It is common knowledge that when disaster occurs – man-made or natural – it can damage or destroy a business, yours included. Earthquake, fire, hurricane, and engineered malicious attacks by hackers are mainly the most common causes of data loss. How prepared is your IT services when disaster strikes? A Disaster Recovery (DR) plan is critical because when disaster happens, no one is exempted, except however, those who come prepared.
Here’s what you need for your DR to keep your data immune and keep these potential harms at bay:
Set a Hardware and Software Inventory.
It is of paramount importance that your disaster recovery plan should include a complete inventory of hardware and software applications in priority order. The most valuable should be the number one in your list. Ensure that every software and hardware has the vendor technical support contact information and contact numbers so you can easily get back up and running quickly when disaster strikes.
Define Your Tolerance for Downtime and Data Loss.
This part here is your Step One in planning. The difference between companies having online presence and those without is that the latter can probably be in business without servers and technology for a while. If you have online presence or a system network, however, you cannot afford to be down for more than seconds. Every second could lose you a number of sales. It is wise to determine what is an acceptable Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) for each set of software applications. Ideally, every application should have an RPO and RTO interval of only a few milliseconds. Truth be told, that’s neither technically nor financially possible. With correct identification of these two metrics businesses, you can determine what is needed to successfully recover from a disaster, achieve a cost-effective level of disaster recovery, at the same time, reduce the potential risks of miscalculating what you can recover during a disaster. The next thing to consider is to define which are most useful to reinforce the percentage of speed and success of your recovery. But, most importantly, having a dry run of the plan and testing it should be done at least twice a year. The tiers might change based on the output, which could reveal unknown gaps to fill before a true disaster happens.
Identify Who Is Accountable and Assign a Backup Personnel.
Every disaster recovery plan should evidently define the key roles, accountabilities, and the parties involved when a DR takes place. One of the most important responsibility is the quick decision-making skill to declare a disaster. Setting up clear tasks for each person involved will aid universal understanding of what things are needed to be aware of them. This could cover cloud-based solutions, outsourcing a Disaster Recovery Service. By establishing everyone’s part, the organization can easily get back on their feet quicker. Protocols should also cover the “who” and “how” to contact the right person in your DR team. It is a must to have a list of the DR personnel with their corresponding details of their tasks and responsibilities. The last but never the least, is to consider having a succession plan ready with trained back-up staff in case a key staff member is not available.
Create a Communication Plan.
The most overlooked or dismissed component of a DR plan is probably the need to have a good communication plan. When disaster strikes, consider how you are going to communicate with your employees. Make sure that they know and can access the systems needed to perform their jobs. More often than not, emails and landlines get affected and you may need alternative means of reaching your staff. An effective communication flow is to establish immediate communications at the onset of catastrophe and keep them informed and updated all throughout the disaster.