What Makes a Great Disaster Recovery Plan?

How to help your company recover from an IT disaster!

When it comes to protecting your company from online threats, proactive measures are key. A great digital security plan will not just defend your technology against attacks, it will also help protect your company ahead of time.

What you do if all of your computers temporarily shut down? Does your company know how much it would lose from a day without computers? What about half a day? 4 hours? The way many companies predict these things is through something called a disaster recovery plan. Here is what goes into a great plan that can help your company minimize losses if you suffer a digital attack.

What is a Tech Disaster Recovery Plan?

The Disaster Recovery Plan outlines your company’s protocols for responding to a digital disaster. Whether that’s a data hack, computer hijacking, or wide spread technical outage: a tech disaster recovery plan’s goal is to outline the most efficient way for your company to respond to a hack. Formally disaster plans are plans organizations and businesses create to outline standard response to disasters of any kind. However, within IT, the most essential of these disaster plans to have is one that is a response to digital threats. Disaster recovery plans need to be comprehensive to allow for adaption in a wide variety of technical difficulties.

Here are a few steps you can focus on when you start creating the best possible disaster recovery plan for your company.

Start inventorying your software and hardware

An accurate inventory is essential for several reasons. With a full record of all the hardware/software your company has, your company is better able to prepare against equipment downtime. This is because when you understand what equipment your company’s basic functions are based off of, an IT person is better able to identify just what is not functioning correctly/has been hacked. Allowing for quicker recovery.

Beyond this, having a inventory with photos of each piece of hardware is also essential for dealing with insurance and replacement claims, both of which may help your company recuperate more quickly from a crash.

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“When you understand your equipment, you are better able to identify what has been hacked. “

Defining the data loss and downtime tolerance

Every business has a different tolerance when it comes to how much money it can lose when it’s offline. Amazon for example loses millions even for a few minutes of downtime. That means you need to make sure you understand what impact even a small downtime has on your business.

If your company is down for half and hour, how much will you lose? What if your company’s computers are only working at 50% capacity for that time? Once you know the answers, it will be a lot easier to assess the impact of a crash.

Divide your applications into 3 tiers when you create the disaster recovery plan. The three tiers correspond to how important the equipment or software is for your company’s operation. The tier 1 apps and equipment are the ones your company needs up and running as quickly as possible. If for example your company books appointments over your website and phone, both your phone and website are going to on tier one. The second tier correspond to slightly less critical equipment that your company can meet the needs of the customer without (at least for a short time). Then the third and final tier are those technologies that are essential for your company to succeed over the long run (1-4 weeks or longer).

Outline Employee Response

An organization is built on the people in it. Disaster recovery plans are more than just outlines of equipment to fix and downtime calculations, a great plan addresses what actions employees need to take during a disaster. Create a plan for every staff member and educate them beforehand about their role in minimizing the damage of a tech disaster in your company. This way whenever a disaster strikes, every team member will be ready.

Establish a communication plan

In the event of a problem, a good disaster plan addresses how the company gives information to right people. The information should address what the problem is, how it happened, and what needs to be done. Keeping staff up to date on how the situation unfolds is another key element of a quality disaster recovery plan.

The right communication does wonders, and it will help to bring your business’ ability to deal with new and unforeseen threats to a higher level.

Add ways to handle any sensitive information

Within the disaster recovery plan you should define all the technical and operational procedures that help you keep sensitive information away from prying eyes. You need to establish how all that sensitive information will be handled when the DR plan is fully activated and set in motion.

Always test your plan

A good disaster recovery plan is never complete. Whether it be due to a hack or a employee based technical error, understanding how long your company can go without key technology is critical in preparing for the worst. A crash or hack doesn’t need to fully bring your company to a standstill and it won’t with the right disaster recovery plan in place.

Tech Masters is here to help you create and also implement a professional disaster recovery plan as fast as possible. Technological disasters can lead to millions in losses, so you should try to find the best systems that help you recover your business the right way. With the right approach, nothing can stand in your way, so don’t hesitate and get in touch today!

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