Businesses worldwide, regardless of their size and scope of operations, are prone to unexpected disasters. Disasters can be a natural calamity, a cyberattack, a network outage, or malfunctioning of systems and processes, amongst others. Such unforeseen eventualities need a proper disaster recovery plan in place. The efficiency of a disaster recovery plan depends on quick incident response, minimal downtime, and faster BAU (Business as Usual) operations.
What’s at stake is sensitive business data, brand reputation, and customer trust, which are vital for any business. As a business owner, can you afford to ignore these aspects? Read ahead to know more.
According to a recent survey by BusinessDIT1, nearly 40% of organizations do not reopen after a disaster strikes, and only 54% of companies have a disaster recovery plan that includes the entire organization. Such statistics show the imperative need to equip your business to effectively prevent, manage and recover from disasters.
Technological advancements have simplified disaster management, with cloud computing essential in securing data and applications. Migrating to the cloud minimizes the dependence on physical infrastructure and protects your business operations from unforeseen calamities. Many cloud service providers provide a host of features, such as our CloudBlu Cloud Services, which includes vulnerability assessments, backup options, and a comprehensive set of disaster recovery services.
Modern technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) enable businesses to enhance their disaster recovery capabilities. Predictive intelligence helps foresee trends and patterns that indicate a potential vulnerability or a system malfunction much before the disaster starts making an impact.
The notion of having an impenetrable fortress is far from reality regarding cyberattacks. As much as security systems get constantly innovated to address identified vulnerabilities, hackers also improvise their malicious methods to exploit loopholes and compromise the system. The best approach will be continually monitoring and being proactive in your security posture to mitigate risks.
Let’s look at six essential pieces of a disaster recovery plan, curated with our vast experience in enabling businesses to have their disaster recovery systems be agile, efficient, and proactive rather than merely reactive.
- Inventory of all Hardware and Software
Your disaster recovery plan should include a complete inventory of all your hardware and software, along with access to easy support systems and contractual information. Ensure that no integral piece is missing, as errors in one area lead to security loopholes and faulty operations. A miss leads to further downtime and can cascade into a system failure. It would be best to address such potential aspects by implementing a cloud-based operational model as a whole or a hybrid system.
- How Long can you Last without your Technology?
Your disaster recovery plan must outline how long your business can last without technology to serve as a baseline for recovery efforts. Figuring out where you are on this spectrum will determine what type of solution you will need to recover from a disaster. Having an easily accessible backup of data and applications will help you recover faster.
Measuring the recovery time for each application, either software or hardware, is essential to prioritize tasks during recovery, starting with the most critical applications and processes to keep your business going.
- Communication is the Key
There must be a pre-determined process within your disaster recovery plan, starting with communication. During a disaster, certain modes of communication, such as phone and email, may not be available during downtime, and you need to utilize other forms of communication. Your plan should outline these forms, and your employees must know about the communication plan during disasters.
You also need to communicate with customers, vendors, suppliers, and other stakeholders that your business involves. An all-inclusive action plan will negate communication barriers, helping you return to normal.
- Who is Responsible for What?
Each disaster recovery plan should have critical roles and responsibilities outlined. To operate as efficiently as possible, all parties involved in your business, inside and out, need to know whom to communicate with during a disaster. It would be best if you delegated the responsibility for issuing the disaster call, handling incoming communication, speaking to the press, and addressing other criticalities.
Ensure that your plan includes contact information for each party, including offsite numbers. A succession plan is also crucial in case any stakeholder is unavailable.
- Create Awareness and Share your Plan with Employees
The critical factor to recovery is your employees’ ability to understand the implications of a disaster and the subsequent steps for remediation, which requires comprehensive communication. Your team of network administrators, data management professionals, and security experts must be acquainted with the latest developments in disaster recovery. Employees willing to attend to delegated responsibilities during a disaster can help offset the load.
- Test your Plan Regularly
There are so many factors that lead to a disaster that do not surface till it strikes. You need to regularly test and optimize your disaster recovery plan and have a proactive approach rather than a reactive process. You need to invest in the right tools and technologies or use the services of a third-party service provider to accentuate your internal capabilities.
Your business depends on a solid recovery plan for any disaster. A resilient security posture, proper testing processes, effective communication, and being aware of modern trends and threats are all critical elements of an efficient disaster recovery plan. Do keep your business ready for such eventualities. If you’d like to learn more about creating and implementing a perfect disaster recovery plan, contact us today, and our team of experts will be glad to help.