IT infrastructure such as hardware, networks, applications, and data are assets that businesses depend on. As such, creating a disaster recovery plan (DRP) should be a priority of every business. It ensures that these assets can be protected, saved, or recovered when a disaster such as an outage, cyberattack, hardware failure, or natural disaster hits.
The following are disaster recovery best practices that will let your business quickly get back on its feet and minimize revenue losses after a disruptive event.
Know your business’ critical IT assets
The foundation of any disaster recovery is a business impact analysis (BIA). With a BIA, your business can predict the outcome of disruptions or crises on business functions and processes. This requires identifying the critical IT assets that support these functions and processes, and may include call centers, server farms, VoIP, connectivity, or any software and data and the hardware needed to run them. Information gathered from the BIA will be essential to developing a DRP.
Know the risks to your business
Disaster recovery also starts with assessing the most serious vulnerabilities and threats to your business. Vulnerabilities may include lack of backup power, out-of-date copies of databases, and unpatched systems, while threats may include malware, hurricanes, fire, human error, disgruntled employees, loss of power, and data breaches. A risk assessment gathers information that helps to reduce the impact of risks and accelerate recovery.
Back up data
Any effective disaster recovery will protect business data because losing this may not only slow down operations but permanently cripple them. Aside from cybersecurity safeguards, protecting data requires establishing a data backup strategy. It allows your business to quickly access reserve data when data in primary servers have been lost due to disasters such as ransomware, outages, and server failures.
A data backup strategy should follow the 3-2-1 rule: There should be at least three copies of data on at least two different storage devices with at least one storage device in an off-site data center.
Data should also be frequently backed up according to a recovery time objective (RTO) and a recovery point objective (RPO).
Every disaster recovery plan is designed to meet RTO and RPO. An RTO is the maximum amount of time a business can be offline or the length of time targeted to resume operations. An RPO is the maximum amount of data a business is willing to lose. If your business can afford to lose no more than 15 minutes of data (your RPO), then data should be backed up every 15 minutes.
Develop and test your disaster recovery plan
Every successful disaster recovery is built on an actionable plan that outlines what the business should do to protect and recover assets in the event of a crisis or disaster. Aside from a BIA, a disaster recovery plan should at least have the following:
- Preventive controls or measures that mitigate the effects of disasters on the IT assets of your business
- Recovery strategies that ensure IT assets can be recovered quickly and effectively after a disaster
- An IT contingency plan that details procedures for recovering a damaged IT system
- A regularly updated disaster recovery plan that keeps up with enhancements to IT systems and changes in production, such as new applications
- Clearly defined roles that inform employees of their responsibilities during a disaster
For disaster recovery to be executed effectively, the DRP has to be routinely tested. This helps to identify its strengths and weaknesses, as well as your organization’s preparedness to put the plan into action.
Contact us to find out more about disaster recovery. At Spectrumwise, we’ll help you craft the best disaster recovery strategy for your business with solutions for data backup, data recovery, and business continuity planning. You won’t be caught off guard by ransomware and other threats to businesses.