It is good to have a disaster recovery plan but it is far better to have a reliable one. A lot of organizations spend time and resources to set up a disaster recovery plan. Once the plan is set up, you may feel pretty confident in its safety. Unfortunately, your enthusiasm may be misplaced if your plan isn’t created the right way.
Have you asked yourself, will your business survive a disaster should one happen?
To help you put in place a solid disaster recovery plan, below we discuss a few mistakes you must avoid.
1. Shutting off External Inputs
Many businesses defer everything about disaster recovery to their IT department because well, it is an IT job. This can cause a big problem later. IT disasters can affect businesses in ways that an IT department or a business owner cannot anticipate. An effective recovery plan must get information from every sector of your organization. In addition, an external disaster recovery expert may be needed to take a fresh look at your plan. For example, a managed service provider may suggest improvements that will ensure your business data remains secure.
2. Inadequate Disaster Recovery Testing
Once you have your disaster recovery plan up and running, you may feel as if you’re ready to close that chapter. But DON’T close it! There is only one way to know if your plan will work and that is through rigorous and continuous testing. Assumptions aren’t reality, testing will let you update non-working aspects of your recovery plan. It will also let you prepare for worst case scenarios. If you adopt a testing schedule, you and your team will become familiar with the recovery process. Therefore, reducing the risk of panic-induced mistakes during an actual IT disaster or natural disaster. In addition, restored data should be verified for integrity.
3. Relying on One Backup
You have taken a big step by protecting your business with a backup plan. However, this is only good as long as your backup’s integrity is maintained. It is not unusual for business data and its backup to get damaged by a disaster. In that case, a business with one backup source can’t recover and may shut down. Having several copies of backup in different sites is redundant but it will enhance your business’ security. This is an important item to include in a disaster recovery strategy.
4. Ignoring Non-Centralized Data
Businesses prioritize data that resides sometimes in their mind or at the main office. This data is backed up on a regular basis. While data from branch offices and mobile devices such as laptops are either not backed up at all, or done occasionally. Modern businesses operate in both local and remote locations generating important data in the process. If you don’t include data from remote sources in your backup plan, a full recovery in case of a disaster may be impossible.
5. Not Having a Communication Plan
Many envision disaster recovery as just the process of backup and recovery. It is more than that. Since its goal is business continuity, a communication plan is an essential part of an effective recovery process. Your business needs to communicate with users and team members about the event and how to get back online in case of a disaster. The communication plan will also include steps necessary to get back online using appropriate tools and settings. Without a communication plan, your recovery may be stalled or even derailed. Users or members of your team won’t know what to do.
6. Focusing on the Wrong Disaster Risks
Earthquake, wildfire, and hurricanes are not the only disasters that businesses have to worry about. In fact, most disasters that affect businesses are due to human errors or deliberate sabotage. Such disasters include a failed backup power and infrastructural failures. Thus, disaster recovery plans should focus more on human-induced disasters. Also, during a risk analysis of your business, a new vulnerability angle such as cyber attacks could be revealed. These types of vulnerabilities should be considered while designing a disaster recovery plan. Not including other disaster risks in your plan can make critical business unrecoverable in case of new disasters.
There is no foolproof plan against disasters because they are unpredictable. However, you can close a lot of loopholes by avoiding the mistakes stated above and implementing the necessary changes. If you lack the resources to implement an effective disaster recovery plan, consider working with a business IT support provider (us!) to set up one. Disasters give no warnings, plan ahead to prevent loss, stress, and outage.