It can be difficult for small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) to predict when they will be hit by disasters like natural calamities, faulty devices, and data breaches that can disrupt their operations. And despite the fact that 40% of small businesses never reopen after a disaster, many still don’t have a proper backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plan.
While some SMBs don’t find having a BDR plan a priority, others may not be able to afford the costs of implementing one. Fortunately, a managed IT services provider (MSP) can help them with this. An MSP is a company that monitors, manages, and maintains businesses’ IT infrastructures to ensure that everything is running optimally. They can also handle operations like IT support, network design and installation, business continuity, cloud computing, and BDR.
In what ways can MSPs help with your BDR strategy? Let’s take a closer look:
1. Data classification and backup
MSPs will organize your data based on four common classifications::
- Public: Data that is freely accessible to the employees
- Internal-only: Data that is strictly accessible to internal employees who are granted access
- Confidential: Data that requires specific authorization and/or clearance before becoming accessible
- Restricted: Data that, if accessed without authorization, could result in legal fines or irreparable damage to the organization
By classifying your data, they are able to identify the files they need to secure the most. Afterwards, they will back up your data into different storage media and ensure its availability and integrity by monitoring it constantly. MSPs also provide proactive backup management wherein they will regularly test backups to make sure they’re viable for recovery in the event of a disaster.
2. BDR plan creation
When developing your disaster recovery plan, MSPs will help you assess the maximum downtime your company can afford so you can determine your recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO).
RPO is the amount of data your business can stand to lose. So if you can only afford to lose two days’ worth of data, your systems have to be up and running within 48 hours of a downtime. Meanwhile, RTO refers to the maximum amount of downtime your organization can handle.
Based on your RTO and RPO thresholds, together with the results of their audit of your IT infrastructure, MSPs will design, develop, and implement a BDR plan for your business. This will make it easy for your business to get back up and running in case disaster strikes.
3. Data security education
Employees tend to be the weakest link when it comes to data security. You can implement security solutions like antivirus software and firewalls to keep cyberattacks at bay, but one employee mistake is all it takes for hackers to gain access to your data. This is why MSPs will also educate you and your entire staff about data security best practices, including:
- Becoming critical of every email or website they open
- Refraining from downloading unsolicited attachments
- Using strong passwords and enabling multifactor authentication
- Refraining from using public Wi-Fi networks
- Staying away from potentially malware-laden websites
Some MSPs may also conduct a cyberattack simulation to test employees’ reaction times and defenses without going through a real disaster. Doing so also helps companies identify strengths and areas for improvement so they can fortify their cyber defenses.
For instance, MSPs can send out a fake phishing email to everyone in the organization and see who falls for the bait. They can then reward those who did well and provide a refresher course for those who failed the exercise.
4. Saving costs
Aside from providing the most reliable BDR process for your organization, MSPs also keep your business’s budget in mind by constantly finding the most cost-effective solutions. For instance, they can make use of the cloud to store your data and applications instead of purchasing multiple servers.
Eliminate the challenges of backup and disaster recovery by partnering with NetQuest. We will handle all of your backup needs and help you recover quickly in case of a disaster. If your business is in Baltimore, Annapolis, or Towson, we can help you. Request for a no-obligation security audit today.