Canadian Security Magazine

Expert advice: Beyond backups

By Daren Hanson   

Features Expert Advice Opinion beyond backups big data darren hanson disaster recovery dr dr plan expert advice identity threats managed service provider new currency terago

Big data has been described as the “new currency” for business, and with the number of threats to data security growing, protecting that data has become a top concern.

One of the best ways a company can protect itself is to implement an effective Disaster Recovery (DR) plan. Whether your company is starting from scratch or needs to improve your current DR plan, these elements will be your best defence against a host of threats.

Properly identify threats and dependencies: According to a recent TeraGo study, 45 per cent of companies are not able to identify all the potential threats to their data security. Be sure to conduct a thorough assessment of the potential operational failures, human-induced events, natural disasters and third-party partners, suppliers, and service providers that could impact your data security and operations.

Put a plan in place: Develop an easy-to-use, repeatable process that covers each step for recovering damaged IT assets and clearly outlines the procedures necessary to recover them and return back to their normal operation as soon as possible. It’s also wise to plan for duplication of skills so you have at least one backup person.

Test regularly: TeraGo’s study found that of those companies that do have a strategy in place, 81 per cent are not testing them to industry standards. To test the effectiveness of a DR plan it should be subject to a walkthrough by the DR team, a recovery simulation, or operational test on a quarterly basis.


Outsource to a trusted advisor: The biggest challenge that companies face when it comes to DR planning and testing is finding and committing the proper resources. A Managed Service Provider can effectively develop, manage, test and execute a DR plan by working with business managers to identify threats to the company. This also allows the core business team to concentrate on operating the business.  

Darren Hanson is the vice-president of sales and business development for TeraGo.

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