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Understanding the differences between Backup, Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity

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Is your business protected?

The first step to securing adequate business protection is a solid understanding of exactly what is required. The terms Backup, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity are often mistaken for one another.


Not comprehending what they entail means that when disaster does strikes (because it will at some point), it could be devastating to your business. Let’s clear up any confusion to maximize your peace of mind and make sure that your business has adequate defenses in place. 

Foundational Definitions

Data Defined

Data refers to information used, stored, accessed via electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, printers, servers, the cloud and more. Data consists of archival files, settings, programs and their contents, client and employee information, passwords and more. Data is a valuable asset and data redistribution without compensation or data loss is to be actively avoided!

For a concise article detailing what is required for data to be valuable in real-time decision making – simply click here.


Backup Defined

A backup is any duplicate copy of data on either another device or in another location. A backup could be on a physical device as small as a USB, internal or external servers, or on a virtual cloud platform. Backups can be kept on-site or off-site. Backups can be performed multiple times a day such that one never loses a day’s trading.


Disaster Recovery Defined

Disaster Recovery refers to the plan of action / protocols for how to restore a system with it’s most recent uncorrupted data and functionality after an incident. This covers beyond merely replacing lost files. Disaster Recovery can extend to replacing hardware and can include comprehensive duplication that stores software and preferences necessary for work procedures. A situation requiring Disaster Recovery could be precipitated by a natural disaster, the work of malicious cyber criminals in the form of ransomware, equipment failure, or the result of human error i.e. one of your staff.


Business Continuity Defined

Business Continuity describes the ability for a business to fully recover and operate without interruption after a significant disaster. It is a state of preparedness reached through forethought and DR & Backup actions being carried out in a streamline manner. For true Business Continuity, one requires a very recent Backup to be used within a streamline Disaster Recovery protocol.


Putting the Links Together

The terms above describe separate processes but are importantly interconnected.


Not all Backup’s are created equal!

What type of backup are you employing? A complete backup is a critical component of both Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity. Backups should be recent and ought to include software, settings and all data vital to reconstruct systems to where they were pre-disaster. It is vital that backup data be protected from corruption. The correct backup storage option will depend on your business needs.


Enter the Disaster Recovery process.

Simply put Disaster Recovery is what your business does with its backup.

Disaster Recovery describes the protocols for restoring order when the system is disrupted or offline. Using software and scheduled actions; a solid Disaster Recovery Plan is pre-planned, tested & practiced.


Achieving Total Protection

Business Continuity is achieved through a thought-out, well-practiced, thorough, and total Disaster Recovery protocols. It requires uncorrupted, recent and complete backups that are available and ready for immediate implementation. It also requires a practiced set of motions for restoring operations without hassle, panic, or critical loss i.e. a Disaster Recovery Plan.

Attaining true Business Continuity guarantees that the gears don’t stop. No one has to stop working and your business does not lose revenue.


Not sure where to start?

Start here. System 5’s Disaster Recovery Services & Predictable Availability encompass every aspect of a complete protocol to ensure that you accomplish 100% uptime through any upsets. Our helpful and knowledgeable professionals are available to outline options, offer guidance, and tailor make IT solutions that meet your needs and fit your budget.


System 5

• Delivers comprehensive enterprise-level IT Services to Businesses in South Africa.
• Allows for direct communication with your dedicated System 5 professional I.e. no “call-waiting-list”.
• If you decide to change to System 5, we can manage a seamless transition without disruption to your business operations.


Contact System 5 today for #PredictableAvailability. Get Protection you can count on, come what may!

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