Enterprise organisations continue to suffer cyber-attacks at record rates. In 2022 alone, the number of documented global cyber-attacks increased by 38 percent. Recent research has shown that the average recovery time from a malware attack is 24 days and the average cost to a business of an attack is around $4,5m.
That trend will only continue in 2024, with cyber-attacks expected to see double-digit increases. These cyber-attacks are a direct threat to any organisation, with 90 percent of ransomware attacks resulting in disrupted operations and in some cases forcing businesses to close.
But ransomware and other cyber-attacks are only a few examples of the many disaster scenarios enterprise businesses must prepare to face. Internal bad actors, natural disasters, and hardware failures can all expose your business to disrupted operations, application downtime, data loss, customer churn, and reputational damage.
Even when businesses invest in disaster recovery infrastructure, that investment often lacks the modern technology and consistent monitoring and testing required to optimise enterprise security postures and facilitate a strong response and recovery.
In the face of inevitable disaster scenarios, many enterprise organisations are eager to improve their operational resiliency. Cloud-based services are gaining momentum as a more comprehensive and cost-effective approach to disaster recovery that can achieve a greater balance of resiliency and efficiency than traditional disaster recovery can offer.
The technological limits of traditional disaster recovery
At the enterprise level, most traditional disaster recovery infrastructure was developed as part of an in-house initiative, with IT professionals bootstrapping an on-premise solution by allocating the necessary facilities and server capacity.
Compared to non-existent disaster recovery capabilities, this resourceful approach was a big leap forward in safeguarding enterprise data. But as the need has grown for greater resiliency and disaster recovery capabilities, the constraints and risks associated with these on-premise environments have become more glaring.
Many traditional disaster recovery solutions suffer from the following limitations:
- Infrequent testing of the disaster recovery process. Few enterprise organisations employ dedicated disaster recovery professionals. Instead, disaster recovery is another task added to the plate of busy IT staff who must carve out time to maintain this infrastructure. As a result, testing is often minimal and insufficient: maybe one or two times throughout the year.
- An infrastructure built on outdated hardware. Many organisations created their disaster recovery facilities from spare parts. This older technology faces an increased risk of hardware failure and security vulnerabilities, in addition to offering less robust performance capabilities than their modern counterparts.
- Hidden costs and high overhead. Even when repurposing old technology to build a facility, traditional disaster recovery can lead to soaring, uncontrolled costs. Operational expenses can include software licensing and energy costs, while the resource cost of hardware maintenance and DR management must also be accounted for.
- A poor or absent data scanning practice. One of the best ways to reduce your exposure to ransomware and other malware is by scanning data for threats as it enters your disaster recovery storage. Traditional DR solutions can achieve this, but the consistency of this service can vary widely—and some facilities built in-house are simply not equipped with this layer of data protection.
Improve data resiliency through cloud-based disaster recovery
Data resiliency and disaster recovery go together. The more resilient your data infrastructure, the better your business will be able to withstand the disruptions of an unexpected disaster.
Enterprise disaster recovery should embrace a continuous push to strengthen data resiliency across your organisation, reducing the material risk of data loss or other disruptions while improving your ability to maintain business continuity.
Even with traditional disaster recovery solutions in place, cloud-based disaster recovery as-a-service (DRaaS) can fortify enterprise infrastructure in the face of disruption. Here is an overview of the most impactful disaster recovery capabilities enabled by the cloud:
Fully configured response and recovery
By leveraging the flexibility of cloud-based services, enterprise disaster recovery can configure response and recovery processes without being limited by technology, storage space, or other performance constraints.
Automated services can be integrated into recovery processes to orchestrate a fast, efficient response that minimises downtime and maximises availability for business-critical applications.
Resilience at scale
Capacity is no impediment when delivering disaster recovery as a cloud-based service. Elastic cloud environments can be leveraged in a response and recovery scenario to support a fast, efficient recovery at any scale.
Your cloud-based costs are always proportional to your usage, which allows your enterprise to leverage unlimited cloud capacity while only paying for what you use, rather than being forced to maintain the upper limit of your capacity needs in an on-premise solution. This limitless scale also ensures speed in your service delivery when demand is high.
Continuous monitoring, regular testing
Instead of treating traditional disaster recovery as an “extra” task to be juggled by your busy in-house IT staff, cloud-based delivery is supported by a third-party service provider that can offer daily system and RPO monitoring to keep your business protected and ready to respond to disruption.
Along with regular monitoring, frequent disaster recovery testing can be performed without disrupting your business operations, and with no additional resource cost to your internal IT team.
Streamlined RTO and RPO compliance
Whether your disaster recovery speed needs to meet regulatory requirements, internal benchmarks, or both, cloud-based disaster recovery can achieve faster results, and at a far more efficient cost than traditional disaster recovery.
Cloud-based automation, flexible cloud capacity, and the elimination of manual errors all support a streamlined recovery process that mitigates the costs incurred when disaster strikes.
Delivery by disaster recovery specialists
Your organisation might employ some of the best IT specialists in the business. But if they are not specialists in disaster recovery, it is unfair to ask them to leap into action when a disaster event disrupts your business.
Cloud-based disaster recovery enlists the help of specialists whose sole focus is on helping organisations recover after natural disasters, malware attacks, and other emergency scenarios.
From configuring the right solution to delivering ongoing monitoring and maintenance, this partner approach is more cost-effective and resource-efficient—and it will lead to better recovery outcomes, too.
Achieve data immutability through third-party delivery
As organisations strive for better data resiliency, immutability should be the goal. Data immutability is achieved when your enterprise data cannot be overwritten or changed: new data may be added, and earlier data may be revised through the addition of subsequent data entries, but immutable data is written in permanent ink, unable to be erased.
Immutability offers a critical degree of protection against ransomware and internal saboteurs hoping to victimise your business by stealing or erasing data. Cloud-based disaster recovery can achieve immutability more easily than traditional disaster recovery while protecting this data inside a virtual machine managed by the provider.
By keeping applications contained within the virtual machine, this data is protected even from your service provider, ensuring that data remains immutable even when in the hands of your technology partners.
How incoming data scans mitigate your ransomware risk
Robust disaster recovery infrastructure is more than acquiring storage space and allocating resources for your recovery efforts. Service-based disaster recovery can enhance the quality of your data scanning practices to quickly detect viruses and other bad actors before they are able to cause damage to your business.
Malware rarely attacks enterprise systems as soon as it enters the network. In many cases, this software can lay dormant for weeks or months before it strikes, timing its attack launch to maximise the potential damage to your business.
While internal data scans can help identify changes to your data and other suspicious activity indicating an impending or active attack, incoming data scans can catch malware before it enters your network. Cloud-based scanning can detect ransomware signatures and other signals for even the latest malware, ensuring your data protection practices are up to date with emerging security threats.
Elevate disaster recovery from an afterthought to an integral service
In search of the simplest solution to their disaster recovery needs, many enterprise organisations invest in the minimal hardware and infrastructure required to set up a physical backup facility where data can be stored. But this approach, known in disaster recovery as a “tier 1 system,” overlooks the other processes and support required to recover from major business disruptions.
True disaster recovery is an iterative process. Evolving disaster recovery needs must be addressed by changing the configuration of recovery solutions. With each iteration, testing must be performed to make sure your business is set up to meet RTO and RPO requirements while maintaining business continuity.
In an ideal scenario, disaster recovery tests should be performed four to five times each year. It is a significant burden to place on your internal IT teams—but for a specialised DRaaS provider, this frequent testing is part of standard operating procedure.
From deployment to testing and everything in between, Triangle’s new CloudKeep solution was developed to address these exact enterprise challenges. Traditional disaster recovery is expensive, inflexible, and potentially limited in its data protection and recovery capabilities.
Based on VMware technology, delivering disaster recovery as a service, CloudKeep empowers enterprise organisations with flexible, responsive data protection capabilities delivered by a team of disaster recovery experts. Our customisable solution helps your business achieve new cost-efficiencies, improve disaster response and regulatory compliance, and optimise your data protection practices over time to insulate your business operations from unpredictable hazards.
Harness the power of a different approach to disaster recovery while sparing your business the added costs and hassle of a DIY approach. Talk to a Triangle expert today to learn more about CloudKeep and how it can improve data security for your business.