Disaster recovery mistakes you must avoid

Disaster recovery mistakes you must avoid

According to the Federation of Small Businesses, 90% of small businesses that lose data close within two years after a natural or man-made disaster. That’s why a majority of UK businesses place a high importance on disaster recovery (DR) plans.

DR plans help businesses mitigate the impact of any kind of disaster, whether it be a flood, hardware failure, break in, or cyberattack. But a lot can go wrong in the planning and preparation process, so to ensure your business's survival you need to avoid these mistakes.

Not involving the right people during your planning stage

Developing a successful DR plan not only requires an expert’s insight, but also your employees’ input. For example, managers will need to be involved because they know which elements of your IT are crucial to their teams’ productivity. Bringing in the right people to be a part of your DR plan ensures things are prioritised correctly.

Not conducting business impact analyses or risk assessments

You can understand your IT infrastructure by conducting a business impact analysis (BIA) and risk assessment (RA). BIA identifies your critical resources and helps you calculate the amount of downtime you can afford before you business goes under, and the amount of resources you can afford to lose. Additionally, RA details all the threats and vulnerabilities that can disrupt your business processes so you can look out for them.

Conducting a BIA and RA lets you understand which assets should be recovered first if a natural or man-made disaster occurs. You’ll then be able to form strategies that allow you to recover quickly. And one of the best ways to ensure quick recoveries is to implement cloud-based backups which automatically save your latest files in the cloud and restore them to your devices when your local servers fail.

Failing to define procedures

It’s important to clearly define the steps in your plan. This includes putting trusted personnel in charge and providing them with the contact information of your internal technicians or service provider and step-by-step procedures to follow during a disaster.

Not maintaining your plans

When’s the last time you updated your DR plan? If you’ve forgotten when, then your plan may be outdated and no longer effective. You should keep them up to date and available for use at all times by regularly reviewing their content and testing them using tabletop exercises, structured walkthroughs, and disaster simulations.

  • Tabletop exercises involve key members going through your plan and reviewing their responsibilities during an emergency situation.
  • Structured walkthroughs are when team members analyse the effectiveness of each step of the plan against a specific situation.
  • Disaster simulations are full-scale tests of a disaster. This involves the participation of your employees, business partners, and IT vendor in testing out your plans and uncovering every problem that can appear during the real situation.

You should also ensure that your plans comply with the newest local and federal regulations. For example, any UK businesses that have dealings with EU businesses should make sure their data backups and recovery procedures comply with the latest GDPR regulations. Failing to do so puts you at risk of lawsuits and hefty fines.

OfficeTek gives businesses access to a team of DR experts that regularly backs up your critical files and apps and maintain your recovery system for 24/7 data accessibility. If you want a foolproof DR plan, contact us at 0121 525 0016 or send us a message. But if you’re not ready to rely on an MSP to handle your disaster recovery plans just yet, read our FREE eBook: “20 Signs That Your Business is Ready for Managed Services” today.

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