How Disaster Recovery Can Save Your Business
10/16/14 3:02 PM Jim Walsh
Some people think the chances of their business facing a disaster, whether it be from mother nature, cybercrimes, or electrical outages, are pretty slim. The truth is, the chances of your business actually recuperating from these without a recovery plan are even smaller. The survival rate for companies without a disaster recovery plan is less than 10%. Even if your company is able to survive the disaster, it is estimated that for every minute that your data center is down, it is costing you $5,600. Here is some information on Disaster Recovery, and how it can someday save your business.
What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?
A disaster can strike at any time, and blindside a business. These disasters can come in the form of anything from a tornado, a flood or a hurricane, to cyber thieves trying to breach your data, employ a virus to your network, or crash your servers. The best ways to deter these disasters from occurring is to implement a disaster recovery plan. This plan usually consists of a set of procedures that will recover and protect your businesses IT infrastructure in case of a disaster. As Geoffrey Wold stated it’s “a comprehensive statement of consistent actions to be taken before, during, and after a disaster.”
How to Implement a Plan
A lot of small and midsized businesses don’t believe that they actually have the funds, resources or ability to put together a disaster recovery plan in the first place. Even if you don’t have all the funds and time necessary to implement a full plan here are some of the essential items every SMB should at least have on hand to ensure your business will be able to stay afloat.
Items to consider to include in your plan are.
- Internal Contact information Contracts with your vendors
- An alternate site location
- Data/Storage Backups
When you first start to come up with the plan it’s important to define the key assets, what you are trying to protect and scenarios that you are trying to protect against. You also must determine how long your company can be down without some of these important assets, and how long it is going to take to get them back up and running, this is usually called your “Recovery Window”. Within every plan, roles should be assigned to members of the recovery team. These roles include a communication team who let employees and customers know that their systems are down, a recovery operations team, and a backup team responsible for employing recovery and backup solutions. Next you should decide how and where you can access your backed up data. You may have an offsite location that has working systems, live communication and working hardware. However these sites can be difficult to obtain and an easier solution with not as great of benefits is to have users connect to a VPN from home computers. Finally, probably the most important aspect of your plan is to Test, Test, Test, your recovery plan. You do not want to have a disaster strike, have your disaster plan ready, but be unable to launch it because you might have missed a step, someone is unprepared, or there is confusion about certain roles and communication. There are always going to be questions arising when going through with a disaster recovery plan, but the best way to minimize these questions in to test the plan. This way most of the questions will likely be answered in the trial runs.
For more information on Disaster Recovery, and what you should do when disaster strikes, Download our Whitepaper “5 Steps to Disaster Preparedness. Is Your SMB Ready?”