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10 Reasons why Public Sectors Need to Implement Effective Disaster Recovery

The number and frequency of data breaches experienced by local governments or councils have been steadily increasing. This blog will cover ten reasons why effective Disaster Recovery must be implemented.

Disaster Recovery
data breach
public sector
By Tim Marshall |
June 30, 2023 |
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DBAs working in the public sector handle critical data ranging from citizen records to infrastructure plans. Effective Disaster Recovery (DR) is critical for all market sectors, but whether legislated or implied, the need to maintain public trust raises the stakes for public-sector DBAs 

For public sector organizations, DR presents a unique set of challenges. The most obvious is budgeting and cost control. Many public sector organizations operate under rigorous financial constraints, making it essential to prioritize expenditures and effectively allocate resources.  
Protecting data with a robust DR Plan and specialist software is a critical responsibility for councils and local government agencies. From ensuring business continuity to protecting sensitive data, complying with regulations, and fostering citizen trust, the ten key reasons outlined above highlight the significance of investing in effective DR measures. 

The scale of the challenge

The number and frequency of data breaches experienced by local governments and councils have been steadily increasing. Data outages in council or local government are rarely reported publicly, but focusing on 2020, here are just some examples of the challenges faced.  

  • Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, United Kingdom: In February 2020, the Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council in the UK experienced a data breach that involved the exposure of personal information belonging to individuals who had contacted the council's Adult Social Care department.  

  • Logan City Council, Australia: In May 2020, Logan City Council in Australia experienced a data breach that affected its online library catalogue system. The breach compromised library user login credentials, resulting in significant and irreparable data loss.  

  • Town of Jupiter, Florida, USA: In June 2020, the Town of Jupiter in Florida faced a data breach that led to unauthorized access to the town's computer systems and potentially exposed sensitive information. While specific details and the extent of the breach were not widely disclosed, it served as a reminder of the ongoing challenges faced by local government organizations. 

  • Wellington Regional Council, New Zealand: In August 2020, the Wellington Regional Council in New Zealand reported a data breach resulting from a phishing attack. The incident involved unauthorized access to an employee's email account, potentially exposing the personal information of individuals associated with the council.  

  • Hackney Council, United Kingdom: In October 2020, Hackney Council in London suffered a significant outage that impacted its systems and services. This disrupted various council operations and affected services such as payment processing, online appointment bookings, and housing services.  

While publicly disclosed incidents are just the tip of the iceberg, even the temporary loss of access to data can have significant repercussions for a council or local government bodies.  

10 key reasons why councils need to prioritize data protection with DR software


  1. Ensuring Business Continuity: Councils are responsible for providing essential services to their communities. By implementing effective DR, councils can ensure business continuity even in the face of significant challenges. Swift data recovery and seamless system restoration minimize downtime, allowing councils to meet their RPO/RTO and continue their operations uninterrupted. 
  2. Minimizing Service Disruptions: Service interruptions can have severe consequences for councils and the communities they serve. Efficient DR processes enable quick recovery and minimize service disruptions, enhancing public trust and satisfaction. 
  3. Protecting Sensitive Data: Councils handle a vast amount of sensitive data, such as citizen information and financial records. It is vital to ensure the integrity and availability of this data by implementing strong backup and recovery measures.  
  4. Compliance with Legal and Regulatory Obligations: Councils have legal and regulatory obligations to protect and retain certain types of data. DR software aids councils in meeting these obligations by implementing reliable data protection measures.  
  5. Fostering Citizen Trust: Citizens expect their local government to handle their data securely and responsibly. By prioritizing data protection, councils demonstrate their commitment to maintaining data privacy and security.  
  6. Reducing Financial Losses: Disruptions caused by data loss or system failures can result in substantial financial losses for councils. DR software minimizes these risks by reducing downtime and the associated costs of data recovery. By investing in data protection, councils can avoid expensive recovery efforts and potential legal liabilities, saving resources. 
  7. Swift Recovery and Restoration: DR solutions such as Warm Standbys enable councils to recover data and systems quickly. In the event of a disaster or system failure, councils can rely on comprehensive fast failovers with near-zero data loss to restore critical services promptly. This swift recovery minimizes the impact on citizens and ensures efficient governance and service delivery. 
  8. Proactive Disaster Preparedness: With the increasing frequency and severity of disasters, councils must proactively prepare for potential risks. The ability to gracefully switch over allows you to be proactive, delivering a seamless way to apply server patches or move/migrate databases to servers and other geographies.  
  9. Efficient Resource Utilization: DR software such as Standby MultiPlatform (StandbyMP) optimizes resource utilization, allowing you to create warm standby environments quickly and consistently, and reduces the demands needed for recovery efforts. Automated processes, automated workflows, and consistent, repeatable, and streamlined processes enable councils to allocate their resources effectively and efficiently.  
  10. Guaranteed Database Integrity: This is THE priority of great Disaster Recovery. Remove the risk and ensure your database will successfully failover at any time through continuous verification, integrated DR testing, and a warm (operational) state. 

DR is not new and can often get overlooked for ‘more exciting’ projects, but it’s essential to get it right. DR is a fundamental building block upon which your IT stack is constructed.  
So, if public-sector DR is so critical, why is it sometimes ignored? Well, there can be a myriad of reasons, but most often, it is cost related, both monetarily and in terms of time and resources. Balancing the need for effective DR with limited resources is a significant challenge – this is where the specialist providers come into play. Today there is a whole ecosystem of DR software and solutions that offer a diverse range of products and services.  

The G2 Grid® shows the top DR software products in 2023. G2 scores products and sellers based on reviews gathered from our user community, as well as data aggregated from online sources and social networks. Together, these scores are mapped on our proprietary G2 Grid®, which you can use to compare products, streamline the buying process, and quickly identify the best products and services.  

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The proliferation of solutions creates its own challenge, often making it hard to see the ‘wood for the trees.’ There is no doubt that many of these solutions can reduce the pressure on your team and improve DR outcomes. However, the key to leveraging this ecosystem is to understand your own specific requirements and match them to a solution's strengths. 
As DBAs RPO/RTO are the best benchmark for evaluating needs. This provides an essential framework because, as technical minds, we are often drawn to what's ‘technically best’ rather than what is technically best for a business.  
A simple illustration of this is zero-data-loss. While this may be the technical apex, it comes at a remarkably high increased cost—only you know the exact requirements of your applications and what level of protection they require.  

By effectively matching your needs to one of the many solutions available, you can provide a cost-effective and robust solution. Our belief is that the sweet spot is near-zero data loss achieved through a warm standby environment on a Standard Edition database. Not only does this offer a high RPO/RTO, but it also mitigates the high costs of upgrading to  Enterprise Edition without sacrificing performance. 


While it is vital to pay attention to all threat vectors, market-leading software such as StandbyMP has been developed specifically to help local governments and councils to protect their critical data on both Oracle SE, SQL Server, and PostgreSQL databases. 

Using a warm standby solution like StandbyMP provides several benefits for protecting data. It offers near-instantaneous failover in the event of a primary system failure, minimizing downtime and ensuring business continuity. It provides database-aware real-time replication and synchronization of data, ensuring data consistency and reducing the risk of data loss. And most importantly, StandbyMP enables rapid recovery by maintaining a fully operational secondary system ready to take over seamlessly and at a moment's notice.  

StandbyMP is fast to implement and extremely cost-effective. If you have any questions or would like to discuss how Dbvisit StandbyMP could fit within your organizational needs, contact us, and one of our technical specialists will reach out to you. 

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Tim Marshall
Tim Marshall

Email Tim Marshall

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