Disaster! Do You Have A Plan?

Businesses today face an awful lot of challenges, with more and more coming along with the development of new technologies. It’s not uncommon for us to hear about a bit company being hacked, losing data or having issues that ultimately lead back to their IT systems – it’s in the news almost every week. But it’s not just the bigger businesses that are being affected. Smaller businesses are on average 68% more likely to see business continuity and disaster recovery as ‘not a top priority’, leaving themselves open to serous risk. So for this week’s post we want you to ask yourself one simple question:

What Happens When Your IT Stops Working?

Now, let’s be clear here. Your IT can stop working for a huge number of reasons, not all of which are being hacked by cyber criminals. Your IT systems could have become infected with a virus, there could have been a flood, fire or explosion in your building, or the zombie apocalypse could have struck during the night and your servers have been torn apart by ravenous ex-humans. Whatever the reason, you could easily walk into work one day and find that you have no working IT systems or infrastructure. What’s your response? If the answer is ‘panic’ then you are one of the people who need a disaster recovery plan in place, pronto!

What Should Be In Your Disaster Recovery Plan?  

A disaster recovery plan for a business is simply a structured, written down plan detailing the approach the business should take to unplanned incidents that can threaten any IT infrastructure. This should cover everything from natural disaster, software, hardware, processes and even people. Your plan should set out exactly what needs to be done, by who and when. It should also detail the safeguards and processes you have put in place, such as multiple backups (you do back up, right?), off-site servers and hardware that can be used while the main infrastructure is repaired or replaced. To help you out, the ideal disaster recovery plan should include:

  • A contingency planning policy
  • Business impact analysis for possible downtime
  • Identification of preventative controls in place, such as firewalls and on site security
  • Recovery strategies for data and information
  • A contingency plan for recovering or replacing hardware
  • Explicit instructions for process once a fault is discovered
  • Guidelines for public relations and notification of data loss or downtime
  • Planning, testing and training logs for all members of staff
  • A plan maintenance schedule

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Things To Remember: 

Keep It Simple. There can be a tendency to overthink things once you start digging into the disaster recovery side of things for your business. Instead of trying to solve absolutely everything, focus on gathering and organising the right, relevant information for your plan. There is really no need to involve the accounts department in your disaster recovery plan development, for example – they just need to be trained once you’ve worked it out.

Get Support. All too often the IT department is left to ‘just get on with it’, which can severely hamper their progress. Make sure that when you are developing this plan you have the support of senior management and other relevant people. This will not only make it easier to physically get things done, but it will give you access to the right information to develop an effective plan. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t be afraid to contact an expert for advice.

Get A Plan In Place, And Review It. Don’t put off developing a disaster recovery plan – disasters won’t wait until you’ve got one! Your business could suffer issues with IT infrastructure at any minute, so it’s important to get a plan in place quickly. Once it is done, set out a review date in a year, or two years’ time to go over the plan and make sure it’s still relevant. A lot of things can change in a year, especially in technology, so it’s important to keep your plans up to date.

If you’re still not sure where to start with your IT disaster recovery plan, or you would like help developing your own, we can help you. Indigo IT are experts in cloud based backup and disaster recovery plans, and we are happy to advise you on the best method, or simply take the project off your hands. For more information, get in touch with us today.

 

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