by Mauricio de Leon Data is King. Be it customer data, supply chain and resource management data, or the valuable intellectual property that forms the core of a business, it is all data; and it all needs to be stored and protected from external threats, but also made available and used internally. So, if data is King, you must ask yourself, who is on the wall, securing the gates, and making sure that the King is safe? Protecting data from external threats and making it available internally is a daunting task, and not an simple one. Deloitte, Target, JP Morgan Chase, Adobe, and Home Depot, each a multi-billion-dollar corporation, suffered devastating data breaches in the last five years. And it’s not just a problem faced by large corporations. According to a 2017 study conducted by the Ponemon Institute, 61% of SMBs globally experienced a breach in the 12 months prior, leading to substantial challenges from the loss of consumer confidence, sudden drops in stock prices, and, in some cases, the corresponding waves of litigation. The costs of dealing with a data disaster can be enormous. Protect your investment Disaster recovery is what happens in the aftermath of a data breach, or any other event that threatens a business’s data. Following a recovery (and depending on how successful it was) the first order of business is the investigation into what happened and how it occurred. In a worst case scenario, next comes the blaming, the hiring, and the firing. Finally, there is the investment into a new solution or extensive upgrades of the existing one. If rushed, this can end up being reactive and risks band aiding the symptoms vs the root cause (i.e. current solution failed vs current process failed).,. This is what we call “corrective action,” and it is not an ideal situation. Like most things in life, it is better to be proactive. In order to deal with a potential data security disaster proactively, there are two key components to keep in mind. 1) The first is the development of a disaster recovery plan, which should be incorporated into a business continuity plan. Then the automation and regular review/testing of that plan. It does no good to have a disaster recovery plan in place that’s 2 years out of date. Data disasters are like natural disasters, you don’t know when they will happen, but you need to plan for them. Your office most likely has regular fire drills, testing your disaster recovery plan should be no different. 2) The second component is the set up and operation of critical IT infrastructure with the resilience to mitigate possible disasters. This will be the main source of both ongoing costs, and potential future problems. Recover quickly and move forward IT infrastructure is expensive to build, maintain, and service. In addition, a normal data centre will require dedicated teams to deal separately with the servers, storage, the cloud, networking and any converged solutions of these that you may have. For the past 60 years, for most solution providers, backups were accomplished in the same manner. IT teams built their castles, keeping their data, the King, safe from harm. Unfortunately, this no longer a viable solution, because at some point those walls will be breached, no matter how strong they are. The trick for surviving the breaches will be in knowing what to do when it happens, and how to quickly recover and move forward. Cost effective and scalable strategies The good news is that there are solutions to help you overcome these challenges – these bring with them automation, deep integration with your business-critical apps, and are highly scalable. When you weigh the real financial impact to internal and customer-facing downtime, along with negative brand exposure, these solutions are no longer optional. While there are a number of strong disaster recovery solutions on the market today, I have been most impressed by Commvault. They not only specialize in this area, they really invest in solutions that cover the broadest spectrum of data sources to ensure that all your data can be protected and recovered, no matter what it is or where it lives. Do you know what’s going on with your data? Do you have a disaster recovery plan? If any of this resonates for you let’s continue this discussion, I’m Mauricio, but my friends call me Mau, you can find me on Linkedin or reach out directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.