Michael J. Stolarczyk
VP, Sales and Business Development, Cloud Services
The never-ending onslaught of data is driving an increasing adoption of public cloud solutions. But simply having access to hyper-scale storage and compute capacity doesn’t drive enterprise resilience. While public cloud resources can be a cost-effective piece in your overall resilience plan, they must be integrated with all the resources that comprise your complete business availability strategy. It’s not simply about storing data – it’s how well you’re set up to fully achieve business continuity should access to your data go down, wherever it resides.
To that end, it’s our belief that there are three keys to achieve enterprise resilience – especially with the increased distribution of workloads to the public cloud. And in an era where cyberattacks are hitting at an increasing rate and downtime costs are skyrocketing, enterprise resilience is more valuable than ever.To be sure that your enterprise is not only agile and efficient, but resilient as well, consider these three best practices:
To be sure that your enterprise is not only agile and efficient, but resilient as well, consider these three best practices:
- Get Proactive in Your Assessment – It’s difficult to understand what your risk truly is unless you do your homework to evaluate just what components of your environment are most at risk, and how much that risk might cost the business. Don’t wait until you’re hit with a ransomware attack or experience a downtime event due to a power outage to assess your risk and its impact to the business. Look proactively, and comprehensively, at your environment to see where your weak links might be, and the resulting cost should they break. Then do the math. This will tell you exactly where you should spend on risk mitigation and how much that project is worth to the business. For example, if you know that one downtime event for 100 employees can cost your business $1,500 per employee (in terms of lost productivity, work to recover, and data loss) and you anticipate one downtime event every year, you know that the cost of that risk is $150,000. So, your budget for risk prevention needs to stay in line with the potential risk exposure.
- Mitigate the Risk – Once you know your exposure to risk and the cost of that risk to the business, work hard to build protective layers around those exposure points to avoid a costly event. Here, strategy is more important than the number of layers, or tools, you use. For example, if your risk weak point is your endpoint computers and their exposure to ransomware threats, don’t simply add a dozen of the latest antivirus and whitelisting tools and think you’re safe. In fact, research has shown that using too many tools can increase your risk exposure because they add complexity that can be difficult to manage. Instead, consider a holistic risk management strategy that includes selected tools, increased policy controls, end user training, security auditing and visibility solutions. This more comprehensive approach will ensure a better, and safer, result, without adding the additional complexity that might increase risk.
- Ensure Continuity – Finally, once you’ve assessed your risk and built a strategic mitigation strategy look next at your backup and disaster recovery processes to ensure true business continuity. It’s important to note that public cloud services should only be one component of your continuity strategy. Public clouds can be a very cost effective component of your enterprise architecture, but don’t rely solely on them for business continuity. It’s our recommendation that you invest in two forms of backup and DR, including BaaS (backup-as-a-service) and DRaaS (DR-as-a-service) solutions as part of the mix, so that your critical data can be easily recovered, regardless of the system/s that may go down. Having a digital twin of your valuable data, that can be easily failed over to, can mean the difference between enterprise resilience or irrecoverable downtime.
Finally, remember that enterprise resilience is not a linear project. Assess, mitigate and protect is a continuous cycle where you must measure your success or failure and repeat the process. This is especially true as today’s enterprises change and evolve with business demands and new technologies, including the public cloud.
Interested in learning more about how to integrate public and hyrid cloud platforms into your enterprise architecture for greater efficiency, agility and resilience? Learn here how VeriStor can help.