6 Questions Disaster Recovery Plans Should Answer
For large enterprises, an hour of downtime can cost $700,000 in productivity. For a mid-sized business, that number drops to $75,000, but the impact will be felt for much longer. For a small business, the $8,000 in productivity loss during that hour can take weeks, even months to fully recover.Read MorePlanning for disaster recovery instead of struggling to react can mean the difference between a minor set back and devastating losses. An effective disaster recovery plan features detailed procedures to quickly get back to work whatever disasters may happen, whether natural, technological, or man-made.
A comprehensive plan will answer all of the following questions:
1: What are our most valuable and most vulnerable assets?
Identify which systems are essential. While the loss of some systems means minor frustration, others might mean a complete halting of operations.
A thorough list will include all of the devices your company utilizes, prioritize them, and note which ones depend on each other. A printer won’t be useful if computers are still down, but other auxiliary devices such as external hard drives may play a bigger role than you realize.
2: How safe and secure is our data backup?
The risk of mechanical failure, theft, and damage by natural disasters makes physical backup systems, no matter how powerful, an insufficient solution. Cloud backup services ensure data is safe and secure.
3: Is our business safe from cyberthreats?
Hackers, malware, and viruses put more than your business data at risk. Your clients and employees trust you with their personal data, including addresses and financial information. That is a big responsibility. A strong cybersecurity system must include firewalls and antivirus software to search for and eliminate threats.
Webroot is a great tool to have during disaster recovery, and even more so for disaster prevention because it provides cybersecurity is in real-time. Threats are identified immediately. Even if an employee allows for a breach by mistake, Webroot can quickly prevent further damage and loss.
4: Do our backups have backups?
Redundancy means making sure your recovery plan doesn’t rely on any single backup source. A simple electrical generator can save hours during a disaster and is just one of the many different but powerful systems your business could have in place.
Virtualization is another very powerful addition to a redundancy system. It goes beyond backing up files and data by creating a virtual copy of each workspace. This means that during recovery, all of the applications, settings, data, and customizations stored in the system are restored as well, allowing your business to pick up exactly where it left off.
5: Does my team know what roles they have in our plan?
Knowing what to do during a disaster is not solely the job of management. Each person should not only have, but know and practice their part in the plan.
There should be a clear system of whose tasks are essential, and what knowledge, help, and tools they need. In an emergency, everyone should know who is making important phone calls, who is in charge of getting essential systems operating, and who has the authority to make real-time decisions.
Personnel should be trained, have regular drills, and have their roles updated over time to account for changes in staff, system, or need.
6: Have we actually tested our disaster recovery plan?
The middle of a crisis is not the time to find out about you miscalculated or missed something. The entire process could be derailed. Test the plan beforehand and remain open so that feedback can inform better solutions. Test it regularly and under different circumstances. Does the time of year have an effect? If someone is sick or away, can the plan be adjusted?