Let's assume you are the victim of a cyber attack and your IT environment is rendered useless, what's your plan to recover from this disaster?

Backup is certainly not going to help you, but there is a low cost solution. The terms backup, disaster recovery and DRaaS are often used interchangeably. But the truth is, they’re three very different — yet equally important — precautions in an effective disaster management plan. So why the confusion? Well, that’s probably due to their shared primary objective: to protect company data in the event of an incapacitating disaster.

But that’s where the similarities end:

  • Backup is for making copies of your data.
  • Disaster recovery is an offsite contingency plan in the event of a business-wide outage (e.g a cyber attack brings down your entire IT environment).
  • DRaaS offers all the benefits of a traditional disaster recovery solution but is a low cost, fully managed cloud solution that removes the need for an expensive second data centre.


Backup solutions

Essentially, data backup involves making copies or archiving important files and folders for recovery following a disaster. Best practice is to back-up data once a day to be stored in a single location, but that timeframe depends on your industry. While this type of solution is convenient for restoring documentation to its original source, data backups are of little assistance if your entire IT environment is jeopardised.


Disaster recovery solutions

When disaster strikes, your data is useless if there is nowhere to restore it to. Disaster recovery (DR) is a failsafe that replicates your entire IT environment and stores it offsite for quick recovery and business continuity. This solution should incorporate all areas of business, including software, security, physical resources and network connectivity. Historically, DR has three classifications:


  • Preventive measures: the recovery plans your business has in place to prevent cyber criminality, human error or physical disasters.
  • Corrective measures: should a breach or outage occur, your IT environment will failover to an offsite DR centre to ensure no vital data is lost.
  • Detective measures: you get to play sleuth by uncovering the exact cause of the disaster and implementing measures to ensure it never happens again.


While backup performs the simpler task of data retention, DR is a comprehensive, fully formed strategy for catastrophe. The following statistics illustrate the fundamental differences between the two:

  • Recovery Time (in a new environment): In the event of a disaster, your backup data is useless if there is nowhere to restore it to.
  • Automated Recovery: DR offers this service, backup does not.
  • Restoration Location: DR duplicates your entire IT environment and stores it in a data or cloud centre for quick recovery. Data backup makes a copy of your data but offers no restoration location service.


DRaaS — your IT infrastructure’s missing link

The health of your business comes down to this one question: are you prepared? When a disaster strikes your IT environment, you want to be in control, not scrambling to make important decisions; you want to minimise downtime and have your business up and running quickly. What you don’t want is to spend large amounts of money on a disaster that could have been prevented, or at the very least mitigated.


Are you prepared? Take our disaster-readiness test to see how you score.

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Bec Ney

Head of Marketing