Did you know that 68% of businesses in the United States don't have a disaster recovery plan in place?
This is an alarming figure, considering that 93% of those will go out of business within a year of experiencing a data disaster.
A data disaster is an event that renders your business unavailable to access its data, affecting its operation.
It can be originated by a natural event like a hurricane or a tornado, or it could be a manmade event like a cyberattack.
Losing access to your business's data in this day and age could very well mean losing everything.
That means that data becomes an increasingly important commodity to businesses of all types and sizes.
It also becomes relevant to have a plan for if or when your business experiences a data disaster.
You may feel lost when thinking about protecting your business against a data disaster might be daunting.
By following the steps listed below in this article, you can make sure that your business is ready to take on the challenge.
However, before we get into those steps, there is one distinction you should understand: the difference between a business continuity plan and a disaster recovery plan.
A business continuity plan is a strategy by which a business can continue to operate no matter what kind of disaster or setback befalls it.
It is, in essence, proactive.
A disaster recovery plan is primarily reactive.
It has to do with how a business acts immediately following a disaster of some sort – in this case, a data disaster.
It is a plan set up for the what if cases.
Now that we're clear on what a disaster recovery plan is, here are the steps your business can take to create one that works for you and your business.
In the fight against data disasters, everyone has to be on board.
Otherwise, there will always be holes in your defense plan.
That's why executive buy-in – getting everyone in the company, from the CEO to the entry-level employees – is crucial.
You need everyone to collaborate cross-functionally to protect your business entirely.
From there, you need to thoroughly analyze each of your business's systems, applications, and data sets, as well as how they are physically accessed.
This will help you identify and map any potential vulnerabilities.
Then you should determine which systems are absolutely critical to the operation of your business and for getting products and services to your customers.
These are the functions that will need to stay up and running, even after a data disaster.
"68% of businesses in the United States don't have a disaster recovery plan in place."
Once you have everyone on board and an understanding of your equipment and assets (as well as their vulnerabilities), it's time to formulate your disaster recovery plan.
To do this, you should confirm your budget, resources, tools, and partners in this endeavor.
When you understand how long it takes your business to get back online and the cost of doing so, you will have a good idea of how to move forward.
No great plan is complete without first testing it to see if it will work.
Put your disaster recovery plan through a trial run to see how quickly your team responds to solve the problem.
Also, look for any improvements that need to be made to the process.
By the time an actual data disaster occurs, your business will know how to take care of it and keep running with no problem at all, or at least minor inconvenience.
While the steps themselves aren't difficult to understand, preparing your business to combat data disasters takes a lot of work.
In the end, though, the work is worth it if it means protecting your data and your business along with it.
As a recap, here are the four main action steps that you need to take in formulating a disaster recovery plan:
We hope that these steps can help you prepare for a data disaster so your business's data is safe from any threat that comes your way.
Also, we can accompany you each step of the road of setting a complete disaster recovery plan for your business (or even do it for you); contact us.
Want to know more about how managed IT services can help you keep your business protected with a disaster recovery plan? Check our cloud backup and disaster recovery services here.