If your organization were targeted by a cyber-attack, could the CEO and senior management still access their email and critical communications? If a brutal storm shut your facility down, could your CFO log in to your company’s accounting applications? Can the sales team access your CRM system?
Or does your business shut down?
No doubt, these questions keep you, the IT professional, up at night. We all know the value of thorough disaster recovery planning, but is your DR plan complete? The goal of any solid Disaster Recovery strategy is to ensure that your data, systems, infrastructure and people are protected with minimal or no interruption in business operations should disaster strike. Take a minute to review your own plan to ensure you are considering these four critical elements of Disaster Recovery:
A complete disaster preparedness plan anticipates all types of disasters and then develops and tests specific plans that enable a business to maintain operations no matter occurs. While we easily imagine the impact of natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and fires, it is more common for disasters to occur due to system failure, cyberattacks or human error. A missed procedure, typo in the code, or system quirk can bring a business to its knees. Having checks in place and regular testing can catch these before they occur.
Even a brief interruption in access to your servers, network and applications can be costly to your business. Replicate your business critical infrastructure to an offsite location or on the cloud. We recommend maintaining a remote site for backup servers and networking equipment with UPS protection at both the local site to preserve the networking gear on premise and at the remote site for added redundancy in a large scale disaster. And, don’t forget to test and replace your batteries every 3-4 years.
Safety first is the best rule – ensure that safety protocols are in place and rehearsed regularly. Identify key personnel who are “mission-critical” and set a plan to give them quick and easy access to data and each other in case of an emergency. Do not limit your discussion to the IT team, but to all critical areas of operation. Ensure communications continuity and establish step-by-step guidelines for each person’s responsibilities.
Establish a schedule to regularly review your DR plan, not only to remind personnel of emergency procedures, but to ensure that the plan continues to meet your business’ evolving needs. Review your plan, processes and technology at least quarterly. Consider hiring an external auditor to perform an assessment to inventory and audit your site and recommend preventative maintenance and/or repairs.
Finally, gather a team of key executives and personnel to establish clear parameters and objectives, such as 1) the amount of time a system can be down, and 2) the amount of data that your company can afford to lose. Consider the consequences to business operations, including data loss, revenue loss, product/brand damage, and extended discontinuation of operations. Prioritize the four DR plan elements to meet the objectives set by your DR team. This comprehensive approach can assist in securing adequate funding for technology and the necessary time required to plan and test your disaster recovery strategy.
As Power Solutions, we are the experts in back-up power, remote power systems and infrastructure, and disaster recovery planning. Contact us 800-876-9373 to review your disaster recovery plan and ensure your organization is ready for any disaster.