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Your firm has valuable client data, communication, and most important your firm’s reputation you are trying to protect at all times.  You may have heard from other people talking about the topic of business continuity and disaster recovery planning. You also heard that the Law Society of BC asks firms to get ready before and after a disaster strikes. This article aims to provide you with an introduction to what a backup and disaster recovery system are and provide a game plan to deal with disasters.

What is a backup and disaster recovery system (BDR)?

Imagine you are a law firm that can’t talk on the phone with your clients or email them because your server or phone system is down. How long could this business be down before it starts to “hurt” your clients? Imagine you need specific case files, but whose files were recently “locked up” by Ransomware. How will you stay in business? What will you do?

Now imagine getting it all back in a matter of minutes.

No matter how complex your IT environment may be, business continuity should be simple, fast, and reliable. It should work when you need it to, at an instant’s notice, locally in your office and/or from an offsite location. It should prove itself day in and day out on your schedule. A backup and Disaster Recovery system should be a robust, all-in-one business solution that brings together excellent server hardware onsite with a secured cloud storage option in case of a disaster. It is often an upgrade from your current business continuity system or backup system.

A few considerations here when choosing the right Backup and Disaster Recovery System (BDR) to best protect your firm:

Secure Management: Data in transit from local backup servers to the cloud location should utilize adequate encryption. All of your server backups should be encrypted by default, both in transit and at rest. Another aspect is physical access. It should be stored in a safe location when it is located at your office for the local backup, but also have a 24/7 guarded data center. Data residency is important for most law firms, so the cloud location of your backups should only be stored in Canada.

Redundant Data Centers: In most cases, a full BDR Solution will have a reliable local backup, but also redundant cloud data centers that are storing your encrypted backups in more than one Canadian location. After all, the BDR solution should have a DR of its own.

Reliable Infrastructure: Having adequate local server infrastructure to run your backup system is critical to the success of your firm’s disaster recovery system. In addition, the colocation that stores your cloud data should have adequate redundancy in power, networking, cooling, and also certifications to prove that the vendor is safeguarding your important backup data.

The BMC Approach

Despite the complexity of a disaster recovery system, BMC recommends the following:

  1. Evaluate your firm’s approach to safeguard your client’s data, and evaluate whether it is necessary to have a BDR solution over just a traditional backup system
  2. Evaluate the alternatives and options that provide the maximum amount of benefit, over the one-time cost of implementation
  3. Align the business goals with the preparation of a Disaster Recovery Plan (BCDR), and also review the recovery point objective (RPO) and the recovery time objective (RTO)

There are many different products in the marketplace, our vCIOs are designed to specifically assist you to craft a roadmap for these upcoming changes.