Devising an IT Disaster Recovery Plan
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With the realm of IT becoming extremely essential for any organization or venture, all of its downsides and unwanted implications have also become very real.
Aside from the companies solely rendering digital services, all ventures with a robust IT department should plan for any unforeseen disaster. A healthcare facility can’t function properly if its database and network system has been damaged or compromised.
From natural calamities to cyber attacks, IT disasters can take place in many shapes and forms. Therefore, it is important to devise an effective IT disaster recovery plan to ensure smooth sailing of your business.
Here, we will outline some of the most crucial things that should be taken care of when devising an IT disaster recovery plan.
Analyzing Potential Threats and Risks and Formulating Appropriate Response
The first and foremost provision of any IT disaster recovery plan is to assess the whole spectrum of threats that might be faced by the digital facet of your business. After formulating them, you can move further with a recovery model for each of them. Let’s have a look on some of the examples as how you can assess such threats and your response to them.
- If there is an unexpected power breakdown, will you be able to run your IT department and associated operation uninterrupted?
- If a server goes down following a cyber attack, will you be able to maintain your internet connectivity through alternate servers?
- Do you have a backup in case your own database gets compromised?
Questions like these and their answers should be discussed and mulled when you are assessing potential threats and glitches for your IT system.
In this day and age, more than anything, cyber attacks are the most common threats looming over the IT departments of any business. Therefore, give them preference in your assessments.
Have a Business Impact Analysis
Business Impact Analysis (BIA) is a systematic way to gauge the potential fallout of any disruption to critical business operations. It thoroughly looks into the effects of any disaster to the safety, finance, goodwill/reputation, regulation, legality and other important characteristics of a business. In simple words, BIA can precisely tell you how your business is going to suffer following any interruptive occasion.
IT systems have taken center stage in the operations of any business. Interruption in its functioning can result into affecting any of the critical aspects that we have mentioned above. For instance, an online store with their servers down will obviously see a dip in its revenue. Similarly, with consumers not getting their purchased items on time or failing to place an order will also have adverse effects on the reputation of the store.
By doing BIA with the tangent of your business’s IT structure, you will be able to know the factors that are going to affect your business the most in case of any catastrophe. BIA can help you with finding out the vulnerability of your system which will in turn help you in devising an effective contingency plan. You can get help in devising a BIA plan for your business from this information.
Focus on Human Resource
At the end of the day, any digital system is run by a group of people and technology is only acting as an enabler for the smooth running of your operations. Therefore, in devising your IT disaster recovery plan, you must focus on training the people who will be responsible in responding and implementing your contingency plan in any instance of crisis. It’s a common mistake committed by many companies to overlook people, especially when devising an IT disaster recovery plan.
No matter how good a disaster recovery plan you have made, you can’t put it into effect without your human resource. Also make sure that you have a team of people who are given the job to deal with affected consumers in case your IT system suffers a setback because actual human response is far better than automated messages.
There is another important factor when preparing your people for IT disastersfori.e. don’t reveal your recovery plan to the entire organization. There should be some confidentiality to it because public information can be leaked and you certainly don’t want cyber criminals to know your contingency plans.
Keep Updating the Plan
The domain of IT experiences frequent and quick changes. Therefore, the respective recovery plan should also be dynamic and adjusted accordingly. For instance, if your database has already exhausted the storage space of 10 Terabytes and your cloud backup only accounts for 1 Terabyte, then you are certainly going to experience a major blow in case of any data breach.
Prioritize What’s Important
It’s a bitter reality that any form of IT disaster will take its toll on your operations no matter how better planned and prepared you are. Therefore, prioritize what is most important for your business operations and go no to protect those assets (tangible or intangible) first.
In between public and confidential data, you would certainly want to protect the latter from the shenanigans of cyber criminals. Similarly, connectivity to internet servers is more important than a lagging operating system in an instance of any disaster. Your team must know to swiftly prioritize the things in any such critical situation.
Like any other contingency plan, your IT disaster recovery plan should also An interruption to the test through regular mock drills. This practice is at to ensure that people responsible to implement the plan fully understand its intricacies. Practice drills can also help you in making tonecessary adjustment to your recovery plan.
Moreover, if your budget allows it then you can also go for Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). This option is a third-party management of the physical and virtual facades of your IT operations in any case of disaster. We will discuss DRaaS in detail in later articles. It is important to have yourself prepared in advance for any IT disaster and don’t wait for any catastrophe to happen.
Experts say that no one is immune to cyber attacks, although much can be done to keep this danger at a minimum and natural disasters should never be ruled out. Besides taking every precaution to keep your data safe, the most important one is to make sure you have an adequate and efficient backup system that the off site.
Posted On May 6, 2018