How to build more resilient IT infrastructure & guarantee business continuity

As the business environment becomes faster-paced, more complex and more digital, resilient IT infrastructure has never been more important to maintain business continuity. When disasters happen, the costs can be enormous; Gartner estimates the cost of IT downtime to be roughly $5,600 per minute - a staggering $300,000 per hour. For large enterprises or highly regulated businesses, costs can spiral even higher.

Resilience means the ability of a system to withstand and quickly recover from disruptions, whether caused by natural disasters, cyber attacks, or human error. To build higher resilience, businesses need to incorporate three things: reliability, redundancy and security.

 

Redundancy and Backup Systems

Redundancy refers to having backup systems, equipment, or processes in place to ensure continuity in the event of a failure or disruption. This means having duplicate hardware, such as servers or network devices, that can automatically take over if the primary components fail. Redundant power supplies, internet connections, and cooling systems also contribute to the overall resilience of the infrastructure.

Furthermore, regular backups of critical data and systems are crucial in quickly restoring operations and minimizing data loss. Businesses should implement robust backup strategies that include both onsite and offsite backups. This ensures that even in the worst-case scenario, where the entire primary infrastructure is compromised, data can be recovered and business operations can resume with minimal downtime.

Robust Network Security Measures

To enhance network security, businesses should implement a multi-layered approach that includes firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, data encryption, strong authentication mechanisms, and regular security assessments and updates. This ensures that the infrastructure is well-protected against various types of threats, including malware, ransomware, phishing attacks, and unauthorized access attempts.

Additionally, businesses should invest in employee training and awareness programs to educate their staff about best practices for cybersecurity. This helps create a security-conscious culture within the organization and reduces the risk of human errors that can lead to security breaches.

Regular System Maintenance and Updates

Regular system maintenance and updates are essential to keep the IT infrastructure functioning optimally and reduce the risk of vulnerabilities. Over time, hardware components can degrade, software can become outdated, and new security vulnerabilities can be discovered.

Businesses should also establish a comprehensive maintenance schedule that includes patch management, firmware updates, and hardware inspection. Patch management involves regularly applying software updates and security patches to address any known vulnerabilities. Firmware updates ensure that hardware devices, such as servers and network equipment, are running the latest stable versions of their firmware, which often include bug fixes and performance improvements.

In addition to regular maintenance, conducting regular risk assessments helps identify and mitigate vulnerabilities proactively. By performing vulnerability scans and penetration tests, businesses can identify potential weaknesses in their infrastructure and take appropriate measures to address them before they can be exploited by attackers.

Conducting a Thorough IT Risk Assessment

A thorough IT risk assessment helps identify potential vulnerabilities and threats to the IT infrastructure. This involves evaluating existing systems, processes, and security measures to identify weaknesses and develop risk mitigation strategies. It is crucial to involve stakeholders from various departments and consider both internal and external factors that could impact the IT infrastructure.

During the risk assessment process, businesses should consider factors such as hardware and software vulnerabilities, data security, regulatory compliance, and potential cyber threats. By conducting a comprehensive risk assessment, businesses can gain a holistic view of their IT infrastructure's vulnerabilities and make informed decisions to enhance its resilience.

Implementing a Comprehensive Data Backup Strategy

Implementing a comprehensive data backup strategy is vital to ensure data integrity and availability during a disruption. businesses should determine the frequency and method of backups based on the criticality of the data. Offsite backups, cloud storage, and mirrored systems can provide additional layers of security and redundancy.

Businesses must consider various factors when designing a data backup strategy, such as the volume of data, recovery time objectives (RTOs), recovery point objectives (RPOs), and the cost implications. By implementing a robust data backup strategy, businesses can minimize data loss and ensure quick recovery in the event of a system failure or data breach.

Ensuring Regular System Monitoring and Maintenance

Regular monitoring and maintenance are essential to identify and address potential issues before they escalate. Implementing a robust monitoring solution that provides real-time insights into the IT infrastructure's performance helps detect anomalies and take timely action. Additionally, conducting regular audits and assessments ensures that systems are up to date and aligned with industry best practices.

Businesses should establish a proactive approach to system monitoring and maintenance. This includes monitoring network traffic, system logs, and security events to identify any suspicious activities. By implementing regular maintenance routines, businesses can detect and address hardware or software issues, apply necessary patches and updates, and optimize system performance.

Furthermore, businesses should consider implementing automated monitoring tools that can provide real-time alerts and notifications, enabling IT teams to respond promptly to any potential issues. Regular audits and assessments help businesses identify areas for improvement and ensure that the IT infrastructure remains resilient in the face of evolving threats and technologies.

Proactive steps can protect your business from disruption 

The costs of inaction can be substantial. But by ensuring redundancy and backup systems are in place, updates and maintenance are regular and risks are assessed, you can make sure the unthinkable doesn’t happen. SBM can help. Get in touch with us to learn more.