When it comes to disaster recovery, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach businesses can adopt. From flooding and ransomware, to data breaches and acts of terrorism, countless organisations have been shut down for long periods and downtime has cost businesses millions. Due to such a wide variety of catastrophes that can occur, both at the hands of nature and man, each requires a very different response. An area where many businesses fall foul is having a cookie-cutter single response to disaster recovery as a whole. However, a business continuity plan needs to be a flexible strategy that can be adapted easily and is always accessible.
Building an adaptive disaster recovery plan
Defining the primary daily needs of your business is key to the process. This is an opportunity to outline daily occurrences that negatively impact your organisation when you do not have access or normal operation cannot occur. Consider the following questions carefully:
- What are the top-level aspects your business needs, to maintain normal operative order, during a disaster?
- Would these needs change depending on the length of downtime?
- How much would different aspects of disaster cost?
Developing a disaster recovery plan
When putting together a disaster recovery plan for your business it is best to seek help from experts outside of your organisation. This will allow for clear objectivity. Furthermore, you can utilise their knowledge to ensure a thorough and flexible incident response plan is in place.
When developing your business continuity plan every single employee should be considered and their point of view heard. Management will have a different perspective on daily operations compared to an executive and each pocket of employees will have different priorities in the event of a disaster which all need to be considered. All staff need to be heard and are more likely to understand their part in the disaster recovery plan if they have been included in the process.
Prevention is better than cure and cutting down on the number of potential risks will benefit your business long term. Simple steps such as regularly changing passwords and using private connections go a long way to cutting down on weak areas that could be targets for hackers and data thieves. Establishing strong cyber security will be critical in a disaster recovery scenario as this is when your organisation is most vulnerable.
Business continuity plans need to run parallel to the day to day running of your business at all times. It should not be something that is picked up solely in an emergency event. Cloud services often provide continuous data protection. This means that staff should not lose any work during a period of downtime and can pick up exactly where they left off.
In disaster scenarios, where physical machinery and business software has been compromised, usually through a form of cyber-attack or theft, permissions will need to be shifted to other devices to enable staff to continue working. Having a tool that overlooks your entire fleet of fixed and portable devices, their security levels and access permissions can help businesses keep track of who is working on what and when. Being able to remotely wipe devices that have been stolen or attacked can also help with any data leaks.
Document & app replication
Having the systems in place to duplicate documents and apps across devices seamlessly. Just like being able to shift to working on different devices without a hitch, being able to transfer folders, documents and apps is equally as important.
The ‘fire alarm’ strategy
Workplaces all have a fire safety procedure to following during an emergency and this is practised and revisited throughout the year to ensure staff are aware of the process. This is how a disaster recovery strategy should be thought of too. Every member of staff knows exactly what they need to do during a fire at work and this same level of confidence should apply to putting a business continuity plan into action. Many organisations run simulated disaster sessions so that all members of the team can get to grips with the processes they will need to undertake.
For more information about how we can help with aspects of disaster recovery call us today on 020 3974 8812, or complete our enquiry form.
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