Computers are machines – they wear out and break. Your data stores are valuable – they are under attack from cyber criminals. Natural and man-made disasters are a reality – they can take out entire computing sites in seconds. Considering that nearly all businesses in today’s online and connected marketplace are significantly dependent on their data and systems to operate, these are some of the fundamental reasons Disaster Recovery (DR) is no longer a business option, but rather it has become a business imperative. Yet with traditional DR solutions being expensive and complex, many organizations continue to view it as unattainable and simply choose to accept the risk associated with a catastrophic failure in their IT infrastructure. That can change with judicious implementation of Disaster Recovery as a Service.

Even if you had a traditional DR environment with spare computing capacity at a secondary location, unless you were engaged with real-time data replication from site to site – which truly is an expensive and complex proposition – then your recovery time might still be measured in days, starting with physically transporting data to the recovery site. Contrast that with Disaster Recovery as a Service options available today, where recovery can be completed in mere minutes, and with substantially less up-front cost for reserve capacity and duplicate storage!

Looking at a specific case study, utilizing Disaster Recovery as a Service and Backup as a Service solutions such as those available from Norwell Technology Group, an information technology advisory firm with deep expertise in Cloud solutions, we will see how one healthcare company defeated a ransomware attack with virtually no impact to their business.

A medical insurance company contacted their Managed Services Provider (MSP) when they discovered their network had been infected and their systems were being attacked by cryptolocker malware. With more and more applications and mission-critical files being encrypted and unavailable as the malware spread, a quick response was needed!

In this case, they had clear knowledge of where and when the ransomware was first activated, so the step of determining the source and start time were easy (unfortunately, it was attributable to human error with an employee failing to follow the company’s safe computing standards). Their MSP was able to go straight to the contain and recover steps by first shutting down all systems, and then performing recovery on the infected devices, utilizing data from the Cloud backups. In this particular scenario, the Disaster Recovery as a Service solution included DRaaS appliances and tools that facilitate and simplify the recovery, and the ransomware was eradicated from their network within minutes. Note that there were no tapes to be recovered from offsite storage, no truck rolls required, no ransom paid and all recovery steps were performed from the DRaaS control appliance – no people even had to go onsite to the data center! In fact, in this case, the MSP contact who handled the recovery was on vacation at the time. Not only was he able to handle the recovery remotely, it was only a small disruption to his time off. This is a vastly different outcome than a traditional DR recovery which typically requires “all hands on deck” for several day!

Disaster Recovery as a Service is a solution you should really take a look at since it is more likely a matter of “when” than “if” you will experience a cyber attack on your business. Be prepared to recover with virtually no loss. If an event like this one even made the news, it would be a good news story of successfully protecting client data!

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