Federal Agencies must safeguard their data and ensure their systems are secure as they depend more and more on cloud services. The first step is realizing that present methods and solutions are not necessarily secure by default and creating best practices to reduce potential future hazards.
While governments are improving enterprise security, they must also concentrate on implementing effective backup & disaster recovery. State and local governments can cut recovery time and costs by transferring disaster recovery to the cloud while assuring mission-critical applications and services are available when constituents need them most.
Several local government websites across the nation were rendered inaccessible last fall when ransomware on a web hosting provider caused the company to shut down its servers. The threat environment has changed as a result of the pandemic. According to recent data from the Center for Digital Government (CDG) and Amazon Web Services, 61% of local governments have observed increased cyber threats since the start of the epidemic (AWS). With cloud-based disaster recovery, state and municipal governments may increase IT resilience while bolstering their security posture to fend off ransomware threats.
What Are Backup and Disaster Recovery?
Between backup and disaster recovery, there are key differences. Making a second or numerous copies of data is a backup. To safeguard data, you back it up. If you experience an unintentional deletion, database corruption, or issue with a software upgrade, you might need to restore backup data. Moreover, the plan and procedures for speedily restoring access to IT resources like apps and data following an outage are referred to as disaster recovery. Maintaining functionality while your primary data center is being repaired may require switching to an excessive set of servers and storage devices.
Some firms confuse backup with disaster recovery. However, keeping copies of your data does not guarantee that you can continue operating your firm, as they may find out after a significant outage. Therefore, it is essential to have a robust and proven disaster recovery plan to ensure business continuity.
Benefits of Moving Backup and Recovery to the Cloud
Having on-demand access to a virtual environment in the cloud replicating their physical environment is one of the biggest advantages agencies receive from switching to the cloud. As a result, agencies will only need to spend money on more servers, storage, or infrastructure. They can eliminate different disaster recovery centers and lessen their physical footprint.
Following are the several benefits of integrating the cloud in a federal agency for backup and disaster recovery:
- COST SAVINGS
Cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions often operate on a pay-as-you-go model, which means that agencies only pay for the resources they use. As a result, implementing these solutions can significantly reduce the upfront costs of purchasing and maintaining on-premises backup and recovery solutions.
- INCREASED SECURITY AND DATA PROTECTION
Cloud providers often have strict security measures to protect data and ensure it is always available. In addition, by storing data in the cloud, agencies can reduce risking data due to physical disasters such as fires or floods.
- IMPROVED ACCESSIBILITY AND FLEXIBILITY
Cloud backup and recovery solutions can be accessed wherever there is an internet connection, making it easy for agencies to access and recover data during a disaster. This flexibility can be beneficial for agencies with multiple locations or remote workers.
Cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions can quickly scale up or down as the needs of the agency change. This allows easy adaptation to change workloads without purchasing additional hardware or software.
- ENHANCED DATA RECOVERY
Cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions often offer faster data recovery times compared to on-premises solutions. This means that agencies can get back to work more quickly in the event of a disaster.
How Does Cloud Disaster Recovery Work?
Cloud disaster recovery (DR) is a process that helps agencies to recover from disasters or disruptions by using cloud computing resources. It involves replicating data and applications to a cloud-based infrastructure and creating a plan to fail over to the cloud in the event of an outage or disaster.
Cloud disaster recovery strategy:
- Data and applications are continuously backed up to the cloud through manual or automated processes. This ensures that the latest versions of these assets are available during a disaster.
- A disaster recovery plan is created and tested to ensure that it will work as intended in the event of an outage. This plan outlines the steps that need to be taken to fail over to the cloud and restore operations.
- During a disaster, the plan is activated, and the organization fails over to the cloud. This involves redirecting traffic and users to the cloud-based infrastructure and restoring data and applications from the backups.
- Once operations are restored in the cloud, the organization can begin recovering and rebuilding its on-premises infrastructure.
Overall, cloud disaster recovery enables organizations to quickly and effectively recover from disasters or disruptions, minimizing downtime and preserving business continuity.
Backup and Disaster Recovery in Federal Agencies: Key Considerations
Here are some key considerations for a successful cloud integration for backup and disaster recovery in federal agencies:
- Choosing the right cloud provider and solution: It’s essential to select a cloud provider with a strong track record of reliability and security and a solution that meets your organization’s specific needs.
- Ensuring data sovereignty and compliance: Federal agencies have strict requirements for data sovereignty and compliance, so it’s crucial to choose a cloud provider to meet these requirements and help your agency achieve compliance.
- Developing a comprehensive disaster recovery plan: A disaster recovery plan should outline the steps that need to be taken to fail over to the cloud and restore operations in the event of an outage or disaster. In addition, it’s crucial to test the plan regularly to ensure it will work as intended.
- Managing risk: It is essential to consider the risks associated with cloud integration, including the risk of data loss, and develop strategies to mitigate them.
- Ensuring seamless integration: Choosing a cloud solution that can easily integrate with your existing IT infrastructure and processes is vital to minimize disruption and ensure a smooth transition.
- Establishing clear communication and collaboration: Effective communication and collaboration are vital to the success of any cloud integration project. Therefore, it is essential to establish clear roles and responsibilities and keep stakeholders informed throughout the process.
Federal agencies know that disasters can happen anytime, possibly affecting important information, data, and even entire data centers. Planning for natural disasters, outages, cybercrime, and other unexpected events that could endanger network accessibility require vigilant IT departments—because of this, having a solid DR plan is essential. The goal of disaster recovery (DR) aims to offer a copy of an organization’s critical data and supporting infrastructure so that the agency can seamlessly carry on with normal business operations.
Agencies need the appropriate IT resources to carry out their tasks, regardless of whether there is a problem with the network, storage, infrastructure, communications, or virtual machine. Cloud computing offers an economical, secure, and user-friendly paradigm for agencies to support disaster recovery fully. In addition, by shifting disaster recovery operations to the cloud, less space and storage infrastructure are needed in data centers, which saves money and increases flexibility for your business.