The potential for technology has never been greater than it is now. It offers business owners unbelievable possibilities for increasing capacity, simplifying everyday processes, and managing the workflow efficiently.
That being said...
There’s nothing like a widespread emergency to test your IT infrastructures.
To leverage the power of technology while minimizing your risk, a robust disaster recovery plan should be put in place to manage everything from natural disasters to threats from hackers or other malicious individuals.
You may be moving to a work from home environment. Your meetings may now all take place online. Perhaps the COVID-19 epidemic necessitates changes to the way your IT is managed. Now - more than ever - your organization’s business continuity and disaster recovery plans need to address a variety of contingencies that could disrupt your workflow. Such plans should be sufficiently flexible and reflect the firm's size, complexity, and business activities.
Today we’re going to discuss best practices for creating a disaster recovery plan and what factors you should take into account with your Managed Service Provider.
Considerations for a Disaster Recovery Plan
If your business does not have a disaster recovery plan, or if it’s been years since it was revised, this could be potentially disastrous for your business. The best disaster recovery plan is personalized to your business – it isn’t a cookie-cutter solution.
A great disaster recovery plan balances between two factors – recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO).
RTO refers to the target time you’ve set for the return to everyday business operations following a disaster. Companies who need to be back online within hours are going to need to budget a higher amount than companies who have a more flexible recovery time window.
RPO refers to your company’s tolerance for loss of data. How would your business be impacted if you lost an hour’s worth of work? What about a day’s worth?….Or even a week’s worth? More frequent data backups lead to a faster RPO, but this comes at a higher cost.
Many companies focus too much on their data backups as a whole and don’t realize that data could - and should - be subdivided into categories based on its importance or age. Your managed service provider can work with you to create tiers of data, and you can save time and money by focusing your recovery efforts on the most critical data first.
It’s important to consider the security of your data backups. Data should be encrypted whenever reasonably possible, including the data accessed daily, backup files kept on premises, offsite copies of your backups, and when the data is being moved between these locations. All backups should be kept in a separate and secure location. This ensures that hackers wishing to get access to your data will never be able to access it all.
Finally, testing and internal audits of your backup systems, disaster recovery plan, and IT policies should be done early, and often. There’s no “set it and forget it” backup system out there. Any plan that carries the weight of your business should be continually monitored and tested to ensure it will function as needed in a security incident.
Other Practices that Will Protect Your Business
A disaster recovery plan executed by a Managed Service Provider is the best way to support business continuity in the event of a disaster or security breach. However, it’s also important to maintain a robust set of policies and procedures based on best practices for staff to follow, ensuring they’re protecting your most sensitive assets.
Your managed service provider can offer tools to train your staff about disaster recovery. They can even help prevent a disaster, offering tools to educate your staff on proper data handling and management because hackers often target staff to gain information to breach your security.
Finally, slow down. If an incident occurs, don’t panic, and follow the disaster recovery plan. Sticking with the plan you’ve put in place will help bring order to the chaos.
Questions to Ask Your Managed Service Provider
When dealing with something as important as your business continuity in the event of a disaster, it’s right to be thorough. Here are some questions you may want to ask your current provider or use when you’re screening candidates:
- What does your basic disaster recovery plan look like? Do you have a template?
- Can you provide us with references from similar companies?
- What products do you use? What certifications do you have for them?
- Can we see samples of current reports you’re using?
Implement and Maintain a Great Disaster Recovery Plan with Silverado
Having an idea of what to do in these situations is not enough. Only by implementing a detailed and customized disaster recovery plan can you protect yourself, your staff, and your clients. Not to mention it will help you build a path to business continuity. The monetary cost of downtime might be hard to estimate, but the loss of public trust and the hit to your reputation are disastrous for any company.
Silverado is actively monitoring the developments related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We’re dedicated to building personalized disaster recovery plans for each client, customized to their needs and budget. We help you build it, maintain it, and test it.
Call us today to help you create a plan that suits your needs.