There are so many more problems that can destroy a business than commercial failure.
In fact, the number of existential threats a business might face grows by the day. The rise of cyber-attacks has made that clear. So how can something as complex as the modern business prepare for such threats?
Don’t panic. Here’s how to safeguard your data with a step-by-step disaster recovery process.
Perform a Risk Assessment
A strong disaster recovery plan begins with risk assessment. This is where you’ll identify your company’s key vulnerabilities and assess the relative risk each poses to your business. This will also estimate the likelihood of a risk turning into a service disruption.
Common vulnerabilities include natural disasters, cybersecurity threats, service interruptions, and anything else that could disrupt your day-to-day operations.
Of these threats, cyberattacks have become some of the most prominent. Cyber security BLS statistics speak for themselves, with cybersecurity expertise in high demand.
Establish Your Objectives
Next, you’ll draw up the objectives for your disaster recovery plan.
Most disaster recovery plans share the same core objectives:
- Minimize service interruption
- Reduce or prevent physical damage
- Reduce or prevent data loss
- Restore full service ASAP
The first objective of disaster recovery is typically to restore service at the first opportunity, even if that service is reduced compared to normal operations. This helps to protect against the financial losses that can quickly accrue with service interruption.
Create Policies and Establish Responsibilities
With your objectives established, you’ll need to establish your policies and procedures, document them, and assign responsibilities.
Drawing up policies and procedures sets the recovery plan in stone and ensures that everyone works in tandem should disaster strike. It also helps to prevent indecision in the face of an emergency, when decisive action is at its most critical.
Finally, assigning responsibilities gives ownership of each step in the recovery plan. Again, this minimizes disruption and operational paralysis when disaster strikes.
Educate Your Workforce
Without awareness and education, a policy is just a document. To realize your disaster recovery plan, you’ll also need to educate your workforce on it.
Regular training sessions, email reminders, and other refreshers will help to keep your workforce up to date on your disaster recovery plans. With an educated workforce, you turn an out-of-context disaster into a controlled situation. A disaster may present a challenge, but it won’t cripple your operations.
Your disaster recovery plan should share something in common with your fire safety plan: regular testing.
If you consider your disaster recovery a matter of business life and death, it makes sense to test the rigor of your policies before the worst happens.
Of course, any disaster becomes its own kind of live test. If disaster strikes, be sure to review your policies in its wake. This will identify key areas where your policies fell short or could be improved. Making changes at this stage ensures you’re better protected against future disasters.
Disaster Recovery Made Simple
With this simple guide, you can boil the task of creating a disaster recovery plan into a set of actionable steps.
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