When disaster strikes, it often takes everything on its path while leaving nothing but destruction. The same holds for cyberattacks which could place heavy damage on businesses and organizations.
Losing business and individual data translates to business disruptions and income losses. It may also lead to severe repercussions, including losing trust in the brand and a potential lawsuit. Also, it might mean hefty penalty fees for failure to protect customer data.
Costly and lengthy downtimes shouldn’t be an option when natural disasters and massive cyberattacks happen. Thus, making disaster recovery and backup plans crucial for every organization. Here’s how to prepare for potential worst-case scenarios.
Before Creating A Disaster Recovery Plan
Ideally, a disaster recovery plan should form part of your business continuity plan. This plan should detail the steps for the business to recover from untoward incidents. These incidents may include major cyberattacks and large-scale civil disturbances, calamities, and disasters.
Before proceeding, entities must understand the plan should be carefully thought out and customized to your business organization. It also helps to seek the advice of local Information Technology (IT) experts. In addition, you may hire managed IT services in Dallas, TX, and other companies to help you with this challenging undertaking.
Read on to proceed to the main components of a good backup and disaster recovery plan.
- Proper Potential Risks Assessment
Not all risks are the same; therefore, organizations must conduct proper assessments to respond appropriately to each threat. Some pose more significant challenges to your hardware, software, and other business assets than the rest.
Before hiring a consultant, conduct an internal team meeting to initiate the process. First, identify the risks your business might face. Then decide on the probability of each risk and the scope of damage it can trigger on your organization.
- Asset Inventory And Backup Systems
Take note of what you have and prioritize these assets based on importance and required protection levels. Business IT assets include all hardware and software, network tools, all types of data, and cloud services, among others.
Additionally, a reliable backup system is necessary for business continuity following a major disaster. Without efficient data backup recovery measures, you won’t be able to continue working.
Onsite backup comprises internal and external storage devices in the office. In contrast, an offsite backup includes online data repositories such as the cloud and other secure servers located outside of your premises. The latter is highly crucial for possible disasters that may damage your office.
- Properly Defined Objectives and Goals
In general, a plan must set an objective to assess a direction for your actions. There are two types of disaster recovery plans for you to know your period of recovery. Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) is the downtimes or the set period your assets can be acceptably down before the operation is restored. Meanwhile, Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) defines the extent of information your organization can afford to lose following a disaster.
These objectives are both expressed in time. For instance, one hour of RPO means it’s okay not to recover an hour’s worth of lost data. A one-day RTO translates to business restoration a day after the incident.
- A Carefully Chosen Disaster Recovery Setup
Decide how you want to continue your operations after a disaster. Most large corporations operate mobile operation centers following a disaster, but this can be costly for most businesses.
See whether you can operate at home or need to set up a mobile office site. The setup you choose will depend on the nature of your business and your reliance on the salvaged IT assets. You might also need to access applications, the cloud, or onsite tools. For this, it could be best to seek the advice of IT professionals who will help fine-tune your recovery setup based on these essential considerations.
- Active Employee Participation
An effective backup and disaster recovery plan should involve all users. You should set pre-defined rules on staff responsibilities before, during, and after a disaster. Ensure these regulations are known to all the team members and ask for their cooperation. Additionally, make them accountable for any lost data because of failing to follow the rules.
You could also create a disaster response team and assign specific roles to facilitate and kick start the recovery stage. This team must know what to do and how to recover in the event of a disaster. For instance, a certain staff may be assigned to contact all IT experts and other agencies to restore connection and power. Another one may be tasked to contact suppliers, valued clients, and staff’s family members. This is to ensure that the personnel is safe, especially following a significant calamity.
The Final Step
A disaster recovery plan must be reviewed and tested before setting everything in place. During the test run, check the weaknesses and avenues for improvement. Then, make the necessary amendments to the plan. Finally, don’t forget to check state regulations to ensure your recovery plan is legally compliant.
Creating and implementing a recovery plan takes careful thought and intelligent decisions. However, after reading the components discussed earlier, you’re on the right path in restoring your operations with the most negligible downtime.