Monthly Archives: April 2016

3 hidden benefits of disaster recovery as a service


Convenience and peace of mind are the big-picture benefits that disaster recover as a service brings to the table, and as more companies leverage DRaaS strategies, the advantages are becoming more apparent in various contexts in use cases. The market for these services is growing significantly, according to IT Pro Portal, suggesting that DRaaS is on track to outpace traditional approaches to disaster recovery.

But there are even more advantages to DRaaS that may not be top-of-mind for executives. Let’s look at some of the lesser-known benefits of this DR strategy to help executives see just how powerful it can be.

1. Ensured compliance: Data governance involves navigating endless compliance standards and is a constant burden on the IT department, and things become even trickier when information needs to be backed up in order for restoration following an incident. Furthermore, regulations are always changing, and companies are responsible for updating their recovery environments with every new standard that is introduced.

“DR compliance is best left to the pros.”

By offloading DR to a third party and taking the as-a-Service approach, an organization will no longer have to manage these complex regulatory pressures, as the chosen service provider handles the tasks as a part of the contract. This makes life easier for the IT department and helps ensure compliance as standards grow and evolve over time.

2. Security assurance: There are countless threats to digital enterprise these days, and as IT Pro Portal points out, new dangers such as ransomware and zero-day viruses can wreak havoc on corporate data. In some cases, these hazards can destroy entire data sets or corrupt files to the point of no return. DRaaS offers a solution, giving businesses the chance to completely restore their data after an incident takes place.

“If implemented at the right time, minimized downtime coming from the agile security of disaster recovery as a service helps to preserve a business’s reputation with customers and partners whilst preventing a business from losing out to competitors,” stated contributor Peter Hannah.

3. Continuous improvement: A company’s digital profile is always in the process of changing, whether with consolidation, virtualization or upgraded hardware. This makes maintaining a strong DR strategy difficult, as backup environments must reflect every adjustment made in the data center. DRaaS solutions are designed to keep up with this rapid rate of change and ensure that the business is backed up with every innovation.

The perfect answer to ransomware attacks

Ransomware may be the most treacherous threat to emerge from the digital age thus far. Cybercriminals everywhere are deceiving staff members at companies, hospitals and government organizations, then holding key corporate data under encryption until their financial demands are met.

How serious is the epidemic? According to ComputerWorld, the Cryptowall family of ransomware has already stolen over $325 million through its scams, while countless other schemes are emerging across the digital realm. 

Don't pay up – restore and recover
The most concerning aspect of ransomware is that there appears to be no solution to the problem once the attack has been initiated and a user takes the bait. If cybercriminals have encrypted the information, there's no getting through that barrier – unless a hefty fine is paid. No matter what, there's going to be capital loss when ransomware takes effect – or so the cybercriminals want their victims to think.

"Ransomware, which encrypts files until a victim pays to have them unlocked, can be devastating to an organization," explained InfoWorld contributor Jeremy Kirk. "Barring an up-to-date backup, little can be done aside from paying the attackers to provide the decryption keys."

"There's one secret that can help companies beat ransomware."

It's easy to miss at first glance, but Kirk offered the key to overcoming ransomware in only a few words. An up-to-date backup is the golden ticket, giving a company the ability to restore all of its vital information exactly as it was in the last backup prior to the attack.

In a game of cybercriminal warfare, total data restoration appears to be the only answer to ransomware. Now, it's up to IT leaders to bring this to the attention of company executives and ensure that they have a recovery solution that not only restores information in full, but brings back the data in its most recent iteration. 

Get a complete solution in place
It's not all about the data – sometimes ransomware criminals aim to bring an entire network down if the victims choose not to pay. That's why a business continuity solution must be a part of any modern risk protection program, ensuring that employees can continue to work if primary networks are offline. 

For instance, if cybercriminals disable systems at a main office location, there should be a backup workspace ready to go. While the main network is being fixed, employees will remain productive and the attack will be rendered completely ineffective. This is the comprehensive approach to risk management that every firm should have in place. 

When dealing with cybercriminals, it's best to not negotiate. Instead, the entire crisis can be averted by restoring the information that is being held for ransom. With the addition of a backup workspace, there is nothing the criminals can do to get the money they ask for. 

Smart companies have already found the loophole that stops ransomware in its tracks: a complete data restoration and business continuity solution.