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Disaster Recovery and Cyber Recovery: What's the Difference?

Written on: Jun 23, 2022 12:59:50 PM

Written by: Elizabeth Reed


[COOLSPIRiT, Cyber Security]

"It won't happen to me". These are the words that often come back to haunt us when the very thing we thought impossible - happens. Every 11 seconds, a ransomware attack strikes1 and last year, 401 natural disasters occurred worldwide2

These statistics may be shocking but they raise important questions. If a ransomware attack strikes, how do you plan to recover? Is your recovery plan for a natural disaster the same? While you might protect your data in the way, your recovery efforts may differ between the two.

Both incidents can have devastating effects on your business if recovery efforts aren’t sufficient. It’s estimated that the average cost of downtime costs large enterprises an eye-watering $11,600 per minute3, whilst 40-60% of small businesses simply won’t recover following data loss4. In short - recovery matters. 

What is Disaster Recovery?

Disaster Recovery (DR) refers to the ability to regain access and functionality of critical data systems and IT infrastructure following a catastrophic events, such as equipment failure, power outage, or natural disaster. Data is replicated from the primary location and backed up to a secondary location so that should a natural disaster strike and wipe out the former, data can be restored quickly from the latter. The aim is to ensure business operations remain undisrupted with minimal downtime and zero data loss.

What is Cyber Recovery?

As with DR, Cyber Recovery (CR) aims to re-establish access and functionality of critical data systems and IT infrastructure following a cyber attack. This is achieved through having an air-gapped, immutable and version-locked copy of data to ensure data integrity. Although data protection solutions built on zero trust architecture offer a layered approach to defence across your entire data storage environment, it is still vital that you are frequently conducting application validation of the data using custom scripts in a network-quarantined sandbox environment. This prevents any potential re-infection of your environment so that the extent of the damage caused by malware is contained. 

How do the two differ?

Fundamentally, DR focuses on ensuring the rapid recovery of business operations with minimal downtime and zero data loss. Conversely, CR focuses on the rapid recovery of business and its data, ensuring data integrity. 

Regarding the tools required to carry out each process, DR requires replication tools that aid data replication between locations, alongside orchestration to ensure seamless failover and failback operations. CR involves a host of tools and processes to confirm data integrity to protect applications, SIEM/SOAR ecosystem solutions for forensics and analytics, and network monitoring tools.

As for the frequency of testing recovery runback, while once every 6 months to a year is satisfactory for DR, CR demands testing to be performed as frequently as possible. This is necessary to validate the business readiness of data and ensure all parties involved incident response are well primed to act readily should a cyberattack strike.

What is an Incident Response Plan?

An Incident Response Plan outlines the actions that should be taken, and by whom, in the event of a cyber-attack or natural disaster occurring so that all parties involved in the recovery efforts are able to play their part effectively. This involves ensuring all key stakeholders and teams have been pre-authorised to perform prescribed actions, so your organisation can respond to a cyber-crisis efficiently by eliminating process-induced latency to the recovery efforts. 

At the C-level, it’s vital that all executives:

  • Drive a business impact analysis of the entire estate, taking into account People, Process, and Technology, to estimate the overall impact of downtime following a cyber-crisis
  • Identify what must be included in the incident recovery plan
  • Identify who must be involved in the recovery process
  • Outline clear and defined processes that must be followed
  • Ensure these processes are well-practised to iron out any points of failure and ensure all parties are well primed should disaster strike.

Failing to prepare an Incident Response Plan can have devastating effects on your organisation. In fact, 93% of companies without disaster recovery coverage impacted by a major data disaster collapse within 1 year5.

How can COOLSPIRiT help you to ensure you are recovery ready?

We have carefully selected a suite of cyber security and disaster recovery solutions from the most innovative and disruptive industry leaders to comprehensively wrap around our customer requirements. With over 20 years of experience, you can be assured that your organisation and its most valuable assets are secured from the many threats that arise in today’s modern world.

Contact our expert team today and find out help we can help at 01246 454 222 or hello@coolspirit.co.uk.

1. Safe at Last, 22 Ransomware Statistics to Help Fortify Your Cybersecurity Models: Jan 2022 – 2. Statistica, Madhumitha Jaganmohan, Global Number of Natural Disasters Events 2007-2021, February 2022 3.,4.Branko K: Web tribunal: 15+ scary data loss statistics to Keep in Mind in 2022, March 2022



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