Network recovery is similar in scope to disaster recovery, designed to prepare a company for a natural or man-made disaster that could result in the disruption of network services. It’s a scary thought that 93% of companies who lost data for 10 days filed for bankruptcy within a year of the event.
Network recovery solutions act as a company’s business continuity plan by ensuring that network services are restored following a disruption, minimizing downtime.
Why Do You Need Network Recovery Services?
An organization functions effectively when all its sectors operate optimally. In that sense, a company can come to a halt if it suddenly loses its data. Similarly, the company will also come to a halt when network services are interrupted. Regardless of the industry, a business will not be able to work on its most important tasks in the absence of internet and interconnectivity.
A network is a way to not only connect with each other internally within a company but also interact with the outside world. A network recovery plan is vital to business continuity planning.
What Factors Lead To a Network Failure Besides Disasters?
There is a wide variety of reasons why network recovery services would be necessary, including:
Networking equipment includes but is not limited to routers, switches, hubs, repeaters, access points, bridges, modems, gateways and networking cards. Failure of any of these, be it physical or logical, can immediately affect all the devices connected to them (including endpoint devices).
Complex networks rely on many moving parts working together. If one of these parts, perhaps a crucial node or router become overloaded, they crash. These individual crashes force the network to reroute the data travelling through that node onto a different node, causing that next node to crash from overload, and so on, creating a cascade of node failures.
One way to prevent failure in networks is to have various scenarios modeled via simulation. This type of pre-planning activity can enable you to foresee and prevent potential failures. Mosimtec’s Simulation Consulting can assist in designing as well as executing the simulations on your behalf. They would then be able to provide you data to use in building out your networks, which in turn should lead to minimal failure or overloads.
Internet Connection Failure
Internet connection failure is always a possibility and is also the most common reason for connectivity failure. Although the first instinct is to always verify the working condition of the equipment, an issue from the internet service provider’s end should not be ruled out.
Apart from man-made disasters like targeted attacks and such, human error is also sometimes a factor. This could include mishandling the networking equipment or misconfiguration of networking devices.
This is precisely why all companies restrict access to routers and other networking devices to an extremely small circle who can be explicitly trusted with their knowledge and skills.
A company could find itself a victim of targeted network attack. Unlike other cyber attacks involving the theft of data, the motive behind a network attack is to usually extort money by disrupting its network services and ultimately bringing the company to a standstill.
Some known network attacks are DDoS attacks, “ping of death” and browser-based attacks. There are several different levels and types of DDoS attacks.
How To Recover Network Services
Most well-managed companies have security policies describing the steps to be taken in case a network event occurs. If a company has not liaised with a network recovery vendor, restoring services is still possible but it comes at the expense of significantly higher downtime. Here are some of the ways services can be restored:
Engineers will need to identify and remove malware and viruses from the infected devices. The approach to finding vulnerabilities in networking devices is very different from finding vulnerabilities in a system.
Networking devices are always interconnected and a certain amount of scanning, testing and re-scanning is required to find and remove an infection. The larger the network, the more complicated and time-consuming the process can be.
Not to mention the fact that, after successfully removing an infection, double checking or re-configuration may still be required. Although the issue is resolved eventually, the long downtime may not be something a business can afford.
Deploying new devices
In cases when devices are damaged or for any reason rendered useless, new devices may need to be deployed and installed. However, this should only be done when other options aren’t available.
Installing new devices means configuring them using the same setup and designs as well as rigorously testing to make sure that all network connections are working without any issues. The process will also involve creating permissions and authorizations to secure the network.
This process involves restoring backed up images and data on all the servers, systems and routers. This is a time-consuming process and unless a company uses real-time backup services, it also possibly stands to lose at least small amounts of data from the previous backup.
Re-configuring Network Devices
Reconfiguring all network devices can also help solve the issue if the company is unable to isolate the problematic device. This means an engineer will need to re-configure routers, switches, bridges and any network device in use.
A white paper by cisco said DDoS attacks have increased more than 2.5 times over the last 3 years and will increase 2.6-fold to 17 million by 2020.
Another report by Kaspersky for Q2 2016 states, resources in 70 countries were targeted by DDoS attacks in Q2 2016 and the longest DDoS attack in Q2 2016 lasted for 291 hours (or 12.1 days) longer than the previous one which was 8.2 days.
If you believe you have an effective networking model combined with an expert networking team and if you do not feel the need to have a network recovery solution, perhaps the above mentioned latest statistics may help convince you.