Business leaders need to make sure that they cover the basics when it comes to managing risk in their businesses. You do this with cash, sales and key staff members, so why would you not do it with one of your most critical assets – your computers, networks and IT systems?
But managing risk is hard and uncomfortable. One of the key documents that we recommend to clients is the disaster recovery plan. Let’s take a deeper look into what it is and how it works to protect your business.
What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?
A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a detailed document that outlines the steps you should take to recover from a failure. This could be a fire, a technology failure or a cybercrime that takes your business offline.
This is what is typically included in the structure of a disaster recovery plan:
Goals – This is what the organization aims to achieve in a disaster, including the Recovery Time Object (RTO), the maximum downtime allowed for each critical system and the Recovery Point Object (RPO), the maximum amount of acceptable data loss.
Personnel – This is who is responsible for executing the disaster recovery plan.
IT Inventory – This is a robust list of the hardware and software assets, their criticality and whether they are leased, owned or used as a service.
Backup Procedures – This is how and where (exactly on which devices and in which folders) each data resource is backed up, and how to recover from a backup.
Disaster Recovery Procedures – This is the emergency response to limit damages, last-minute backups, mitigation and eradication (for cybersecurity threats).
Disaster Recovery Sites – A robust disaster recovery plan includes a hot disaster recovery site, which is an alternative data center in a remote location that has all critical systems, with data replicated or frequently backed up to them. Operations can be switched over to the hot site when disaster strikes.
Restoration – This includes the procedures for recovering from complete systems loss to full operations.
This document will help your business to identify, respond to and recover from disaster and will help you ensure that the next hack or disaster will not wipe your company from the face of the earth.
Once you have your DRP written, here are a few tips for your organization’s leadership team on how to update and properly prepare for risk:
- Update and test your plan frequently - IT and technology are always changing. It is critical that your DRP is shifting with it.
- Keep your DRP in a convenient place - Make sure your plan isn’t stored on a network that could be compromised because then that would make it impossible to access if a disaster were to strike.
- Always prepare for a doomsday scenario - Make sure you are always backing up to the cloud, so if your business was to face a disaster you can get back up and running easily.
For more helpful disaster recovery plan resources:
- How Good is Your Disaster Recovery Plan?
- Design a Worthwhile Disaster Recovery Plan with IT Support in Atlanta
If you need help with writing your disaster recovery plan, our team would love to chat! Get in touch with us here.