Disaster Recovery Plans: What They Are and Why You Need Them
A disaster recovery plan is a document process that details how you are going to restore business continuity. This includes the steps for bringing your servers, network, and workstations back online and regaining access to your data—all with minimal downtime. The most notable incident where a disaster recovery plan is crucial is in the event of a cyber-attack, where your data or network is compromised by a malicious external actor. Considering the extent that modern businesses depend on technology, being unable to access any of your company data or being unable to utilize any of your workstations for any amount of time can be devastating—even more so when the unprepared business can be taken down for hours, days, or even up to a whole week. You can’t pay bills, assist or invoice customers, or pay your employees. That immediate downtime is a running drain on your wallet, not to mention a gut-punch to your reputation as a business.
Downtime for a modern business is not just a cessation of profit and productivity; it’s an active negative drain on money, employee morale, and customer patience. Lost money means potentially delayed payroll, which means employees might not be paid on time (while simultaneously working extremely hard to fix the problem), which leads to a higher risk of poor customer experiences, which ultimately concludes in a high risk of losing customers. These events could occur because of a malicious hacker, or even just poor system maintenance, or a hardware failure. There are obvious ways to help protect yourself against these disasters, but what happens when even the best defense fails? You need a disaster recovery plan.
So what does a disaster recovery plan entail? A good plan consists of a step-by-step process for identifying the problem and restoring essential systems. Step one is to identify which systems and tools are critical for the day-to-day operations of your business. These systems are the backbone of your business, and are your first priority. These will be different from business to business, but they might include systems like patient information systems or the company phone system. Once the critical components are identified, a priority list of every system in the business should be compiled to give your team a clear expectation of what to fix in what order. What systems can you function without for a short period of time, and what systems absolutely must be functional? The next step is to plan out how to restore a failure in each one of those priority systems, and what tools you’ll need to do so. There are many ways to do that—redundant hardware, cloud storage solutions, etc. That is the core of the disaster recovery plan; it’s recommended that you work with your IT resource to develop your own.
NorDutch can help you implement that disaster recovery plan of yours. We offer backup solutions that we can use to back up your environments, anything from workstations to databases to servers. This will let us ensure that your data and applications are secure in the event of a disaster, which then allows you to restore those systems and resume business with minimal downtime. We also provide a simulated disaster service, where you can schedule a simulated disaster situation and practice a business continuity restoration. This will allow us to see the process in action, ensure that everything works satisfactorily, and make any improvements needed to fit your needs.
Do you have a disaster recovery plan in place? Would you like to?