Disaster Recovery Plan Best Practices

Every business needs to prepare for the possibility of a disaster, cyber-attack or data breach. A computer virus, data breach, cyber-attack or natural disaster has the ability to wreak havoc on a business, or destroy it. With 43% of cyber-attacks targeting small businesses and 48% of data security breaches being caused by malicious intent , having an all encompassing Disaster Recovery (DR) (also known as Business Continuity Disaster Recovery) plan is crucial to not only your business’s cyber security strategy, but for the survival of a business. When an organisation loses data such as customer information and transactions, it can take days or even weeks to get back to normal business operations, and those who suffer are usually key stakeholders, employees and customers. 

A disaster recovery plan helps to lessen any downtime should disaster strike, and when you have a safe backup of your data, you can recover it quickly and reliably. When you choose to implement a cloud disaster recovery plan, you’ll ensure that your data, day-to-day processes and business is protected, no matter what’s around the corner. 

What Is a Disaster Recovery Plan? 

A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a step-by-step plan that has a structured approach and instructions in response to any unplanned incidents or issues. This documented proposal outlines the necessary precautions that are needed in order to reduce the effects of a disaster such as a data breach or cyber-attack. This means that the company can continue mission-critical functions and resume their operations. 

Below, the experts at OGL have put together six best practice tips so that you can create a DR plan that will effectively protect your business.

Keep your DR Plan up-to-date

Keeping your disaster recovery plan up-to-date is crucial if you want to be protected and have a plan should there be an issue. Every business evolves and processes are often tweaked or changed, so it’s important that your DR plan is kept up-to-date. 

Think about it - your company may have spent time planning, testing and successfully implementing an all encompassing plan that you know works. A few months later you spend some time and money adding a new module to your CRM system that runs on the cloud, but you don’t update and test your DR plan to reflect this. You then experience downtime and are unable to recover any data, meaning all your time and effort is wasted. You need to make sure that your plan is aligned with your ever-changing environment, and testing these changes is vital if you want to stay on top of your latest assets.

Test your DR plan

Every DR plan needs to be tried and tested - without testing your disaster recovery plan, how will you know that it works in the time of a crisis? When you test your plan, you need to consider all possibilities no matter how big or small. You’ll also know what to do in a real event, as you’ll have practiced. When you test your DR plan, you should have detailed explanations stating what works in your plan and what doesn’t. You can then develop this to ensure that business continuity is maintained, and you won’t suffer any losses in revenue or brand trust should there be a small failing. 

Take a prevention rather than cure approach

It is always better to try and prevent a potential problem than have to pick up the pieces and try to fix one. A consistent backup of each process your company undertakes means that your data and information will be safe in the event of a system crash, breach or attack. The prevention rather than cure approach means that you’ll be paying attention to detail and have software that can cope with your day-to-day business processes. 

Outsource your DR plan

When you have your own IT department put together a reliable backup and DR plan, there’s a real chance that they may miss smaller vulnerabilities and their attention will be divided - after all, their day-to-day role has a lot on. When you choose to outsource your DR plan to an IT management company, they oversee the entire process, and know exactly what they need to consider. 

Ensuring that you have a tried, tested and solidified disaster recovery plan that follows the latest best practices is critical if you want your business to survive in the event of a breach, attack or disaster. No matter what industry you’re in, disaster doesn’t discriminate. It takes a few minutes without having a reliable backup or fully thought out disaster recovery plan for data to be leaked to the press, and if this information reaches the public or your customers, your company’s value, integrity and reputation will suffer, even if you eventually manage to resolve it without any severe damage to your clients and their accounts. Get in touch with OGL to discuss your disaster recovery plan today.