Disaster recovery (DR) involves a series of procedures, policies and tools used to resume normal business operations following a disaster. The continuation of essential IT infrastructure, networks, and systems after a human-induced or natural disaster can help minimize financial losses and intrusive disruptions in the workplace. It is important for businesses in every industry to have a disaster recovery plan in place, especially small- and mid-sized organizations that may have smaller budgets and be unable to recover from catastrophic events.
How Does Disaster Recovery Work?
The primary purpose of disaster recovery is to establish the best practices for preventing or minimizing data loss and other business disruptions that may occur due to an unexpected event. From localized power outages to complete equipment breakdowns, infrastructure failure can cost businesses as much as $100,000 per hour, according to IBM. The disaster recovery planning process consists of planning, strategizing, implementing appropriate technology, and continually testing to maintain a backup and recovery plan that aligns with business objectives.
What Is A Disaster Recovery Plan?
A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a formal document created by a business that provides detailed instructions on how an organization should respond to an unplanned incident, such as a cyber-attack or natural disaster. The goal of a DRP is to streamline the process of resuming normal computing capabilities in as short a timeframe as possible. A DRP should also help minimize the impact of a disaster if one should occur by taking precautionary measures, such as using a cold or hot site to back up data archives.
Elements Of Effective Disaster Recovery Plans
When developing a disaster recovery plan for a business, finding ways to protect data, hardware, and assets is just one component. A disaster recovery plan should also entail the necessary steps that a business must take to get the business back up and running quickly and efficiently without causing major disruptions to customers. Some of the most important elements of effective disaster recovery plans include:
Defining DR Team Roles & Responsibilities
A detailed disaster recovery plan should include the roles and responsibilities of each team member. Each member of the DR team plays a critical role in helping to resume business activities after a disaster, and their responsibilities should be clearly outlined to avoid confusion. Ensure that all documents contain updated employee contact information and that each member of the team understands what their role is and when they should begin their assigned duties.
Implementing Risk Evaluations
Every business faces certain risks, especially when disaster strikes. A disaster recovery plan should list potential hazards that could occur and what measures should be taken to resume business if a particular catastrophe happens. For example, a business may choose to implement a data backup plan if an event occurs that wipes out important business data. It is also important to prioritize risks based on which are likely to impact the business the most.
Identifying Business Critical Assets
Disaster recovery plans should also include a list of the business’s most critical assets. This involves gathering documentation that shows which applications, systems, data, and resources are most essential for business continuity. Like business risks, business assets should be prioritized based on which assets are most important for the resumption of the business process compared to which are less essential for recovery.
Consistent Data Backups
Data backups are essential to every business as they allow businesses to quickly and effectively recover critical information if it is lost, stolen or compromised. A disaster recovery plan should include what needs to be backed up, who should perform data backups, and how often data should be backed up. It should also include a recovery time objective (RTO) which signifies the maximum amount of downtime that a business can realistically handle. There are three main types of data backup strategies that can be used, including full backups, incremental backups, and differential backups.
Performing Testing & Optimization
Businesses grow and change over time and their disaster recovery plan should change too. It is important for organizations to continually test and update their strategies and address any new threats or unique business needs. When technology evolves, it may be necessary to better optimize any data and security protection strategies to ensure that they are capable of keeping the systems safe from intrusions.
Speak To A Professional NYC Managed IT Service Provider
Every business is different, which means no two disaster recovery plans are ever the same. There is no way to prevent every catastrophe from occurring; therefore, it is vital to have a contingency plan in place to protect the business from viruses and other disasters. Having access to a reliable and knowledgeable IT team can help businesses plan for and respond to disasters in a fast and efficient way. Reach out to a managed IT service provider at SeaGlass Technology today to learn more.