5 IT Disaster Recovery Plan Steps You Need to Take Today
Like many organizations you’re probably up to date on cyberattack awareness, especially in light of recent events. However, there is a dangerous complacency to be found with companies that consider cybersecurity the see-all be-all of disaster preparedness. It’s this knowledge gap that renders nearly 60 percent of small businesses without an IT disaster recovery plan. Unfortunately, the same report shows that 90 percent of businesses will fail within a year unless they can resume operations within five days following an event. If 2020 has taught anyone anything, it’s that a more sustainable, scalable, and effective model is required to weather any storm that comes our way. Today, we’re going to help you map out a far more effective disaster recovery plan for your IT infrastructure. Follow the practical tips below and you’ll gain a renewed peace of mind.
Five-Step Guide to Maintaining Business Continuity Despite an Unfortunate IT Event
1. Increased Adoption of the Cloud
Most organizations are well aware of the fact that cloud adoption affords them with effective data backup. They may either leverage the cloud for this purpose, or opt out should they not deem data warehousing to be an important part of operations. What they may not understand, is that the cloud offers much more than data recovery in the event of loss from cybercrime or other impactful event. The cloud also affords business continuity by allowing you to move entire workloads to a more dynamic environment through the use of cloud-based productivity applications such as MS Office 365, G Suite, and more. It’s one thing to lose data, but when your company can’t service customers/clients because of blocked access to productivity tools you may quickly lose those customers/clients and revenue streams along with them.
But when you’ve migrated all operations to the cloud, you can rapidly redeploy infrastructure or services within minutes. You no longer have to wait hours, days, weeks, or even months to return systems back to normal. In addition, your staff will be able to access workloads from any remote location. For instance, if extreme weather or some other event makes it impossible for them to come into the office, they can still access data, individual and team projects, and other elements deemed essential to servicing customers/clients. With greater cloud migration all designated parties can continue to work in “real time” no matter where in the world each they may be. This scalable feature is critical to any sustainable disaster recovery plan. View more how the SAV Cloud will ensure better business continuity for your company.
2. Audit All IT Systems and Repair, Replace, Update, and Upgrade as Needed
Consider the following analogy. When a hurricane or tornado is forecast, property owners inspect their building, facilities, and surrounding area from top to bottom, looking for weaknesses in the foundation, trim, roofing, piping, insulation, electrical, and landscape. This inspection often leads to expedient repairs, retrofits, replacements, upgrades, and other preventative measures. The same must be done for your IT systems, and you must do so as if the damaging event was set to make landfall tomorrow.
Your audit must be comprehensive, looking at everything from IoT devices in the office to the cable connectors in the corner of colocations occupied by off-site servers and hardware. Generate a detailed list of all IT assets and applications so that no item goes unchecked. If the audit uncovers the need for repair, replacement, update, or upgrade attend to these to-dos right away, and institute automatic software updates so that vulnerability “patches” are employed as soon as they become available. Moving forward, make this IT audit a quarterly affair to ensure that you’re disaster-recovery ready at all times.
3. Establish a Reporting Procedure to Meet Compliance Mandates
The scope of IT disaster response and subsequent reporting procedures changed back in 2018 when the EU adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This was followed up by an important update to Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) which made it mandatory to report security breaches to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada in addition to all potentially affected individuals. The law requires that reporting and notifications must be provided as soon as feasible after it has been determined that a data breach may present real risk to your customers, clients, vendors, and the general public (as applicable).
Moving forward, you not only need to institute an explicitly clear internal reporting procedure after an event, you need to ensure outward reporting to account for GDPR (where applicable) and PIPEDA reporting regulations.
4. Educate, Train, and Test Stakeholders on All New Procedures
IT disaster recovery and business continuity is an all-hands-on-deck process. It is not solely the responsibility of your internal IT team, even if they are the ones running point. Every single link in your corporate chain, including staff, management, and third parties (suppliers, vendors, etc.) must receive verifiable notification about said procedures, and training should be conducted for key individuals and departments so that there are redundancies in place. Information sessions and training should be ongoing to account for procedure updates and new staff/partner onboarding. In addition to education and training, you will want to conduct a number of valid trial-runs to test the effectiveness of the plan – a fire drill, so to speak.
5. Partner with an Expert in IT Disaster Recovery
While we have laid out the “best practices” for developing your IT disaster recovery plan, there’s no denying that an effective business continuity strategy requires a significant amount of budgeting and planning. You must be able identify which systems are mission critical and generate a roadmap that lays out an order of recovery, complete with an explicit communication process. With limited in-house IT resources, this can be a very daunting task.
Don’t worry, you do not need to budget for and build your recovery plan alone. Continue to focus on your core business while partnering with an IT company that has expertise in establishing disaster recovery and business continuity policies, procedures, and testing. SAV Technology offers on-premises and cloud services, will evaluate your risks, will help you formulate your budget, and will monitor and maintain your IT systems to ensure readiness for any event. Protect your business from equipment failures, cyberattacks, internal sabotage, natural disasters, and more with SAV Technology. Contact us today.