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Disaster Recovery Planning: Essentials

Disaster Recovery Planning: Essentials

Having both good business continuity plans and disaster recovery plans can mean effective prevention of future disasters when it comes to the unfortunate circumstance of your company dealing with these problems. These organized plans can of course greatly depend on the size of your business and its data to be protected.

Having to plan for both is essential to your company’s safety. Although disaster recovery is fairly self-explanatory, many are prone to ignoring the right steps to putting a plan in place. This is due to their belief of the highly unlikely nature that their business would actually be effected by a disaster, whether man made or not.

Business continuity planning on the other hand, offers a bit more of a comprehensive approach to ensure your business STAYS in business. This could be after a major unfortunate event such as a natural disaster, but also in the circumstance of much smaller disruptions such as on site illness or a temporary departure of key employees. These are smaller scale in office issues that may indeed arise from time to time.

For disaster recovery planning, knowing these primary essentials of your recovery will prevent any future major catastrophes involving those important parts of data which your business relies on daily. Of course, the common standard task of simply backing up your data to tape and sending the tapes to an off-site facility is extremely effective, there is more you can do to assert the maximum prevention of your company’s material when errors could possibly approach. These are some essential steps to ensuring you have an efficient disaster recovery plan to work with.

Recovery time for backups
As mentioned, your backups to tape or perhaps even the cloud are essential. With disaster recovery, putting a method in for recovery time objectives for business critical applications such as email and CRM, necessitate faster backups than what’s possible with other older traditional methods.

Inventory
Keeping track of your company’s technology resources from hardware and all the way to your networking infrastructure is certainly a key tool to staying organized if disaster were to approach. Once you have an inventory checklist down, you can move on to identifying business-critical applications and databases which keep your business running smoothly. After you grasp those concepts, keep in mind of any custom-built apps that would be difficult to rebuild or replace if recovery was not possible.

Security
Be certain your disaster recovery planning realizes other potential problems, such as a security breach. These breaches are some of the most important security concerns regarding your network, especially in today’s world of persistent evolving technology.

Documentation of plan and/or layout of plan
It’s also very essential to supplement your employees who would be working with the recovery plan with proper documentation and detailed instructions regarding the specific types of disasters to your systems. For example, in the case of an actual security breach as mentioned, or something far more serious in the terms of a recovery plan from an office fire. It’s also essential to have these plans in place for assigning responsibilities to each of your staff and which jobs they take in order to get your business back up running smoothly. The details of the types of recovery, what to do, and who does it should all be documented.

Training
You’ve laid out the specifics for each employee and what steps they need to take. Now you must ensure all of your staff included in the recovery process have the proper training and skills needed to act fast in the recovery process. Performing actual recovery drills from time to time can sharpen your staff into becoming more aware of the actual incidents involved and what they need to do, if by chance a disaster to your business was to actually strike.

Testing
Proper testing of your plan in place verifies that the recovery plan you have now developed will run efficient in a real time scenario of a potential disaster. Coordination of tests with all staff involved should be performed and ensuring all documentation is up to speed. If they are discrepancies, analyze what they are and replace and repair where needed so your employees know their official roles.

Of course over time, companies can change hands and responsibilities can change drastically. Make sure your recovery plan is periodically reviewed and updated when necessary. When changes inside your company do occur, it’s probably a good idea to look for new tools and resources that can improve the overall ability of recovering any lost data, applications, or infrastructure. Be sure your disaster recovery plan runs fluidly regardless of these modifications to your business. Plan wisely!