Businesses must have a detailed course of action when unexpected events arise. Hurricanes, earthquakes, forest fires, hardware failures, and cyberattacks can occur anytime, and being prepared will mitigate the impact of these crises. This is why it's important to have a disaster recovery (DR) plan.
However, how can you make sure that your scheme is accurate? Just because it worked in previous years doesn't mean that it will still be applicable in the future. According to a study by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40 to 60% of small businesses that do not have a properly implemented and fully updated disaster recovery plan eventually shut down after they've been hit by a calamity.
To make sure this never happens to you, here are some things you need to remember:
#1. Analyse all potential threats
Your plan should cover an entire spectrum of business threats. For example, if there's a new strain of ransomware that completely can lock up all of your network's PCs, how do you recover if it infects your system? Or if there is a storm that renders your servers offline, what can you do to keep your downtime to a minimum?
As much as possible, anticipate what disruptors might be coming in the near future. It's helpful to read up on news and be updated on the things that might affect your enterprise, so that in the future, you will not only be able to react quickly, but also recover promptly.
#2. Create a business impact analysis (BIA)
As soon as you identify all the threats that might put your company at risk, create a business impact analysis (BIA) to have an idea of the potential impact of natural and man-made events on your operations. By doing so, you will be able to identify what areas of your organisation need to be recovered first.
#3. Update contact information regularly
Your recovery efforts can have costly delays if you have outdated contact information. Keep track of the newest contact numbers used by your employees, suppliers, and service providers, as this information may change pretty often. Should you need immediate assistance from those concerned, they can be reached easily.
#4. Maintain a hardware configuration list
When using a third party for an alternate recovery site, the cost of the service is tied to a hardware list that will become available when issues arise. It pays to track your hardware configurations because the provider may provide equipment according to the original list, but these may not be sufficient during a crisis, as they are not yet programmed according to the functions of your organisation.
Keep in mind that modified configurations will also affect recovery procedures. These are usually hardware- or software-dependent, so if changes within your setup were not recorded properly, your recovery might fail.
#5. Make sure your internal systems are updated
DR plans are based on assumptions about the tools available at the time the plans are finalised. However, this can change at any time due to new developments in technology.
A fatal mistake that companies can easily commit is failing to update their plans after internal network changes. Major software updates can cause changes to how the system works, and if the recovery scheme is not modified to reflect the changes, this may cause instability over time.
Lastly, always remember to test your plans at least twice a year to give your employees a good idea of what to do during times of crises. Remember that failing to plan is planning to fail, and keeping your disaster recovery plan updated regularly is essential towards ensuring smooth operations for your business.
Solving inconvenient and stressful technology problems shouldn't take a significant part of your day. Here at Office Tek, we deliver cutting-edge IT support and network management solutions that conveniently take the issues out of your company's infrastructure. Drop us a line today and let's discuss how we can prepare you for any eventualities.
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