3 Things clients ask me about disaster recovery — a resiliency engineer’s point of view

By: Karpagam Venkataraman

One of the best parts of my job is collaborating with clients on their business resiliency problems. Even if they haven’t experienced a cyberattack yet, no business or industry is immune to cyber events and disaster recovery. And the longer it takes to recover critical applications, the greater the impact will be to the organization. Consider this: The Ponemon 2018 Cost of Data Breach Study revealed that the average time to recover from a data breach is 70 days compared to only 39 days when business continuity planning is used.

Resiliency is really a journey, versus a one-time, Band-Aid project. We offer a breadth of solutions to address the scale and complexity your IT and applications for years to come. Do you need help solving specific resiliency problems? Contact me or another expert.

Here are three questions clients often ask me. I hope my answers help you in your business resiliency journey.

How can I prepare for a cyberattack and recover quickly?

This question reminds me of a forest fire. The longer the fire burns, the more damage it does, and containment is critical. Similarly, the longer it takes to isolate and recover from a cyber event, the more damage it can do to operations and customer relationships. Clients are focused on how they can stand up systems quickly and with minimal disruptions.

The reality is that every second counts when you’re under attack. A data center shutdown might occur in one or multiple locations. To manage a chaotic situation, you need an orchestrated resiliency approach. Our platform systematically coordinates and monitors systems and pinpoints what data needs to be recovered. And depending on your needs, the solution can be highly customized by our services team. We’re there to help your team address priority needs so you can move to the next step in your resiliency journey.

What’s the solution for isolating and stabilizing a problem while protecting other systems and data?

It can be a difficult balancing act managing cyber outages and disaster recovery. You need to support continuous business operations in complex, often hybrid environments with demanding availability, scalability and performance requirements. Think of resiliency as a two-step process that combines detection and orchestration with recovering production data and platform configurations quickly.

Early detection of anomalies through resiliency orchestration assists with faster recovery and can reduce the business impact of data breaches. Application-aware recovery orchestration helps ensure that systems are recovered rapidly. Immutable storage systems with write once read many (WORM) technologies protect your data by not allowing changes once data is written.

How do I recover affected systems?

Cyber criminals often target traditional disaster recovery and backup copies. Even in this case, orchestration offers you more resiliency with a validation framework and visibility into recoverable data copies.

Specifically, a validation framework enables verification that the data or configuration backup copy is clean and recoverable. The air-gapped mechanism, point-in-time (PIT) recovery copies and immutable storage provide additional layers of security. Our resiliency platform gives you cyber resiliency and recovery process insights as well as reporting for compliance and audit readiness.

Be ready to respond

I encourage clients to adopt a proactive mindset, and identify steps they can take now to increase resiliency. Preparation for a likely attack is just as important as detection and recovery. For example, evaluate gaps, how an attack could impact your business and areas where more investments are needed. Readiness assessments are excellent tools and IBM has other best practices we can share with you. View helpful resources and let us help you with your business continuity planning.

Are you ready for the next data breach? Every second counts. Watch video

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About The Author

Karpagam Venkataraman

Distinguished Engineer, Resiliency Orchestration, IBM Resiliency Services

Karpagam is a Cloud Architect for IBM Business Resiliency Services. In her earlier role, she was the head of Product Management for IBM Resiliency Orchestration software and services. Karpagam has over 20 years of industry experience, having worked in the engineering teams and lead engineering architecture team for global IT organizations. She has expertise in... Read more

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