3, 2, 1 Data Loss Prevention!
It all started on August 13, 2017, off Cape Verde, Africa as a low-pressure system that was merging with strong tropical moisture moving west across the Atlantic. Thirteen days later Hurricane Harvey crossed the shore between Port Aransas and Port O'Connor, Texas around 03:00 UTC, possessing maximum winds of 130 mph (215 km/h). This weather pattern was just the beginning of what would become a disaster for many businesses and the nearly 6,314,000 residents in the Houston Metropolitan area.
Unfortunately, the disaster that unfolded in Houston was not an isolated incident, and we will likely face near- or above-normal hurricane activity again this year according to NOAA’s recently released 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook. Already this year, we experienced tropical storm activity with Alberto making landfall just last week and bringing high winds and heavy rains to much of the Southeast and Midwest.
We continue to see significant regional catastrophe's that have put human and business resources at risk in coastal regions throughout the world. If you are an IT leader, manager or technology specialist, and you have heard the statements "It will never happen to us" or "If it happens to us we will figure it out," you need to reconsider your disaster recovery (DR) strategy.
Disasters result in lost productivity and high-cost of data recovery
In today's personal and professional worlds, companies and individuals rely on data access more than ever before. Companies need to consider the different types of events that could impact your organization and customers from having access to critical business information. Natural disasters similar to Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017 are just one type of concern that organizations should consider. Additionally, businesses should prepare for the risk of cyberattacks, employee(s) misuse of data (employee carelessness has been identified as the chief cause of data loss), power outages, tornadoes and flooding.
In most IT surveys, data loss continues to be one of the top concerns for IT leaders. They realize that one data loss event could result in lost productivity, high-cost of retrieval, lost revenue, lost brand equity and other potential impacts on the business. Additionally, consider the possible loss of access to employee and customer personal information. This could cost the organization millions of dollars depending on the industry.
The 3-2-1 Rule
When considering a disaster recovery strategy, every organization should consider using the 3-2-1 Rule. If you are an IT leader of any size company, you should embrace this rule. If you are a leader of a business and not in IT, you should be asking your IT team how they are handling disaster recovery and if they are using the 3-2-1 rule.
1. Every organization should have THREE (3) different copies of critical data saved.
2. This data should be kept on at least TWO (2) different types of media.
3. At least ONE (1) of these types of media should be stored off-site.
Whether your organization is a regional credit union, medical office, manufacturing facility, car dealership or even a photography business, you should consider how your business is storing critical data records. Additionally, backing your data up is just one piece of a proper disaster recovery plan. How you recover the data is equally important, and many organizations fail to properly plan or test their recovery procedures.
Ten miles is just not enough
Historically, companies believed ten (10) miles was enough distance for storing an off-site data backup or for a disaster recovery location. With major disaster(s) spanning large geographical regions, this is no longer sufficient. In 2017, a significant winter storm spanned from Mexico to Canada and caused significant power outages throughout the entire eastern part of the United States. Hurricane Irma inflicted damage from Key West to North Carolina, with power outages, flooding and significant property loss up and down the coast.
Colocation, Cloud and DRaaS (disaster recovery as a service) technology can provide a solution for most organizations looking to protect their business-critical data. Be sure to select a services provider with geographically diverse data center locations and Cloud pods for true resiliency. Additionally, having your data in multiple locations - in a colocation or cloud facility - gives you the added security of multi-path network infrastructure and the ability to increase bandwidth-on-demand. These services provide your organization with peace of mind that in a disaster situation, you have an extensive network infrastructure that supports recovery efforts without impacting the rest of the business.