Data resilience refers to the ability of any data storage facility and system to bounce back despite service disruptions, such as power outages, data corruption, natural disasters, and equipment failure. It is often part of an organization’s disaster recovery plan.
Data resilience commonly involves storing data in multiple locations so users and applications can still access them even if the primary location gets compromised. Various data resilience strategies, such as backup creation, replication, redundancy, and cloud storage, are available.
Data resiliency is part of the overall business resiliency program, which details everything about its business continuity strategies and can be determined via a business impact analysis.
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Most people have backup plans when organizing events or their lives. We often call these plans A and B. Business organizations reliant on data also have a similar setup for data storage—they always have one or more backups.
In information technology (IT), enterprises that implement this strategy are described as data-resilient. Data resiliency addresses the question: If a data center, server, or network shuts down, will users or applications relying on the data still be able to use services? For example, Facebook shut down one of its data centers in 2014 to test the platform’s resilience.
What Is the Difference between Data Resilience and Data Security?
Data resilience pertains to having the means to continue using critical data despite problems with accessing it. On the other hand, data security involves strategies that help keep these problems at bay.
Both are indispensable to organizations that work with huge volumes of data. They implement data security policies to protect business and client data. They also have data resilience programs to ensure continuous business operations.
Why Is Data Resilience Important?
On the surface, we know that data resilience helps ensure business continuity. But why is it vital? Why is data security not enough? Here are specific reasons.
- Cyber attacks are becoming the norm: Most cybersecurity experts say that cyber attacks are no longer a question of “if” but “when.” To quantify, there were 2,690 ransomware attacks in 2021, indicating an almost 93% increase from 2020. This figure doesn’t include other business continuity threats, such as denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. For this reason, it’s critical for organizations to implement data resiliency strategies on top of data security.
- Data resiliency prevents data loss: Even when one data storage facility gets destroyed, organizations that are data-resilient would still have access to the same data, albeit in a different location. As such, they won’t lose the data despite data storage corruption or ransomware attacks. That way, you can see data resilience and data security overlapping.
- It protects a company’s reputation: When a data center shuts down, users won’t be able to access the services of companies relying on the specific facility. Any downtime could result in customer dissatisfaction, loss of trust, or worse, loss of business. Data resiliency helps prevent these adverse effects by ensuring that most services are still accessible despite disruptions.
How Is Data Resilience Achieved?
There are several ways organizations can attain data resilience. Below are some methods.
- Data center redundancy: Data centers can be designed with two or more of everything. That way, the whole IT system doesn’t shut down when one component fails. The components commonly duplicated in data centers include utility feeds, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) equipment, generators, and air-conditioning systems.
- Server redundancy: Most servers have redundant power supplies and UPS systems to ensure that applications continue working despite power outages. Even when one power supply shuts down, the backup will automatically turn on to keep the server running until the main power source is fixed.
- Off-site data redundancy: Besides implementing server and data center redundancy, critical data preservation can be more efficient when the data is stored in a different location.
- Remote data replication: Data replication is the process of creating a copy of the data or systems in a remote location. It can be synchronous, which means that replication is done in real-time, as data is created or updated. Data replication can also be asynchronous or scheduled at specific periods.
Data resiliency allows organizations to continue operating while or immediately after suffering from calamities, cyber attacks, and other unforeseen events. This ability protects a company’s reputation since it tells people that it is well-prepared. More than that, data resiliency also prevents loss of business and lessens income loss.