Data Disasters can be a nightmare for almost all companies. Therefore, having a Disaster Recovery Plan is an integral part of any business. Disaster can be anything – right from power outages to hardware failures to natural calamities or even activities like cyber attacks, etc.
An ideal Disaster Recovery Plan is made up of a lot of components. A lot of planning goes into forming a DR Plan as per the business requirements. The company needs to consider a lot of things while formulating the plan for it to be successful.
Here are eight tips which you can make use of while formulating a Disaster Recovery Strategy to safeguard your company’s data
1] Get everything on paper:
Getting things on paper is one of the most efficient and easy ways to get things done efficiently. Documenting your Disaster Recovery Plan will make it easier for you to get the approval of the senior management. In this way, the key players of the company know what they are doing. When the person in charge of the DR strategy moves on to another work, it can be a difficult task to trace every action. However, proper documentation of the DR Strategy helps in tracing back all the actions and decisions. As a result, implementation can continue with almost zero disruption.
A Disaster Recovery Strategy Document should contain all the necessary and crucial details. The aims and tactics of the plan, roles, and responsibilities, emergency contact numbers, guidance for the incident response, in the beginning, details of the people involved at each stage in the plan – all these details should be present in the document.
2] In-Depth Risk Assessment:
In a business, Risk Assessment is a crucial step as it can determine if the plan is going to succeed or not. For a proper Disaster Recovery Strategy, we should consider all the functional areas of the business. The potential threats that they might face and the IT resources which they rely on are all taken into account for assessment. A proper Risk Assessment should take into consideration any issues which might affect the external partners and service vendors, especially in cloud environments. This, in turn, will form the basis of the company’s Disaster Recovery Plan.
An audit of the complete IT inventory and data will be of great help. Such an audit will help in identifying the critical software applications and also any hardware infrastructure which is needed to run them.
3] Periodic Testing of the DR Plan:
Let’s say you have a solid evacuation strategy ready in case your building catches fire. But, this strategy won’t stop a fire from happening. However, regular fire drills will make sure that when the alarms go off, people know correctly what to do and how. Having this strategy ready won’t prove to be beneficial. But, the regular practice of this strategy will prove to be highly helpful in the time of emergency.
Now, treat your Disaster Recovery Strategy in the same way. Having a Disaster Recovery Strategy is not enough. Testing the strategy from time to time to make sure that all the processes and systems work in the desired manner is a very crucial thing. Knowing that you have an effective Disaster Recovery Plan in place is essential. But, knowing that it will be followed in the case of any Disasters is far more reassuring.
4] Plan for different Disaster Levels:
You cannot predict the kind or the intensity of the Disaster, which might strike your company. Even a small Disaster could uproot your business operations and lead to a prolonged outage if you were unprepared. Likewise, a huge disaster might not even have the slightest effect on the operations or the data of your business, if you were prepared and had taken the appropriate measures for the same.
Therefore, the Disaster Recovery Strategy has to be a well planned one. It is important to have different levels of responses to different levels of Disasters. This ensures that the right teams are able to deal with the appropriate kind of problems.
5] Using the Cloud can be a good option
Disaster Recovery via Cloud is both good and bad in its own ways. But, the best thing about it is that it is available to many businesses without needing to invest costs for backup and recovery hardware. Different cloud-based Disaster Recovery Systems have different ways of working. Some systems offer cloud-based backup and recovery. On the other hand, some systems use virtualisation to generate and keep a copy of your servers and applications. All of this happens while the data is replicated to the virtualised failover systems from the production systems
6] Prioritise resilience
When a company pays for a certain product/service, they wish and hope to derive the maximum benefits out of that. But, Disaster Recovery is a service which the organizations pay wishing that they never have to actually use it. Therefore, you need to make sure that your IT infrastructure is capable of recovering from a Disaster without any difficulty. To do this, a combination of good practice and investment in technologies and services is required. This combination needs to support the business and should be capable of minimizing any risk of failure. When you are aiming at achieving such resilience, you need to avoid having single points of failure. For eg, if a key application is run from a single server and is only capable of running from that server, this can prove to be a potential weak spot.
7] Study and Amend your Security Plans
A strong security system can reduce the risk of a Disaster, but cannot assure total safety. For a Disaster Recovery Strategy to be successful, the potential weaknesses in the security of the company should be evaluated. After evaluating them, appropriate action should be taken in order to strengthen security. Also, a detailed plan about what should be done if particular securities are breached should be made in advance.
8] Revise and revisit
Once everything is in place, you may feel it is safe to shelve your Disaster Recovery Plan. But with every new addition or upgrade of staff or situations, the strategy needs to be revised without any delay. For example, if new cloud technology is implemented, a DR Plan needs an update of the specific strategies for a particular tool. This includes how and where the backed up data is kept and how it can be recovered.
Open Minds HAS has been in the industry for more than a decade now. We have been providing highly effective Disaster Recovery Solutions and High Availability Solutions for some of the biggest global brands. Our team consists of experts who have been working in the industry for a long time and are well versed in the happenings in the industry.
To know more about Disaster Recovery Strategies or to get one implemented for your business, get in touch with us by clicking here.