a reliable, rock-solid plan in place can be the difference between having a successful business or not having a business.
This is not an exaggeration. Recent studies have shown that businesses hit by ransomware or other data loss events struggle to regain consumer trust. A survey found that 88% of customers would not use the services or purchase the products of an organization they distrust, while 39% said they lost trust in a company due to a breach of data or misuse of data. This can have devastating long-term effects on the survival and growth of a business. Data loss has forced some businesses to shut down completely.
Data is the new gold. When businesses lose access to their data, they lose the ability to propel themselves forward. Data resilience, however, gives every organization the ability to recover quickly from a data-destructive event and thrive in the digital economy.
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