Disaster Recovery Planning
You never know when a disaster will strike your business and cause massive data loss. This disaster could be natural (such as a tornado) or hyperlocal to your business (such as a power surge, crashing the server.) It’s important to have a disaster recovery plan (DRP) in place. A DRP is a documented process or set of procedures designed to prevent a business’s IT infrastructure in the event of a disaster.
There are many benefits of DRP:
- Sense of security: because there is a plan to recover lost information
- Minimizing risks of delays in your business after a disaster
- Minimizing decision-making during a disaster bescause the plan is already in place
- Reducing stress in the work environment because work can resume quicker after a disaster with a DRP than without
All DRPs have three key points:
- Preventative measures: These are designed to prevent disaster from occurring. Backups and surge protectors fit this category
- Detective measures: These will uncover potential new threats. Training sessions and network monitoring software are included
- Corrective measures: After a disaster, these are aimed to restore the system.
When putting a DRP in place, there are many things to consider:
- Top management commitment: Ultimately, top management is responsible for ensuring the DRP will be effective.
- Planning committee: Top management also has to appoint this group to oversee the development and implementation of the plan.
- Risk assessment: Understanding possible disasters and what the consequences of each disaster might be
- Establishing a list of priorities for processing operations: What area of the business is most important to recover first? Deciding this in advance will save a lot of stress and time
- Determining recovery strategies: Will online backup be used? Or will the backups be located on physical hard drives? If so, will there be an offsite backup? Where will it be? Will it be safe from the disaster?
- Collect data: This includes lists of employee phone numbers and other people to contact.
- Develop testing criteria and procedures: Before trying a dry run, decide what should be tested and how.
- Testing the plan: it is important to have a dry run before an actual disaster to see if the plan is viable
- Obtaining plan approval: Top management will have to sign off on the plan
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