IT Disaster Recovery Implementation: 5 Steps For a Successful DR Plan
Business continuity is one of the most critical components of your company, especially following a disaster that drastically disrupts regular workflow. Many disasters drastically impact your IT services, prohibiting your company from recovering smoothly.
The important question to ask yourself – do you have an IT disaster recovery plan in place?
Because if not, you may be risking company revenue, unplanned staff downtime, unnecessary compliance risk, and other detrimental issues.
What is IT Disaster Recovery?
Natural disasters include what we like to call The Wrath of Mother Nature – hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, even terrorism. These can dramatically damage IT services, such as hardware or software failures and power outages.
So far, all of this probably makes sense. You prepare for natural disasters. You have regularly scheduled company fire drills. You have processes set in place that ensure mission-critical objectives are quickly continued to guard against major revenue losses despite unforeseen catastrophes.
But natural disasters aren’t all you should watch out for. IT disasters can be particularly damaging – often in the form of cyber attacks, malware, spyware, and ransomware.
Of course, we don’t have any control over when or if these disasters will affect us. But we do have control over the precautions we set in place in the event that we are hit.
When one of these unforeseen catastrophes strikes, IT disaster recovery is a process set in place beforehand to save mission-critical data from being destroyed. Disaster recovery usually includes a strategy created to protect business continuity – all the systems and processes that guard your company against lost revenue, extended downtime, and (worst case scenario) complete business failure.
Is IT Disaster Recovery Really Necessary?
Although most savvy business owners know what IT disaster recovery is, not all take this very real threat seriously.
According to the Disaster Recovery Journal, “While nearly 70 percent of C-level executives feel their organization is ‘very prepared’ to recover from a disaster, less than half of IT pros at those same organizations shared this view.”
According to 2017 statistics, ransomware detections increased by 90% within this past year, hardware failures accounted for about 45% of costly downtime, and the worst news – 90% of companies that don’t have a disaster recovery plan fail.
It appears that most businesses that are hit by IT disasters don’t recover.
Who is Affected?
In the past, cybercriminals made an easy target out of small businesses. However, they are now targeting an increasing number of large businesses – such as FedEx and Nissan, for example. No business is exempt.
Are you willing to risk business continuity, revenue, and growth by withholding necessary safety precautions?
Do you have a strategy in place for if/when disaster does strike?
If not, it’s time to take this threat seriously and begin implementing safety precautions that can potentially save you thousands of dollars – and perhaps your entire business as well.
How to Implement IT Disaster Recovery
We’ve compiled 5 simple steps to help you put together a disaster recovery plan. Even if you already have a plan in place, make sure it’s up to date and relevant. Cybercriminals often update their strategy, and so should you.
1.) Identify the Risk
Your first step is determining any vulnerabilities in your IT infrastructure so that you have a real grasp on where the risk lies.
Many business owners assume that an IT disaster recovery plan is simply preparing for the worst-case scenario. Unfortunately, they can sometimes become tunnel-visioned where they prepare for only the worst-case scenario and not necessarily the disaster that actually happens.
It’s wiser to focus the recovery plan on how to manage the aftereffects of the catastrophe, make sure all stakeholders are made aware of the situation, and business continuity is restored as quickly as possible.
2.) Create a Disaster Recovery Team
You will need to appoint a disaster recovery team to be responsible for taking action if a disaster does strike.
This team should be overseen by IT professionals who are knowledgeable about IT infrastructure and mission-critical data and can tell what hardware, software, or systems were affected by the disaster. Include your vendor for software and data backup. They will need a list of software and license keys required for recovery efforts.
Inside the company, you’ll need to include the CEO, department leaders, HR, PR officer, and senior management. Outside the company, you’ll need the contact information of the facility owner, emergency responders, law enforcement, and property manager.
3.) Describe Emergency Response Action Items
Each member on your disaster recovery team will need to know specific action items that they are responsible for. They will also need any and all information that helps them get their job done quickly and efficiently, such as a map of the entire IT network and directions on how to reach the recovery site.
4.) Determine the RPO and RTO
The RPO (Recovery Point Objective) is how often a system backs itself up. When an IT system goes down, the company can restore the data to the most recent backup time.
The RTO (Recovery Time Objective) is how long the system can remain down before recovering the data and resuming normal functions.
5.) Implement Cloud Backup
Cloud backup is usually more affordable than recovery-as-a-service. In addition, it can be tested periodically to ensure it works for your company and it’s easier to put into action.
If you have any questions or are interested in implementing an IT disaster recovery plan, please contact us and we’d be happy to help. During our conversation, we can talk about feasibility, potential business return, and if ComTec Solutions is the right fit for your organization.