4 Things to Know About Building an IT Disaster Recovery Plan

4 Things to Know About Building an IT Disaster Recovery Plan

In 2019, I.T. disruption for even a couple of hours can produce significant negative consequences for your business. Therefore, it is crucial that your firm has a well-designed and effectively maintained I.T. disaster recovery plan.

It is only by having this that you (and your employees) will know what to do when disaster strikes. An I.T. disaster recovery plan will also considerably increase your capacity to retrieve lost data and revert to standard operations as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, too many businesses overlook the importance of disaster recovery and assign it to an understaffed department with little input from executives. IT consultants in Dubai know that this is a surefire path to crippling results if you do encounter a disaster.

To avoid this outcome, keep reading for four things to know about building an I.T. disaster recovery plan.

1. Start by identifying all threats.

If you want to build an I.T. disaster recovery plan successfully, you first need to take some time to identify all possible threats. Afterwards, you can analyze these threats and then formulate a plan that will result in effective disaster recovery.  The more prepared you are, the more robust your disaster recovery plan will be.

Generally, cyber-attacks are the most prevalent disaster scenario; however, you want to ensure that you are considering all possibilities, from the mundane to the gigantic (such as natural disasters). That being said, make sure to include the probability of an event happening, which means emphasizing the fact that smaller events occur much more frequently than things like natural disasters.

Additionally, an I.T. asset inventory should be conducted to understand the intricacies of your environment. Every IT asset – from servers to data, network switches to access points – should be recorded, including where they are located, which network they are on, and any relevant dependencies.

Once you have identified and analyzed all threats, you can then start planning your response strategies for each one. For each risk, formulate a step-by-step recovery plan.

2. Don’t overlook the people and processes.

A great I.T. disaster response strategy considers more than merely your technology; it also includes your people and processes. After all, your employees are the ones keeping the business up and running when a disaster strikes. Therefore, you need to plan what employees should (and need) to do throughout disaster recovery.

You also need to ensure that they know the steps that they need to take and feel informed enough to follow them. For this reason, it is recommended that you keep an I.T. disaster response manual in a communally accessible place. Furthermore, make sure that you designate who is in charge of commencing the first steps in your plan once a disaster does transpire.

Your plan must also identify the significant people that have essential responsibilities when responding to a disaster. Their contact details need to be stored in the disaster recovery manual so that during this time, the right people can be contacted. Similarly, the manual should also include who will represent your firm when speaking with victims, clients, employees, and the media. Having a plan for when communication is necessary and how to go about it is an essential element of a well-thought-out I.T. disaster recovery plan.

3. Assess the goals you want your plan to achieve.

When creating the appropriate I.T. disaster recovery plan for your company, it’s vital to assess the goals you want your plan to achieve. For most people, the top goal will be reducing the overall risk of the firm. Conducting a risk assessment prior to implementing the plan will help you to see where the vulnerabilities that need to be addressed are.

Moreover, you want your plan to offer solutions to those involved internally and externally so that operations can resume as quickly as possible. These solutions should be well devised enough that they relieve the anxieties of those at the top of the organization. This means ensuring that everyone involved can mobilize quickly and in a coordinated manner to deploy the fastest response possible.

Last but not least, make sure you are taking into account any compliance standards that your organization has to uphold. Constructing an effective I.T. disaster recovery plan will aid you in decreasing the chance of incurring fines for not abiding by regulatory compliance responsibilities.

4. Testing and updating are crucial.

Think of your I.T. disaster recovery plan as a living document — one that needs to be regularly tested and updated. This isn’t something that can be thought about once and then left alone; instead, due to the continuous changes in technology and business environments, it needs to be frequently reviewed. After all, as your firm changes, your disaster recovery plan needs to evolve to indicate that.

For example, I.T. may migrate to new operating systems, or employees may terminate their contract. These types of changes may require a modification in the I.T. disaster recovery plan.

In addition to updating it regularly, the plan also needs to be periodically tested to help you find and rectify problems before it is too late. These testing sessions will also aid the necessary people in executing the plan as quickly and accurately as possible. That being said, you don’t necessarily need to test the entire disaster recovery plan every time. Instead, on a weekly basis, test out certain parts.

Final Thoughts

In addition to your all-encompassing I.T. disaster recovery plan, you also want to have managed security services. From anti-virus to anti-spam software, next-generation firewalls, and encryption for your laptops, tablets, and websites, managed security services ensure that you have all your bases covered. You need to know that your valuable information is secure, both inside and outside the office. Otherwise, if your company’s I.T. security is lacking, you are inviting anyone to do what they want with your business data.

Does your firm have a robust I.T. disaster recovery plan? If so, what do you think other companies should know about creating one? Do you have any insights to share with the rest of the community? Let us know in the comments below!

AUTHOR BIO

Sharon Mallorca is the Sales Manager at Create IT in Dubai. Established by innovative digital agency Create Media Group, Create IT has rapidly become the Middle East’s leading IT Support and IT Solutions company, providing the highest quality IT support and services to a growing portfolio of global brands.

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