What Are The 9 Steps To Building A Truly Reliable Disaster Recovery Plan?
Despite how important disaster recovery is, many businesses don’t have the right plan put in place because they don’t know where to begin. Check out these 9 straightforward steps to building a plan you can depend on.
Disaster – nobody wants to talk about it, and to be honest, there’s not much need. You’ve seen all the marketing ploys in your inbox and at trade shows. It’s all doom and gloom trying to convince you your whole world will go up in flames if you don’t start spending money on business continuity and disaster recovery right away.
Let’s skip all that.
The fact is that, as far as you’re concerned, effective disaster recovery is just about covering your bases. No need to assume the worst – just plan for it, so you know you’re covered. Because the fact is that it probably won’t be a hurricane, or a freak accident. It’s far more likely you’ll lose some vital data because of human error, or something else small like that.
But with a little work, you can protect against that.
What Are The 9 Steps To Effective Disaster Recovery Planning?
Here’s a quick nine-step checklist we use to ensure that a company’s computer network, and the data for that business, is safe and secure from loss and disruption:
Create a written recovery plan.
Simply thinking through what needs to happen when things go south (and documenting it all ahead of time), can go a long way toward getting your network back up and running quickly if it gets hacked, affected by a natural disaster or compromised by human error.
- Have a clear communication plan
What if your employees can’t access your office, e-mail or phone system? How will they communicate with you? Make sure your communications plan details every alternative, including a number of ways to stay in touch in the event of a disaster.
- Automate your data backups.
The #1 cause of data loss is human error. If your backup system depends on a human being always doing something right, it’s a recipe for disaster. Automate your backups wherever possible so they run like clockwork.
- Have redundant off-site backups.
On-site backups are a good first step, but if they get flooded, burned or hacked along with your server, you’re out of luck. Be sure to always maintain a recent copy of your data off-site.
- Enable remote network access.
Without remote access to your network, you and your staff won’t be able to keep working in the event that you can’t get into your office. To keep your business going, at the very minimum, you need a way for your IT team to quickly step in when needed.
- System images are critical.
Storing your data off-site is a good first step, but if your system is compromised, the software and architecture that handles all that data must be restored for it to be useful. Imaging your server creates a replica of the original, saving you an enormous amount of time and energy in getting your network back up and running, should the need arise. Without it, you risk losing all your preferences, configurations, favorites and more.
- Maintain an up-to-date record of the network layout.
To rebuild all or part of your network, you’ll need a blueprint of the software, data, systems and hardware that comprise your company’s network. An IT professional can create this for you. It could save you a huge amount of time and money in the event your network needs to be restored.
- Don’t overlook routine maintenance.
Cybercrime threats can be more likely to occur than natural disasters, which is why it’s critical to keep your network patched, secure and up-to-date. Deteriorating hardware and corrupted software can wipe you out. Replace and update them as needed to steer clear of this threat.
- Test the plan regularly.
If you’re going to go to the trouble of setting up a plan, at least make sure it works by double checking it on a regular basis. An IT professional can check monthly to make sure your systems work properly and your data is secure.
What Will This Plan Do For You?
Enacting a comprehensive plan like this means you get the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your valuable data, sensitive emails, and other digital assets are all protected, backed up and securely stored away until you need them – simple as that. If you have any concerns about the process, then be sure to consult with an IT services provider that understands the specifics of business continuity and disaster recovery.
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