Planning Ahead: Essential Disaster Recovery Considerations

It always pays to be prepared. This is especially true for companies that rely on computer systems to conduct business. Whether it’s a natural disaster, human error, equipment failure, or a cyberattack, any unforeseen event that interferes with access to your data, software, network, or connectivity can prove to be catastrophic for small- and medium-sized businesses. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40 to 60 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors following a disaster.

Thankfully, having a disaster recovery strategy in place that backs up your data and IT infrastructure will enable companies to restore business operations and systems following a man-made or natural disaster. Here are some essential considerations for an effective disaster recovery strategy.
Be proactive. Disaster recovery only works if you have a plan in place BEFORE a disruption; don’t wait until it’s too late. If you don’t have a disaster recovery strategy in place already, now is the time to implement one. Don’t put it off.
Perform a risk analysis. While it may be impossible to foresee and plan for every eventuality, it can’t hurt to try. Assess all of the potential events that could impact your business, be it natural, technical, or man-made. This will better prepare you to determine ways to mitigate each risk as well as the resources and measures necessary to resume in the aftermath.
Identify critical functions. A company must know which data, applications, and systems are essential to its operations to prepare for continuity in the aftermath of a disaster. Identify these assets, so you’ll know which functions they rely on, and how to recover/restore them if needed.
Back it up. Determine which assets need to be backed up, how this will be done, by whom, and how frequently. Then, obviously, back these assets up.  Additionally, take care to document your backup and restoration processes to ensure recovery after the fact goes as smoothly as possible.
Test routinely. Having a disaster recovery strategy is not enough. To ensure your strategy is comprehensive and can be pulled off if needed, routine testing and exercises should be conducted to identify potential flaws, address new threats or business needs, and prepare your staff to enact the plan.
Is your business operating without a safety net? You are if you don’t have a thorough disaster recovery plan currently in place. If you’d like help implementing one within your organization to prepare you for a worst-case scenario, contact us today to speak to one of our disaster preparedness specialists.