Disaster Recovery For Dummies
By Data Installations & Supplies ltd
Whether you’re a large or small business, it can be nigh impossible to predict when a disaster may strike. It could be something with a global impact, such as the current Covid-19 pandemic or something personal to your own circumstances, such as a security breach or damage to your premises. While these tragedies may not be possible to predict, you can certainly create a disaster recovery plan in order to ensure business continuity.
What is a disaster recovery plan?
A disaster recovery plan should include a set of policies that can be followed by designated employees to enable the restoration of lost or damaged data, IT infrastructure or technology sytems, and keep your company ticking along. Thorough plans should cover as many eventualities as possible, whether natural or human-created, including things like flooding, security breaches and, as recent circumstances have shown, even a global pandemic. All of these tragedies can be incredibly dangerous to yourself and staff members, as well as having the potential to decimate your business’ prospects if not properly prepared for.
It may seem like panicking and over-thinking the possibility of one of these situations occurring, but a lot of the time, people only contact disaster recovery services after they’ve been struck with tragedy! At this point, it can be a mad dash to try and regain some semblance of order and you’ll likely be kicking yourself for not being more organised. Fortunately for businesses, companies such as ourselves offer disaster recovery services in order to provide you with a streamlined way to help you retrieve lost data and assets.
Keep it unique
Different businesses can have a wide variety of needs and our service reflects this. Any good disaster recovery plan needs to be highly tailored to the company, to ensure these different needs are fully incorporated and accounted for when a disaster recovery effort needs to be undertaken. If key elements are missing from the plan, this can have a knock on effect and cause severe damage to the rate and effectiveness that your business can resume normal operations. It’s impossible to have a standardised plan that can be applied to multiple businesses, so be careful if you’re planning to copy one that you found online or if a company gives you an inexpensive quote with a catch-all plan!
Utilise private cloud infrastructure
Whilst a large number of companies, especially those within the digital field, have transitioned into cloud storage for their important data and documents, this change alone isn’t enough to fully ensure that your information is secure. Being a big, publicly accessible name in the cloud storage sector makes you even more attractive to cyber attacks, with both Google Drive and Dropbox being hacked before. Whilst the security measures for these sites continues to improve as time goes on, so too does the efficiency and methods that hackers are using to try and gain access to your sensitive information. By incorporating private cloud storage and backups into your disaster recovery plan, you can ensure that you have a solid foundation from which you can rebuild.
Keep an inventory of your systems
Backup and recovery solutions are only a small part of your overarching plan. One of the first steps that you should take is carrying out an inventory on your hardware and software. This will help you understand what equipment and programs your businesses utilises. During this task, make sure that you make a note of any serial numbers and supplier phone numbers in order to have a thorough catalogue of who you need to get in touch with and what you need to quote when looking to claim or repurchase the items or software.
Create your recovery timeline
You should also evaluate your company and how long you can tolerate being offline for. For example, if you do something that doesn’t require frequent internet access or data storage, such as a plumber, you could be offline for longer than an internet-focused company, such as digital marketing or website development. Huge businesses such as eBay or Facebook can’t be down for long without affecting millions of users around the globe, but small businesses are much more resilient and can bounce back after being down for a longer amount of time. Working out where you fall on this scale is paramount to deciding the scale of your disaster recovery plan, and will affect what backup and recovery solutions you put in place.
Backup your personnel, not just data
Whilst it may be tempting to have one person responsible for implementing this plan for simplicity’s sake, recovering from a business threatening disaster is too much work for an individual to carry out efficiently. On top of this, if said individual leaves the business or falls ill and then tragedy strikes, you’re left without someone who can enact a successful recovery plan. It’s vital to make sure that everyone has a responsibility, and that they’re clear on what they need to do for their part. You should also designate backup personnel who will be familiar with each of these responsibilities too, in order to have that extra contingency plan.
When prepping staff on their duties for this, consider the following factors to support them with this:
- Ensure you have up-to-date contact details for every staff member stored in a physical location as well as digital in order to reach out to them when necessary.
- Run drills on a semi-regular basis once your plan is in place to ensure that everyone understands and remembers what they need to do.
- Remember that your staff members are people too. If it’s necessary to enact disaster recovery plan, they’re likely just as stressed out as you, so make sure to support them as best you can with regular check-ins and employee assistance programs.
- Depending on the circumstances of the incident, carry out a risk assessment on the business premises to ensure a safe working environment for yourself and staff.
All of this can be incredibly overwhelming, especially if you have no idea where to start. Backup and recovery solutions don’t come naturally to a lot of people, but luckily DIS offers extensive disaster recovery services to help you bring your business back from the brink if the worst was to happen.
Get in touch today to see how we can protect your business.