Disaster Recovery Plan: Its Importance And How to Get It Right

Disaster Recovery Plan: Its Importance And How to Get It Right

Disasters are unpredictable and can happen in any form, whether it be from natural and man-made causes. Man-made calamities include tornados, wildfire and earthquakes while man-made disasters include power outages, chemical leaks, cybersecurity breaches, burst water pipes, etc…

For these reasons, any organization needs to have a disaster recovery plan (DRP) that will enable them to respond to a crisis quickly and effectively ensure that operations stay up and running through the crisis. A DRP protects a company and its employees by mitigating the risks and damages brought about by disasters.

Why Have a Disaster Recovery Plan?

A disaster recovery plan encompasses the development of measures before, after, and during a disaster.

However, about 68% of small businesses in the US alone don’t have a written disaster recovery plan, according to ­­­a study by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company . The occurrence of a big disaster could halt business operations and may force a business to close for good.

The ability to recover from a disaster then underscores the importance of a DRP as it minimizes work stoppages and hastens recovery time. A DRP also reduces the risk of legal liabilities as a result of being unable to deliver services and products to customers. As well, a DRP reinforces an organization’s security and guides sound decision-making in periods of adversity.

All these advantages point to the importance of having a complete and detailed disaster recovery plan no matter the size and niche of the business.

Types of Plans

DRPs aim to be preventative, corrective and detective. These three types of DRPs address the different parts of a DRP:

Fire-suppressing and Climate-controlling Storage

This part of the DRP is applied to prevent damages from natural disasters like typhoons, tornados and incidents involving fire.

Backup Data and Offsite Storage

Data is part of a company’s identity and should therefore be protected at all costs. Some options to this are to use backup tapes or to store sensitive and important data in an off-site storage such as in a physical vault.

Data and Digital Documents Management

An IT professional can create a software-based document management system (DMS) to protect and control important documents. The recovery plan allows for controlled protection by firewall systems, data encryption, selective user access control and backup servers that don’t need the internet to recover data.

Backup vs Disaster Recovery

Backing up data refers to the process of saving data securely, typically offsite, to allow a business to continue operations. This process entails a variety of actions as stated in the disaster recovery plan.

Disaster recovery, on the other hand, is an all-encompassing process that duplicates the entirety of the computing environment, which includes systems, data, applications and networks to restore business after the crisis is resolved.

How to Get It Right

Disaster recovery strategies and plans need to be specific to fit the needs of the business. It should also cover the gamut from physical assets to intangible data. Here are some guidelines on how to set up a DRP.

Specify and Assign Roles

It’s a must to clearly define key roles among employees. The first role to be assigned should be the person responsible for declaring a disaster. Other key roles should be identified and indicated on a list to avoid confusion regarding who does what. Every party should be aware of and knowledgeable about their responsibilities so they can respond promptly and efficiently.

Remember to secure the person’s pertinent personal information such as phone numbers and email address so they can be contacted at a moment’s notice. One key component to this aspect is a succession list in case the people assigned are inaccessible.

Set Communication Lines

Have a clear understanding of how communication shall proceed, whether before or the actual time a disaster strikes. Different scenarios must be considered, such as broken phone lines or compromised email correspondence. Have alternative methods for communication planned so that employees, customers and other third-party contacts can be reached when the usual lines of communication are out.

Ready the Resources

Not only is a disaster recovery plan a thing written on a piece of paper. It is a mix of time and monetary investments, plus direct alliances with an expert to ensure that all aspects of the plan are properly employed when the need arises.

Seriously considering a professional company to handle your business’s disaster recovery strategies and plans is a worthy investment because it ensures your recovery at the soonest time possible.

Review and Update Your DRP Regularly

To ensure that your DRP stays relevant, the DRP must undergo testing at regular intervals to make sure that there are no loopholes or faults in its integrity. Having consistent review and testing can determine which parts of the plan should be updated and optimized and reduces fewer damages to the company.

We can help you set up your disaster recover plan. Contact us today!

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