What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?
In the event of a disaster such as a natural one or a man-made one, or even a catastrophic event for that matter, you will want to do your best to be prepared and have a solid plan in place. As such this would be the same for a business as well. However, for a business when disaster strikes, this could be in the form of a cyber attack. In order to protect your core business and information systems, it’s highly important to plan ahead and develop a disaster recovery plan that will be readily available for your team members. A disaster recovery plan (also known as DRP) will include a recovery strategy and steps to take to protect your business on how to handle unexpected circumstances.
In summary, a DRP, allows an organization to prepare for a wide range of disasters including network attacks and equipment failures. The purpose of a disaster recovery plan is to lessen the impact of a disaster on an organization. When done properly, a disaster recovery plan can ensure a quick recovery of business functions for an organization without taking a major loss in revenues and other business activities.
A disaster recovery plan will include a breakdown of company processes. And will also share the details of a business continuity plan so, in the case of a disaster, a company can return quickly to smooth operations with the least amount of interruptions possible.
IT Disaster Facts
- More than half of small businesses are reported to have suffered more than eight hours of downtime for the last five years. This downtime came at a significant cost; it cuts into the bottom line of the businesses involved.
- DRP needs to be updated on a regular basis so that new information and installations are included in the plan. For companies without DRP, a risk assessment is necessary before creating one.
- A 2015 report from the IT Disaster Recovery Preparedness (DRP) Council shared, “One hour of downtime can cost small companies as much as $8,000, midsize companies up to $74,000, and large enterprises up to $700,000.”
To begin with, a business impact analysis (BIA) has to be done, as well as a risk analysis (RA). The creation of a DRP also needs information on how fast the recovery needs to take place as well as the recovery status to be obtained for the process to be considered a success. Both of these are accomplished using a recovery time objective (RTO) and a recovery point objective (RPO). From the above, it can be seen disaster recovery requires a lot of work and expertise.
What To Do When Disaster Strikes in IT
When there is an IT disaster, an organization with a disaster recovery plan can immediately initiate its implementation. This begins with the incident response team taking over in order to assess the situation, recovering the affected systems, and later doing follow-ups to find out what sections of the disaster recovery plan worked and what parts did not.
Having a DRP will ensure that an organization is in a good position to manage the event. In addition, the plan allows businesses to test and improve on their existing disaster recovery plan and to ensure that normal operations are resumed as soon as possible.
To establish a hitch-free disaster management, copies of the disaster recovery plan should be made available for all those involved in the recovery process. The team should also be in a position to understand the disaster situation at hand and be able to test the plan out as well. An understanding of the systems’ hardware, software and other IT infrastructure of the organization affected is necessary for recovery.
That said, the process of recovering from a disaster should involve compliance with regulations as well as timely response, in cases where mission-critical operations are affected.
A successful disaster management process should end with the organization running its operations with little to no hindrances.
Managed IT Service Providers and Disaster Recovery Plan
A disaster can affect any department within an organization, including IT. IT has become a critical part of many small business operations and its outage could cripple an organization. Thus disasters need to be resolved with urgency and necessary skills.
IT disasters can be very expensive to contain and manage. Some businesses do not have the human resources to manage such incident. This is a problem that can be resolved by outsourcing the task to a managed IT service provider.
In fact, with the advent of cloud computing, outsourced IT support has pushed down the costs of disaster recovery. With these services, firms no longer have to spend on IT infrastructure in preparation for any disasters in future.
Another upside to using managed IT disaster recovery systems is that they are easier to deploy. Upgrades are also easier, and keeping the systems up to date is not technically demanding for the business. Using outsourced IT services can help free up time for company employees as well so they can focus more on projects rather than IT.
Disasters happen, and they have the potential to disrupt an organization’s operations and threaten its very existence. That is why every organization needs a disaster recovery plan to help them bounce back and reduce the potential damage that can happen due to unforeseen circumstances. Companies who don’t have the time or capacity to implement their own DRP should consider the services of Managed Service Providers who are skilled in disaster recovery.
Here at SDTEK, we offer two Managed Security Services – click here to learn more about our disaster recovery plan services. We will work with you to implement a DRP for your company to help keep your team members in the know if a disaster should strike.