With mounting attacks on the rise, it can be easy to feel like your team is in no man’s land, vulnerable at every turn. You already know that disaster recovery planning should be a top priority for your business, but sometimes it can feel like you’re trying to build a fortress from scratch to protect your data. Your team should be planning for everything, including the unthinkable, and that can easily overwhelm an already overextended IT team.
Luckily a colocation facility will have plenty of safeguards in place that are simply not possible in an on-premises IT room. If you’re storing your data in a properly vetted colocation facility, you significantly raise your odds of being able to continue with business as usual, no matter what kind of disaster strikes.
The right colocation facility can work with you to act as your fortress and help you develop a disaster recovery plan that reduces operational costs of getting up and running again while preventing substantial losses of data or capital. Take a look below for some critical ways colocation facilities bolster your ability to recover and move forward from a disaster.
Better than a Moat
It may not be a crocodile-filled moat, but most data center facilities have some pretty impressive physical security features. If you’re on a data center tour and your sales representative isn’t showing off the physical security, run the other way. That’s not where you want to be storing your data. On top of the given fire and flood safety and climate control, Mother Nature isn’t the only intruder you need to be aware of.
Your data’s physical security should be top priority for any data center provider you choose, because one of the leading causes of a data breach is human error, and this can be both accidental and deliberate action taken by either a data center employee or a third-party actor.
A colocation facility’s ability to keep your IT physically secure through man traps, ID scanners, and flashy CIA-esque technology doesn’t just look impressive, it drastically reduces the likelihood of a physical breach. Depending on your organization or industry’s requirements for physical security, you may already be required to have these safeguards in place. For organizations who haven’t intentionally thought about physical security, this may be a key differentiator that helps you stand apart from your own competition.
Compliance Certifications or Coats of Arms?
Compliance controls often act like a coat of arms—it’s an identifier you can use to spot providers who will work with you, not against your industry’s requirements. Effective disaster recovery planning starts with prevention and adhering to compliance regulations can help. When you store your data with a provider with audited, proven compliance, either for your industry’s compliance standards or with more general (but still impressive) certifications like ISO 20000-1, you are identifying and protecting common vulnerabilities through a variety of compliance controls.
For example, if you’re a healthcare facility and you’re hosting your data with a HITRUST-compliant facility, everything you store in that data center will be compliant with HITRUST’s standards. Keep in mind that this only extends as far as the services an individual data center offers, and also does not extend to the data housed outside the facility. The customer is also responsible for covering additional compliance controls.
That being said, many leadership team members find that even inheriting a percentage of necessary compliance controls gives them days, if not weeks, back in their busy schedules while also reducing risk. Covering high-risk processes like data retention and change management, a compliant colocation facility can give you the power of prevention when working against exploitable vulnerabilities.
Always Up, Always On
When putting on your armor for the fight against impending disasters, it’s important to remember that your network itself can be a key target for malicious actors. DDoS attacks and other types of cyberattacks can quickly take down your network, rendering your beautiful IT infrastructure or customer application unusable because there’s no network to safely connect to.
Downtime is a customer experience killer. That’s why companies looking for a stronger disaster helps to ensure your applications are always up and always on, giving you a leg up against the competition who still host their IT on-premises.
There are a few things you should look for when you are searching for a facility that will make a huge difference in your uptime and ability to recover in the rare event of an outage:
- Bundled, redundant networks with a seamless failover rate.
- Pathways built around carrier hotels
- Geographically dispersed, interconnected facilities
These three items can vastly improve your chances to maintain strong connectivity and uptime, even in the event of a malicious attack. For example, if one ISP is attacked, your provider should automatically connect you to another provider. Or in the event a carrier hotel is impacted by an attack or natural disaster, your provider will be able to seamlessly route traffic around that carrier hotel without any interruption to your service via another location.
Keep the Lights On
Trying to fight cyberattacks in the dark, cold or heat is not an ideal situation and can make matters worse. Additionally, redundancy also extends to the power supply, meaning whatever is going on outside the four walls of the facility will not affect your ability to carry out business as usual. This alone is something you should pay attention to because according to a 2019 IT Outage Impact Study, performance and availability are IT professionals’ top two concerns worldwide. Organizations are still frequently affected by blackouts and brownouts (where infrastructure and software perform at a sub-optimal level).
According to the same study, many organizations experienced up to ten of these events per year. With a redundant colocation provider, those instances of downtime will quickly become a thing of the past, saving you money in lost sales, lost productivity or even damage to equipment that could result from even seconds of downtime.
Easy to Duplicate and Replicate
With the right colocation facility, it will be easy to opt into backup solutions that essentially keep a copy of your data for easy retrieval in the event of a breach or other disaster. Utilizing backup and disaster recovery services is a surefire way to maintain the status quo, even if a natural disaster strikes or you’re under attack.
Kind of like locking the heir to the throne away in a tower, it’s important to keep your backups somewhere safe. The 3-2-1 method is a great rule of thumb when looking at disaster recovery. A solid plan is to have three different backups in two locations with one of those locations being remote. A colocation facility can help you safeguard your data, giving you a remote location so you can access it safely when you need it most.
LightEdge is Ready to Fight Threat Actors with You
No matter what your organization requires, LightEdge is prepared to help you regroup and recover from any disaster. Offering elements of business continuity on top of our secure, redundant facilities, from simple backups to full-scale disaster recovery solutions, our team of experts is here to lend a hand before the going gets rough, so you can continue with business as usual, even when the cybercriminals are at your door.
Are you ready to take the next step in future-proofing your organization? Schedule a few minutes to chat with one of LightEdge’s business continuity experts today to talk about which services are the best fit for your team.