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What is Backup and Disaster Recovery and Why Do You Need It?

What is Backup and Disaster Recovery

Backup and disaster recovery (BDR) isn’t the burdensome process it once was and, with ransomware becoming an ever-growing threat, understanding this important concept and how to implement it can be the difference between a minor slowdown and a catastrophic business event. Today, there are many cloud-based backup software solutions available for businesses, and thanks to automation backing up data can be turned into a “set-and-forget” process. Data backups are also an important cybersecurity best practice as they help businesses resist cyberattacks that target business data, like ransomware. 

Backup software has undergone immense changes over the last few years that have brought new levels of ease of use, speed, and security to backups that it is now considered an essential part of a modern IT management strategy. With the barriers to adoption so low, businesses shouldn’t wait to begin implementing the technology.

What is Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR)?

Backup and disaster recovery (BDR) is the process of copying and storing files in a specific location, and then recovering or restoring those files when an emergency occurs, such as data loss or data corruption. Backup and disaster recovery are two separate but connected concepts that organizations should always consider together.

Data backup in more detail

Data backups are essential to IT management and have been used since the dawn of computing. Backing up data is the process of storing a copy of a business’s data either in a cloud or physical environment, such as an external hard drive.

Disaster recovery in more detail

Disaster recovery, or a disaster recovery plan, refers to the policies, procedures, and methods laid out in an organization’s cybersecurity framework for maintaining business continuity in the event of a security incident. Part of a disaster recovery plan may include having redundant servers ready in the event of a data center power outage. While many may lump backup and disaster recovery together, the reality is that simply having backups won’t guarantee business continuity, and a recovery plan without backups is futile.

What is cloud backup and recovery?

Cloud backup and recovery is the process of backing up data and applications from an organization’s endpoints to the cloud, then restoring the files and information if an emergency occurs. Data backups are already an important cybersecurity best practice, and cloud backups provide an additional layer of security since data is off-premise and in the cloud.

For decades, backing up data was an on-premises responsibility as that was the standard model of business operations. With the growth of cloud computing and remote work, on-premises solutions have begun to be replaced by modern cloud backup software alternatives that can protect the devices of employees in the office and at home.

What is a backup and disaster recovery plan?

A backup and disaster recovery plan is a set of policies and software solutions that work together to maintain business continuity in the event of a security incident. These plans typically include guidance on how to properly restore data with the backup software used by the organization. Disaster recovery plans will also outline other immediate actions to take, such as who within the organization to inform first, how to evaluate the scope of potential damage, and at what stage of an incident to inform customers. 

Getting started with a backup and disaster recovery plan can seem like an overwhelming process, but there is a myriad of resources to easily get started. Cybersecurity frameworks like those outlined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provide step-by-step instructions on how to start implementing cybersecurity best practices and developing a disaster recovery plan that meets the business’s needs. 

Backup and disaster recovery statistics

Two common statistics often referred to when discussing data backup and recovery are recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO). These statistics help IT teams and businesses analyze and compare BDR solutions to see which one offers a faster recovery time, which means less downtime and a more complete data restoration. A brief comparison of RTO vs. RPO is below to show the differences between the two.

Recovery Time Objective (RTO)

Recovery time objective (RTO) focuses solely on the speed of recovery, or how quickly a business can recover its data after a catastrophe. Instead of relying on the vague idea of retrieving data as soon as possible to reduce downtime, businesses can implement RTO to quantify the speed of recovery so that they know exactly how long it will take for their data to be returned to them.

Recovery Point Objective (RPO)

Recovery point objective (RPO) focuses on the maximum amount of data that an organization can afford to lose after a catastrophe, and it is measured as a period of time that has passed since the last backup. If a business lost all data except for the last backup, how much essential information would it still have? This is the question that RPO helps organizations quantify and answer.

Why do I need backup and disaster recovery services?

Ransomware is a serious threat that businesses must be on guard for and backup and disaster recovery services are an important part of overcoming an attack. In a recent report from Sophos, 75% of businesses were the victim of a ransomware attack in 2020; of the organizations that recovered their data, twice as many did so through backup software. As cybercriminals change tactics and target data backups as well, disaster recovery plans or services should also include additional redundancies to secure the most critical business data. Data backups shouldn’t be thought of as a silver bullet solution to ransomware, but rather as an important tool that, when implemented correctly, can help businesses recover faster.

Data backups are also a requirement for many US and international data protection laws. For IT professionals working in healthcare environments, HIPAA-compliant backup and disaster recovery solutions and services are required to ensure the security, confidentiality, and availability of medical data. Failure to comply with these laws can result in significant fines.

What should be in a backup and disaster recovery plan?

Backup and disaster recovery plans outline the steps or actions taken in the event of a business event that triggers a slowdown in operations. Cybersecurity frameworks like those provided by NIST and other federal agencies offer good starting points for crafting a plan that fits the business’s needs, but one critical piece of any backup and disaster recovery plan is the backup software.

Backup and data recovery solutions

Today, there are multiple vendors offering fully cloud-based backup software that supports on-premise and remote devices. Some popular options include:

1) Ninja Data Protection

NinjaOne’s own cloud backup software is a file & folder solution that allows technicians to remotely configure and administer backups across Windows, Mac, and Linux devices. Ninja Data Protection is a “set-and-forget” solution that scans endpoints and detects file changes so that only files that have changed are backed up. With just a few clicks, users can set up smart scheduling, built in compression, and block-level backups to protect client data without impacting client networks. All data is encrypted in-motion and at-rest via secure AES 256-bit end-to-end encryption. Ninja’s security practices adhere to and exceed the strictest standards for data protection compliance practices.

2) Veeam Backup

Veeam offers a competitive backup solution that’s made strides thanks to its cloud-based tools and strong support team. Users report that implementation has been fairly easy though large enterprises with complex or aging infrastructure may run into hiccups. 

3) Acronis Cyber Backup

Another strong choice when it comes to cloud backup solutions, Acronis has found success with a relatively easy-to-use and flexible backup solution. Users report a slightly lower quality of customer support than average with some users experiencing long wait times and unanswered questions.


A backup and disaster recovery plan is an important part of the IT management process and, as business-ruining events like ransomware increase in frequency and severity, its implementation has never been more important. New cloud backup software like Ninja Data Protection has made performing data backups easier than ever, and its accessibility means that no business should go without it. 

Ninja Data Protection was natively developed into the core NinjaOne platform, providing a seamless user experience and interconnectivity that allows technicians to be more efficient and intelligent about backing up critical business data. Sign up for a free trial today to start transforming your business with NinjaOne.

Next Steps

Backup is a key aspect of the overall device management and security strategy. Ninja Data Protection provides cloud-first, flexible backup for everything from on-premises servers to remote and hybrid user laptops.

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