What Is Disaster Recovery and How Does It Work?

Between cyber-attacks, catastrophic events and human error, the primary data centers of companies are constantly exposed to threats that can cause loss of profits, damage to the image, leak of sensitive information, and delays in production or orders evasion. Therefore, to ensure business continuity and security, companies need a solution capable of guaranteeing data protection. This is where Disaster Recovery comes into the picture.

What is Disaster Recovery for companies?

Disaster Recovery (DR) is the ability of a company to counter and overcome an event that negatively affects its activities. Therefore, it consists of the set of measures, practices, systems and business structures in place so that companies can respond to any attacks, accidents and unforeseen events, and recover without compromising operations and productivity.

Specifically, the goal of the Disaster Recovery measures is to allow the company to reuse the IT infrastructure and critical systems as soon as possible after the occurrence of an issue. To this end, organizations must often perform a thorough analysis of their systems and create the DR plan. This plan is a formal document containing detailed instructions to be followed in the event of a crisis.

What events qualify as disasters?

The Disaster Recovery plan is activated only in case of severe events. These include natural disasters, technical or system failures, cybersecurity attacks and human error. Regardless of their nature, the disasters must be significant enough to disrupt critical business operations completely or significantly for a given period of time. Some examples:

  • Cyber-attacks (malware, ransomware, DDoS, etc.)
  • Machinery or equipment failures
  • Health emergencies, epidemics or pandemics (see that of COVID-19)
  • Sabotage, terrorist attacks or threats
  • Industrial accidents
  • Blackouts or power outages
  • Natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, fires, etc.)

Disaster Recovery solutions and techniques

Depending on company’s activity, size and requirements, there are different types of Disaster Recovery techniques.

  • Disaster Recovery Plan from Cloud – The company backs up data to a private or public Cloud. In case of emergency, you can easily perform hardware failover / failback. Generally, the Cloud ensures particularly fast recovery.
  • Virtual Disaster Recovery Plan – A replica of the company’s IT infrastructure is created and stored on an off-site, hardware-independent virtual machine. When the disaster occurs, the company fails over the IT operations on the virtual machine for recovery.
  • Disaster Recovery Plan from the network – It is performed through recovery procedures via the company network (LAN, WAN, or wireless) when an unscheduled service outage occurs.