Backup and Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery plan a-must-have for any business

If the past few years have taught us anything, it is we need to be prepared for the unexpected. Security Magazine recently reported that seventy-three percent of businesses have reported experiencing a failure or outage at some point. Yet only fifty-four percent of organizations have a Disaster Recovery plan in place.

When the pandemic started, as few as 15 – 20% of companies were prepared for maintaining business continuity. Even a smaller percentage had disaster recovery plans that were meant to last more than a few days or weeks.

The issues typically reported by businesses include network issues, service unavailability, data integrity problems, application performance issues or missing critical workloads. With remote or hybrid work on the rise and the frequency of cybercrimes, a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy is critical. Regular testing is also needed to support increasing workload requirements. This is something that most organizations fail to do on a regular basis.

THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF DISASTER RECOVERY

Ransomware attacks make the news almost everyday impacting all kinds of industries around the world. Spending time and money on a Disaster Recovery Plan is becoming a best practice as executive management realizes that it can result in important savings when a plan is in place and used.

Few organizations can afford any downtime. According to IBM, a data breach can cost companies an average of $4.45 million including the possible loss of customers, lost revenue, and the costs of trying to acquire new business due to reputational damage.

An effective disaster recovery plan can also hold the line on expenses that follow many disasters such as increased insurance costs and legal fees. Companies there were victims of cyberattacks faced higher insurance premiums and difficulty borrowing in financial markets. Credit rating agencies will often downgrade companies that suffered an attack and lenders will charge them higher interest rates.

BUILDING A DISASTER RECOVERY PLAN FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Some Key steps to consider when going through the process of creating a disaster recovery plan include:

Risk Assessment:

  1. Analyze all functional areas of your organization and identify possible consequences if something would go down.
  2. Evaluate your Risks: Set a plan for recovering critical business operations that enable continuity while your IT Team addresses the incident.

Evaluate Your Critical Needs

Determine in each department of your organization what their individual critical needs are and establish priorities for operations and processing.

Set Your Disaster Recovery Plan Objectives

Determine what applications, data, user accesses and equipment are mission-critical operations needed for business continuity. Document the RTO and RPO for each critical asset and document that.

Create A Written Data Document Which Includes:

  1. Lists: Critical contact information lists, master vendor lists, notification checklists, master all lists, etc.
  2. Inventories: Communications equipment, data center computer hardware, forms, insurance policies, office equipment, hardware, and any off-site storage equipment.
  3. Schedules: Defined scheduled for software and data files backup or retention.
  4. Procedures: Clearly state all procedures for system restore and recovery.
  5. Locations: Disclose all temporary disaster recovery locations.
  6. Additional Documentation: Any relevant inventories, materials, and lists.

Test And Revise As Needed

A business or organization needs to regularly test their disaster recovery plan and revise the plan as changes occur. This ensures that the organizations stay adaptable and are prepared. One can identify any areas in the plan that need modification.

In addition, periodic training is needed as new staff is onboarded and to keep procedures fresh in the mind of the responsible party.

Make sure before running any tests that you determine the criteria and procedures for testing your plan. After developing your test, run an initial dry run and correct any issues. Ideally, run your tests outside of normal business hours to avoid disrupting any normal business operations.

HOW PROCERN CAN HELP

At ProCern, we are known for our business continuity and disaster recovery prowess. Our team of resiliency experts will help you develop and execute recovery processes in response to a disaster to protect your IT infrastructure and foster resilience and recovery. Contact us today to set up a discovery call.

Additional Resources

[1] Cost of Date Breach Report 2023 – IBM

[2] “How Data Breaches Affect Stock Market Share Prices,” Comparitech

[3] “Beneath the Surface of a Cyberattack: A Deeper Look at Business Impacts,” Deloitte

[4] “Disaster Recovery as a Service Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2021-2026,” IMarc Group