Business and IT Disaster Recovery Practices
Your business processes may be streamlined and efficient, but are they resilient? Disasters can pop up when you least expect them, and if your company doesn’t have an adequate IT disaster recovery
plan in place, it can have disastrous results.
For example, how would your employees continue to work if a fire destroyed your office?
If there was a flood at the server farm where your company’s data is stored, how quickly could you get up and running again with new servers? And what would happen if hackers infiltrated your network and stole confidential data?
If you’re reading this right now and shaking your head because you know that such a scenario is too likely to happen soon… then read on!
What is IT Disaster Recovery?
Disaster recovery is the procedures used to get a business back up and running after a major disruption, such as a natural disaster or a cyber attack.
Depending on the company’s size and needs, the disaster recovery process can range from a simple checklist of tasks to formal end-to-end business continuity plans covering operational, technical, financial and legal requirements.
For businesses that rely heavily on computers and IT systems, disaster recovery planning is essential to risk management. Disasters can cause significant losses to companies and individuals, including loss of revenue, disruption of operations and damage to reputation.
Disaster recovery planning is identifying the risks to an organisation’s operations and infrastructure and determining how to minimise those risks through a combination of preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation strategies.
A disaster recovery plan is critical to any company’s overall business continuity plan. It outlines the procedures that will be followed if a disaster or disruption impacts the company’s operations.
Why Is It So Important?
Disaster recovery is not just a matter of being prepared to deal with the unexpected. It is also a matter of being prepared to deal with the expected. An old proverb says, “It’s not the crisis you didn’t expect that kills you—it’s the crisis you expected all along.” It is certainly true that organisations must be prepared to deal with crises that come completely out of the blue. But it is also true that organisations should do everything they can to ensure that the crises they expect—the crises they know are almost certain to occur eventually—never happen.
Creating an Effective Disaster Recovery Plan
Building a disaster recovery plan that is effective as well as comprehensive can be a challenge. Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that a disaster recovery plan consists of little more than having a backup of data stored offsite in a safe place.
While this is certainly important, it is not the only thing companies should keep in mind when developing disaster recovery plans. A good disaster recovery plan should encompass a number of different functional areas, including operational, technical, financial and legal requirements.
Operational requirements include providing employees with the training they need to respond effectively to a disaster and having a crisis communications plan in place. Technical requirements involve selecting the right combination of technology and services to ensure that data is fully backed up and accessible during a disaster. Financial requirements involve putting together an emergency budget to cover the extra costs that will be incurred in the event of a disaster. Finally, legal requirements consist of determining how to deal with regulatory requirements.
Offsite Backups and Data Storage
One of the most important aspects of any effective disaster recovery plan is having offsite backups of data stored in a secure, remote location. This ensures that data is fully protected in the event of a fire, flood or another type of disaster. Having your data backed up offsite also gives you a leg up when it comes to having your data restored quickly after a disaster. When your employees need to jump through hoops to restore data, they are less likely to get things done efficiently and effectively. Having your data backed up offsite means restoring it won’t be time-consuming.
But even when you have your data backed up offsite, you must ensure that it is encrypted. A company with sensitive data that does not keep that data encrypted is taking a huge risk.
Virtualisation and Automation
Your business’s disaster recovery plan must involve more than just having data backed up offsite. As an example, you should take advantage of virtualisation and automation wherever possible. This allows you to more quickly and efficiently recover from a disaster.
For example, when a disaster knocks out your servers, replacing them with virtual machines is much quicker than replacing them with brand-new hardware. Likewise, automating certain tasks—including software updates, asset management and inventory management—is vital to keeping your business up and running efficiently and effectively.
Conclusion – Your Business and IT Disaster Recovery Practices
Throughout this article, we have discussed the importance of IT disaster recovery
, how to create an effective DR plan and how your business can benefit from it. A business that has a solid disaster recovery plan in place is better positioned to weather the storm and quickly bounce back after a disaster. The bottom line is that when a disaster strikes, it’s likely to disrupt your business. An effective plan will allow you to minimise the disruption and get back to business as usual as quickly as possible.