Running a business is hard enough when everything is running perfectly. So what happens when disaster strikes? A disaster can come in the form of a major storm, electrical fire, power outage or even a cyber attack. Businesses in every region of the country are vulnerable to threats like these, which can cause you to lose important data or days’ worth of business. It is critical that your business has a disaster recovery plan to get all operations back up and running as quickly as possible.
Here are 5 critical rules for an effective disaster recovery plan:
1. Keep backups of all your data.
To ensure you don’t lose any data, keep current digital replicas, recovery hardware and backup documentation. Your digital replicas should include your operating system, critical applications and company data. Try to keep as much distance as possible between your office and the location of these backups. Same-city backup locations may no longer be sufficient. You want to make sure your backup servers and data will not be affected by the same potential disasters, or else they will be of little use to you in a real emergency.
2. Determine your most critical business processes & applications.
Your most important processes should be prioritized first when restoring operations. Your recovery time will be based on the nature of your business, as some can be more tolerant of disruptions to technology than others. Of course, it would be ideal if every application for every business had a recovery time within a second, but that’s not always feasible for every budget or technical system. Your plan should prioritize and create an action item for each element of your business.
3. Communicate with employees.
Clearly define everyone’s responsibilities in the event of an emergency. Each member of your team should have a plan and a full understanding of their role in the disaster recovery process. Decide who needs to be notified of the situation first and how you will reach them. In a high-risk situation, all employees should be aware of where they should go and what comes next for them.
4. Be indomitable.
If your digital assets are highly valued and essential to your business, consider employing additional security at your backup site. Guards, security perimeters, lock-down procedures or fire- or earthquake-proof structures can ensure the safety of your digital replicas and documentation.
5. Test your recovery plan often.
Perhaps the most important part of your disaster recovery plan is testing it regularly. The odds of the replicas, hardware and documentation failing in some way increase each week after your last complete test. You need to know if your backup generator has failed or if there’s employee confusion while you have time to correct those problems, not when you’re already in the middle of a disaster. Continue to update backups and re-evaluate priorities as needed.
If you understand the importance of your disaster recovery plan, but don’t feel ready to build the plan for your organization – we can help. Contact OnApps today and our team of experts can help you remained prepared in the face of disaster.