Backup and Disaster Recovery Needs for Higher EducationDecember 27, 2019
Higher education institutions have complex data storage and retrieval needs that range from admissions, distance learning, operations and research to general operations and human resources. The diversity of data needs ranging from access and retrieval to compliance, uninterrupted operations and security make backup and disaster recovery a priority.
With such a diversity of needs involving data, managing it in ways that that can overcome the strong possibility of human error in storage regardless of the on-site technology has major operational repercussions. Reports show education is now the most targeted industry for ransomware, with many recent attacks on universities and colleges. Human error accounted for 35 percent of data breaches in the education sector last year according to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigation Report.
While higher education institutions have increased software as a service (SaaS) use, many still use on-site software, hardware and storage for:
- Student record maintenance
- Registration and grade reporting
- ERP and CRM systems used for compiling and processing student data.
- HR and payroll
- Financial data
- Proprietary research
- Distance learning needs
This makes backup and disaster recovery more complex. The challenge for these applications and its data stores is the vulnerability to outages and breaches where records could be lost or compromised. This could mean vital activities like grade reporting or course registration processes could be interrupted. This vulnerability to data loss and operational disruptions can manifest through:
- Accidental deletion of files
- Unplanned events
- Ransomware attacks and major disasters.
Educational IT infrastructure therefore needs to support, protect and recover data and applications through scalable and comprehensive backup and disaster recovery. Because these systems use a broad range of hardware and storage solutions, they have created hybrid on-premise and cloud environments.
Data security, access and ease of management are among the top reasons that the higher education sector is moving to the cloud. 60 percent of higher education institutions have integrated cloud computing into their general IT strategies, according to a survey conducted by MeriTalk. That has quickly evolved to utilizing the cloud for business continuity and disaster recovery.
Today, cloud management and disaster recovery can and should intersect completely to help colleges and universities reduce planning and execution complexity. By partnering with disaster recovery service providers that have access to major cloud providers, higher education institutions can develop business continuity and disaster recovery strategies that:
- Protects and store data
- Provide easy access to data
- Adhere to regulatory compliance standards
- Ensure data is constantly monitored and backed up
- Provide a recovery plan that meets specific recovery time and recovery point objectives
Universities and colleges must flawlessly meet the data needs of students, faculty, administration and their research communities. To accomplish this, they need powerful accessible, and cost-effective computing and storage capabilities.
For higher education institutions, nearly every piece of data is critical, and loss of service has major impact on the school’s ability to function. By working with one of the leading disaster recovery service providers, they can develop a unified cloud backup and disaster recovery strategy that eliminates complexity, undue costs and risk.