What Elements Should Be in Your Disaster Recovery Plan?

No one wants to think that their business will need a disaster plan, but as the saying goes, it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Some companies will be lucky and remain unscathed throughout their years in business, but others will not. In the case of any disaster, having a plan in place to get back online and operational again with as few losses as possible is the goal. In a disaster recovery plan, several elements are crucial.

close up photo of a keyboard with conceptual recovery key in the center

Disaster Recovery Plan: Role Assignments

All your employees need to understand what role they will play in disaster recovery. Some of the roles involve replacing damaged equipment, assessing damage, updating clients, assessing data loss, and setting up new workstations and equipment. If you wait to delegate until after a situation occurs, the time it takes to recover from the incident will increase and your employees may not be prepared for what you need. Every employee should clearly understand their assignment to work through the time-sensitive recovery period more efficiently.

Disaster Recovery Plan for Physical Equipment

A data breach likely won’t damage physical equipment, but a natural disaster like fire, flood, or storm damage can, and those are just as unpredictable. The first step is to put preventative measures in place to safeguard any electronics from water damage, which usually involves moving equipment off the floor and creating a barrier against water. If a storm is predicted, you can take further steps that include moving all equipment into a room without windows, and even sealing them in waterproof containers.

Data Continuity Plan for Information Systems

The loss of data can be just as devastating to a business as a physical loss. The first step is to take inventory of all your data storage locations, documenting exactly where all data is stored and who has access to that data. After this, go through your data and determine which data is vital to business operations as opposed to non-critical data. It’s recommended that you schedule regular backups of all your data to the cloud or off-site location, ensuring that a complete backup is always accessible. The “3-2-1 backup rule” suggests that you keep three copies of all your data, with two backup copies and at least one of those stored offsite.

Backup Testing and Validation Procedure

Having a backup of your data is the first step, but to make sure it’s useful, test your backup plan on a regular basis to make sure that the data is going where it is supposed to go, in a usable format. All technology has the capability to fail, so relying on a backup method that could be corrupted is not enough.

Temporary Backup Server Strategy

Some disaster recovery services will allow your team to have an instant clone of your server in the cloud, so your employees can continue with business in the wake of a disaster or catastrophic event. When you are looking for a backup storage solution, consider one that can provide this service and cut your recovery time from days to minutes.

Emergency Backup Power System

Power loss and power surges can seriously damage your hardware, and in the worst cases, can destroy your stored data. Installing a generator is a good option to manage short-term power outages and cut your business’s downtime. After only a few uses, a generator can pay for itself in lost downtime.

Internet and Communications Failover

An internet connection is the lifeline of most businesses. In case of an internet failure, you need to have a plan in place for communications continuity. In some cases, having a backup ISP is enough in the event your primary provider goes down, but for better protection, having a 4G LTE or 5G wireless internet option can help your business avoid disruption.

Employee Remote Work Plan

In certain cases, it may not be preferable for all employees to be in-office during a disaster recovery. Make sure that all employees understand the security guidelines for connecting remotely and have the ability to do so. Data breaches are much more probable during remote work, so training your employees in best security practices is essential if you plan to allow remote work.

Whether your business is impacted by user error, equipment failure, malware, a data breach, natural disasters, or the unexpected, it’s best to be prepared for anything. Revisit your strategy regularly to make sure that your current plan is sufficient and that it is ready to be administered at a moment’s notice. Disasters won’t wait until you are prepared. It is well worth it to take time to make sure that you, your employees, and your business are ready for anything. To learn more about how we can help improve your data security, contact AccuShred today!