When disaster hits, are you prepared? Disasters come in many forms. Whether it’s a natural disaster like a hurricane or cybersecurity threats like ransomware attacks, if you don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place, then you are unprepared. Natural and human disasters can cause significant damage to your business and bring it to a halt. If you do not have a disaster and a business continuity plan in place, then now is the time to start developing one. In this article, we will walk you through a holistic approach to creating and implementing your disaster recovery plan.
What type of disasters are there?
Before we jump into developing your plan, let’s review the potential types of threats out there.
Natural disasters are one of the first threats that come to mind. For business owners in the coastal empire, hurricanes and severe thunderstorms top the list, but other threats to consider are fires and flooding. Natural disasters can cause power failures and infrastructural damage which can potentially lead to data loss.
Cyberthreats are the next biggest disasters, and they are increasing consistently. The potential of falling victim to a malware or ransomware attack is much higher than you may perceive. Without a proper backup and recovery plan in place, you could be forced to pay a ransom or simply lose your data completely.
Human error is one of the biggest threats to your business. Common mistakes like accidentally deleting files, forgetting to back up your device, or spilling your coffee on your workstation can lead to substantial data loss.
With so many different types of threats out there, it is important to have a disaster and recovery plan in place and ready to go. We’ve created a quick list to get you started.
First and foremost, you must determine which operations are the most critical to the function of your business. In other words, what functions would cause your business to come to a complete stop if they went down? This will be different depending on the type of business you have but there are a few key components to think about. For example, what type of data do you collect from your clients that would put them at risk if it were lost? Bring together the leaders in your organization and identify what risks would impede your organization most so that you can develop a strategy.
Run through different disaster scenarios with your team. If an epidemic happened, would you be able to easily transition to working remotely? If a hurricane hit and you had to evacuate, would your data be safe? You should develop a plan for each type of scenario so that you are prepared for whatever comes your way.
It is essential that you develop a communication plan. Your leadership team should be assigned specific roles. Who will notify your team? If clients need to be notified, who will do that? In what order should everyone be contacted? What information are you sharing? There are many moving parts, and it is important that each person knows their role so that they can carry out their duties.
Develop a data backup and recovery plan
While most small business owners think they will never fall victim to a disaster, the fact is, that it is unavoidable. It may be something as small as an employee accidentally deleting files or as serious as a cybercriminal taking your data and holding it for ransom. Either way, it is critical that you have a plan in place that you can execute immediately. Your plan should include backing up and storing your data in a safe environment, ensuring you have a remote monitoring tool, documenting a work-from-home plan, making sure your team knows their roles, ensuring you have surge protectors and backup battery systems, having procedures for contacting your IT provider and more.
There is no point in developing your disaster recovery plan if you don’t test it! It’s important to run a drill and test your team. This will help you identify any missing or weak areas that need improvement.
Developing a disaster recovery plan can be a daunting task. Consult your IT Providers to develop a strong plan that will prepare you for any disaster that might come your way.