Disasters can strike without any warning. It also comes in all shapes and sizes. Today, disasters are not just catastrophic events such as tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes. They can also come in the form of terrorism, equipment failures, and cyber-attacks. That’s why businesses of any scale are encouraged to develop a disaster recovery plan. The plan should detail processes to follow and actions to take to resume mission-critical functions in the shortest time possible, without causing major losses in business and revenues.
You should note that the terms: disaster recovery and business continuity, are not business continuity. DR, for short, is part of business continuity. It focuses more on keeping all aspects of a business running despite being hit by a disaster. Today, IT systems are extremely critical to the success of many businesses. That’s why it is viewed as a main pillar in the business continuity process.
Important Elements of a Disaster Recovery Plan
- Vendor service and communication restoration
You should check with your local power provider to assess the likelihood for power outages and/or surges while damage is being repaired in the area, should a disaster strike. Don’t forget to check your ISPs and phone providers on restoration and accessibility matters.
- Before & after pictures of office and equipment
It is a good practice to photograph your office and its related equipment. These photos should be used to prove that those items were in active use by your company. In addition, you did your due diligence to move your equipment out of harm’s way to prepare for a disaster.
- Documented asset inventory
A detailed asset inventory serves as a quick reference to facilitate insurance claims after a major disaster. Prepare a simple list of any inventory you have, e.g. workstations, servers, scanners, printers, tablets, phones, etc.
- Backup checks
You should make sure your backup systems are operational at all times, i.e. full local backup on all data and servers in your DR plan. They should be run as far in advance as possible and located somewhere that’s less likely to be affected by a disaster. Consider placing your backup on an external hard drive, so that it can be taken offsite as well.
- Data continuity systems
It is pertinent that you document what your organization needs are so that you can create plans for business continuity. Next, you should aim to achieve a complete understanding of the logistics and needs surrounding those plans.
- Roles and communication plan
Assign roles to each employee in your company. For example, they have roles pertaining to redirecting phones, assessing damage, setting up temporary workstations, and more. Next, make sure that you have documented all updated employee contact information.
How Often Should You Test Your DR Plan?
When talking about the frequency of testing your DR plan, there truly isn’t one magic number. However, the more you test, the better prepared you will ultimately be. When it comes to DR plan testing, it is much easier to work with an experienced managed services provider. As your MSP, we can undertake the ongoing duties of ensuring that all backup and data protection processes are in working order. This means that you can enjoy added peace of mind while preparing for any disaster. Yes, you can leave it to AGILE to proactively monitor your data, servers, and other IT equipment.