What You Need To Know About Disaster Recovery Planning

Magnus Knight

Natural disasters have a way of wreaking havoc on Earth. However, is that the only disaster you need to remain cautious of? We have to deal with man-made disasters more regularly than the natural ones. The best way to damage someone’s business is with a well-planned cyber-attack. We all know that prevention is better than reaction, but sometimes these disasters catch us off-guard and ruin organizations overnight. To avoid feeling helpless after being struck by an unplanned, unfortunate, and devastating occurrence, it is essential to think ahead with Disaster Recovery Planning (DRP).

There should not be any limitation on security and disaster recovery solutions. After all, no one can risk thinking that they are too safe. However, the planning needs to be on a financially realistic level so that it helps keep the business afloat in the case of a disaster. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind to formulate successful disaster recovery solution. Any successful DPR must carry out a thorough Business Impact Analysis (BIA), along with a Risk Analysis (RA). These will help in determining which areas of the business need more protection. Additionally, they will help you establish an estimated Recovery Time Objective (RTO).

What Are the Things you Need to Consider for DRP?  

Recovery plans needs to touch all the bases to ensure you are not leaving any aspect of the business exposed during a tragic event. You need to consider few things while drawing up disaster recovery solutions so that minimum damage is incurred while paving the way for a speedy and easy recovery.

  • You need to segregate your data and prioritize what you cannot afford to lose. This will help you in increasing security of vital resources, devices, and systems. Additionally, efficient recovery plans can be drawn up for critical data that are indispensable to your organization.
  • You must think about an alternate ‘safe house’ or a satellite location to avoid losing any business while repairing the damage. You might think this is a sheer waste of money initially. However, consider the number of days the company will remain inoperative. Following this, decide if this expenditure is worth incurring or not.
  • Most organizations have mobile devices that are usually not linked to the main server. Indeed, these might come handy when struggling through DRP. You need to make alternative backup plans for these mobile devices beforehand so that they do not have to depend on the rest of the DRP.
  • You will not be able to look after every single user affiliated to your business when disasters strike. However, you can make them feel more involved by asking them to run regular backups on their own for extra safety.

The 5 W’s Of Disaster Recovery Planning

For an efficient DRP, you need to address the 5 W’s; Who, What, Where, Why and When. These will help in developing accurate contingency plans to maximize the longevity of your business. Let us take a look at what these imply:

  1. Who? – To ensure a risk-free environment for your business, make sure every single member is made aware of the DRP. This is the only way that your recovery plans will prove successful. This way, if an unfortunate incident happens upon your business, everyone will most likely possess a role of responsibility.
  2. What? – Your organization’s backup plan will need to address exactly what will happen when faced with the unexpected dire situation. Accordingly, this will cover all aspects of risk management. This ranges from severe situations, like a damaging cyber-attack to regular risky situations, like losing staff or vital data.
  3. Where? – The Plan B must subsume everything your organization has to offer. Moreover, disaster recovery solutions need to look beyond the geographical location of your business and secure other aspects too. For example, some aspects include company vehicles, remote workforce, and offices.
  4. Why? – Composing a strategic, risk-free and efficient recovery plan is invaluable to any organization. This is a contingency plan which ensures that your business is not totally crippled in case of an unforeseen disastrous attack. For small businesses, developing disaster recovery solutions is of paramount importance.
  5. When?–Everyone wants their Plan A to work out perfectly and leisurely avoid the urgency of recovery planning. Of course, many people consider this to be pessimistic and frame it as thinking about the worse situations even before they have happened. However the times that we live in now, this is the most realistic solution. Therefore, if you haven’t assembled the DRP yet, prioritize it now.

Most Effective Tips for Disaster Recovery Planning

The importance of having potent and functional disaster recovery solutions cannot be emphasized enough. There is no point in thinking your business is going to be an exception. Undoubtedly, every business needs DRP. The need to use the recovery solutions maybe an exception for each organization, but planning for it is an inevitable necessity. Following are a few tips that will help you structure cost-effective, systematized and efficient recovery plans for your organization.

  • Invest in the best – There is no point in being miserly while purchasing the best technology for your business. All of the backup and recovery plans depend on the actively updated nature of IT. Every aspect of the business needs to be linked to IT so that recovery time is minimized while recovery data is maximized. Chiefly, investing in low-cost IT systems which will yield high performances on a daily basis.
  • Test it before you rest on it –The only way you can be positive about your recovery plans is by testing them first. You need to perform routine tests on the disaster recovery solutions until the very last stage of application. The consequences of not being thorough with testing are that there are high chances of confronting a glitch in the system when you desperately need it to work. The systems used for high-quality software testing need to be adopted because they will positively find bugs in the DRP. This will work only as long as all the bugs are fixed in the trial phase, with precaution to avoid any issues in case of real disasters.
  • Current changes dictate future planning – You need to inculcate it into the work ethics of your organization that with every single change or update in the system, the recovery plans need to be updated too. Why should you hold on to outdated DRP and risk the cyber security of your business? The predominantly dynamic status of IT results in regular updates; this necessitates updates in the backup plans to safeguard against any unforeseen disasters.
  • Consider alternative services for DRP – In certain extreme situations, it might become physically impossible to reach the site to initiate the disaster recovery solutions. Hiring alternative services that will remotely activate the DRP is a plausible option. Not having the backup facility in the same geographical location of the disaster is not only smart, it is most often recommended. Think of the situation in a similar manner as if you were to lock yourself outside of your house. Do you keep the backup key inside the house?

Conclusion

The whole concept of having DRP is to protect everything your business has originally designed and developed. This safeguards everything that makes your business unique and different than others. If the disaster recovery solutions are successful in securing and preserving your business, you will be able to leave a legacy of success in your business. Take time to formulate efficient DRP, allocate a team who know how to initiate the recovery in the event of a disaster, and find ways to keep your business running, even in the case of an emergency.

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