How to make your disaster recovery plan topnotch

How to make your disaster recovery plan topnotch

Technical failures, natural disasters, and cyber attacks can cost your business a lot of money. And without a disaster recovery plan (DRP) to mitigate the damages, your business risks experiencing huge losses. Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with limited resources are particularly vulnerable. In fact, studies show that 40% of SMBs fail to reopen after a disaster. That’s why you must make designing, implementing, and maintaining a backup plan your top priority. And no, this doesn’t mean just saving files on a USB drive.

You’ve probably got a DRP in place to protect your enterprise’s data and employees. But when was your DRP last updated and tested? Have you accounted for new technologies and services that can make it easier to recover from disaster?

Your DRP should have the following covered:

#1 Consider DRaaS

Many businesses are moving to the cloud to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve profitability. Now, they also turn to the cloud when implementing a DRP. Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide failover in the event of a man-made or natural catastrophe. These on-demand services from managed services providers (MSPs) have made disaster recovery easier and more economical because a third-party vendor manages the replication and hosting of your company's backup data in their own secure servers. DRaaS is especially beneficial to SMBs that do not have their own in-house IT staff because they don't have to test the DRP themselves.

When considering DRaaS, it's imperative to choose a provider that can meet your recovery time objective (RTO), or the maximum amount of time your business should get its systems back up and running; and recovery point objectives (RPO), which refers to the amount of data your business can afford to lose.

#2 Analyze potential threats

You should spell out a recovery plan for each scenario after taking into account the complete spectrum of “potential interrupters” to your business.

#3 Test DR plan

A big mistake organizations usually make is not testing their DRP. You wouldn't want to end up with a DRP that fails during an actual emergency situation, would you?

When testing your DRP, make sure everyone in your team knows what to do and whom to call in case of a disaster. It's also crucial to let them know which data and systems should be prioritized during recovery.

SMBs may not have the technical resources to test their own DRP. An MSP can help them avoid major data loss or business failure due to failed disaster recovery attempts by offering regular disaster recovery test packages.

Without the testing and verification of a DRP, you’ll have no idea as to whether or not you’ll actually be able to recover from a disaster or extended outage. It’s during these testing periods that any security and backup issues can be identified and addressed.

These scenarios could involve a fire in your building, employees going on strike, a major flu epidemic, a hurricane or tornado hitting your office, freak accidents, and so on.

Not all these scenarios are likely to occur, but try to anticipate which potential disruptors are most probable, and plan accordingly. Unfortunately, cyberattacks are becoming more and more likely these days. According to a report, cyberattacks are a top three risk behind only extreme weather events and natural disasters likely to cause disruption in the next five years. So, give cyberattack precedence over some natural disruptors in your planning.

#4 Choosing the right MSP/backup and DR provider

Why it's crucial to choose the right MSP

Choosing a vendor that can satisfy all your business continuity plan requirements can be challenging. When choosing a provider, consider discussing key points in the service level agreement, including the length of time of data recovery, how up to date the recovered data will be, and costs.

As an experienced MSP, Spectrumwise can implement a comprehensive backup and DRP that ensures your data is regularly backed up, secure, and recoverable.

Spectrumwise has the business continuity and disaster recovery solution you can rely on. If you need help implementing robust disaster recovery strategies so you can stay ahead of the game, call us now.