Building an IT Disaster Recovery Plan
Losing valuable data can be one of the most devastating and time-consuming setbacks for a company. A cyber attack or natural disaster can decimate day-to-day business operations and hinder long-term success if you’re not prepared. It is essential to have a comprehensive IT disaster recovery plan to ensure that your important data is protected.
In addition to data recovery, it is also crucial to be prepared with a complete business continuity plan. According to FEMA, 40% of small businesses are not able to recover after a disaster, and never reopen their doors. For the businesses that do resume operations in the wake of a disaster, an additional 25% end up closing within a year.
A disaster’s effect on a business depends largely on whether or not that business has planned for the worst situation. Whether the threat is due to a power outage, earthquake, hacking attack or human error, the immediate outcome will be chaos. You may not know where your employees are, or be able to communicate directly. If you have a disaster recovery plan (DRP) laid out in advance, your business has a much greater chance of surviving.
What Is an IT Disaster?
An IT disaster refers to any type of unexpected interruption that occurs in your network or essential systems. The disaster may be caused by a cyber threat, tech failure, natural weather event or even human incompetence.
A disaster can result in business slowdowns, lost revenue, higher expenses, and a loss of customer trust. It is important to be prepared for these occurrences so you can minimize the damage to your business.
Attentus offers a variety of IT services for our clients including:
Does My Business Really Need a Disaster Recovery IT Plan?
If you’ve survived this long without an IT disaster plan, you may be wondering if it’s really necessary. When a disaster occurs, however, the cost to your business can be catastrophic.
Gartner calculates the cost of network downtime at over $300,000 per hour for the average business. If a disaster takes down your network, and you haven’t prepared an IT network disaster recovery plan, you could potentially face losing your entire business.
While it is impossible to predict every disaster in advance, there are some disasters that we know for certain are increasing in frequency. What should you prepare for with your IT disaster plan?
The rate of cyber attacks has grown dramatically over the past few years, putting businesses at risk of data loss, corruption and theft. According to Check Point’s mid-year security report, these attacks rose by 93% in 2021. Companies are being targeted and exploited, and many of them do not have adequate protection or are not aware of these risks.
Climate change has triggered a dramatic increase in the amount of weather-related disasters that occur each year. According to the Red Cross, this type of disaster has increased almost 35% since the 1990s. The effects of flooding, violent storms, heat waves, fires and earthquakes are severe and long-lasting. If your business is located in an area that is prone to such natural disasters, you are at a greater risk.
Over the past 20 years, power outages in the US have doubled. These outages often last much longer than in previous decades, leaving businesses unable to operate for days or even weeks at a time. This increase is due to an aging power grid that can’t handle the current demand, as well as severe weather events that damage lines and equipment. Your business may face a blackout or even a planned shut-off as maintenance workers try to deal with such situations.
How Can My Business Prepare for a Disaster?
In order to safeguard your business against potential catastrophe, a complete disaster recovery plan for IT is essential. A trusted IT service provider can help you with this process and ensure that your data is fully protected. Let’s go over what should be included in your IT disaster recovery plan checklist.
Take Stock of Your Assets
What are the most critical assets for your business operations? These assets may include hardware and software, computers, physical facilities, etc. When developing a recovery procedure, you should prepare for the loss of these mission critical assets. How will your business move forward if you lose your building or your servers?
Identify Potential Problems and Assess Previous Solutions
A great way to prepare for future problems is to examine past occurrences. Has your business ever faced a disaster before? If so, how was the recovery process handled? You can learn what type of disasters are most likely to happen in your area and how long the after-effects typically last. You can also identify areas for improvement, based on how your company handled these unexpected incidents.
Involve Your Team
It is essential that you delegate roles and responsibilities for each employee in case of a disaster. Emergency responses are often disorganized and slow, because employees are unaware of their roles. Create a clear set of procedures and ensure that your team is up-to-date on your IT backup and disaster recovery plan.
Create Redundancy Through Data Backup
Having ironclad data backup procedures is one of the most important steps when you create a disaster recovery plan. In the past, it was very difficult for small businesses to gain access to the most effective data backup, since storing your data at an offsite data center can be very expensive.
Using geographically distant data centers is now possible even for small businesses on a tight budget. A managed services provider will store your data offsite, keeping it highly secure and easily accessible when you need it.
Take Advantage of the Cloud
Businesses used to back up their important data on tapes, cartridges and USB drives. These physical items took up a lot of space and were themselves prone to data loss and corruption over time.
Data backup is now primarily cloud-based. Having your data stored in the cloud enables you to access the data from anywhere in the world at any time. The cloud is highly secure and keeps your valuable data safe from cyber threats. The risk of data loss or damage is also greatly reduced when using cloud solutions. The cloud can back up your data automatically, and cloud storage is also highly cost-effective.
Practice and Test Your DR Plan
Before a disaster happens, go through your disaster recovery plan for IT with your team. Practice who will be responsible for which processes. This exercise not only makes your employees more comfortable with their tasks, but it also helps identify potential issues that you may not have considered.
Does Your Business Have a Disaster Recovery Plan?
Attentus specializes in data backup and recovery to ensure continuity of your operations
What is a Business Continuity Plan and Do I Need One?
Disaster recovery prepares you for the immediate aftermath of an unexpected event, but what happens in the following weeks and months? You need to get your business back on track and ensure that service slowdowns are minimized.
A business continuity plan involves outlining key business processes, procedures and instructions that employees will need to follow as your business works to recover. It is essential to resume normal operations as quickly as possible, in order to reduce lost revenue and avoid customer issues. Business continuity addresses the overall processes of the entire company, while DR is focused specifically on the disaster recovery plan for IT infrastructure.
Business continuity and an IT disaster recovery plan should go hand in hand. If your company can effectively handle a disaster and has proper procedures in place for these events, this preparedness will help bolster your business reputation. It can also raise customer confidence and improve market value.
How Do I Get Started With a Disaster Recovery IT Plan?
Our experts at Attentus Tech can help you create a complete disaster recovery plan for IT. We offer highly rated IT managed services with affordable rates for small businesses. One of our trusted team members will go over an IT disaster recovery plan checklist to ensure that your business is fully protected from any unexpected occurrence.
Contact us today to speak with an expert about your customized IT plan and disaster recovery options.