Understanding Cyber Resilience vs Disaster Recovery (and why it matters)
In this digital age, businesses have had to adapt to ensure that operations withstand the unexpected. Outages and data loss have a significant effect on the health of the business, so it’s imperative they’re avoided. As such, business continuity has become a multi-layer discipline – and cyber resilience is the newest addition.
Cyber resilience vs disaster recovery
Although related, cyber resilience and disaster recovery (DR) are separate and distinct. Cyber resilience is primarily concerned with helping companies if cybersecurity elements fail. This also includes factors which impact their ability to work effectively to protect data, such as human error or natural disasters.
Data Recovery (DR) is the technology and processes used to restore systems and data in the event of a cyber-attack or local disaster. With cyber-attacks getting smarter; the potential of their impact can now be wide ranging and potentially ruinous, even with traditional backup and DR solutions in place.
Backup and DR solutions aren’t designed to minimise production exposures and avoid the resulting negative business impacts; they are simply focused on recovering data as quickly as possible.
However, this doesn’t mean cyber resilience should replace disaster recovery. Instead, it is built around the principle of an operational air gap between your production environment and a replica in a data vault. Unlike the backups used in disaster recovery, this air-gapped vault is inaccessible and off-line. This isolated approach places it beyond the reach of cybercriminals breaking into the corporate network.
It’s worth noting that DR operations have no independent processing capability; vast volumes of information are pushed from applications or infrastructure and written to backup. Whilst these backups may be physically removed from the on-premises data centre, they can be internet-connected to enable transfer. The DR portal is almost constantly open, placing backed up data at risk from hackers or corruption by ransomware.
Cyber resilience (and cyber recovery) uses smart analysis to identify and “claim” key data automatically. This business-critical data is collected and replicated to the off-line silos, placing it out of reach of criminals. The silo is only open for the split second it takes to capture identified data, dramatically narrowing the window of opportunity for hackers to break in.
Why does cyber resilience matter?
A Government report in 2020 showed that almost 46% of businesses had been the victims of cyber-attacks or security breaches. Between January and April of the same year, Interpol found that 907,000 spam messages, 737 incidents related to malware and 48,000 malicious URLs were received by companies. All of these threats specifically used the pandemic as a tool to try and gain access to data and infrastructure.
This increased threat comes at a time when all companies are holding more valuable, and often more sensitive, data than ever before. Businesses of all sizes are now potential victims. Indeed, a Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) report showed that small firms in the UK suffer close to 10,000 cyber-attacks a day.This increased threat comes at a time when all companies are holding more valuable, and often more sensitive, data than ever before. Businesses of all sizes are now potential victims. Click To Tweet
The COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of remote working has emphasised the importance of resilience, allowing businesses to continue operating through uncertain and ever-changing times. However, more than simply business continuity, resilience should also address data protection.
By using cyber resilience tools alongside existing DR solutions, your company builds more resilience into your operations. Cyber resilience doesn’t just help to keep the cybercriminal out; in the worst-case scenario, it keeps your most business-critical data safe. Even after a successful attack, cyber resilience ensures operations can continue unhindered, mitigating damage to infrastructure, reputation, and finances.
Want to learn more? Take a look at our dedicated cyber resilience and recovery page for more information and solutions to help your business.