Stay alert – stay alive. One of the principles in the US army teaches businesses a good lesson – to always be prepared for a disaster event. The vast majority of disasters are not usually caused by nature, but by humans, hardware error, software failure, or different types of cyber-attacks. Whether the size of your organization developing a master IT Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is the best way to keep your data safe.
In the next few paragraphs we will explain the importance of DRP, its positives, and the main components it includes:
What is it? – The Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is usually a step by step IT disaster recovery implementation plan with strict policies and designed processes that help the organization to respond to some kind of disaster to protect data, IT infrastructure, and devices and also to promote fast recovery to the normal business operations.
Why is it important? – to weigh the importance of a master IT Disaster Recovery Plan we need to point out its main benefits:
Cost –regular backups of data will be the cost of potential data loss. This means that the adoption of cloud-based data management is a corrective measure for data restoration that will also help with the rapid resumption of the usual operations.
Productivity – in the design of DRP roles and responsibilities are delegated to employees that will be accountable for the disaster recovery plan implementation. By doing so key tasks are being shared and overall team productivity is ensured which will lead to increased effectiveness.
Customers –DRP makes sure that customer-sensitive data is not being leaked or lost. If a company is prepared for managing failures or downtime it results in improved customer retention.
Compliance – industry regulations laws need to be applied when structuring a DRP. Although a company is experiencing a disaster it has to stay compliant.
Scalability – planning what could go wrong gives enterprises a certain level of resilience and flexibility. Organizations rely on their DRP to simplify the recovery process and to add scalability.
What does it protect? – networks, servers, desktops, laptops, wireless devices, data, and connectivity.
What triggers it? – unplanned incidents such as natural disasters, power outages, cyber-attacks, and any other disruptive events.
What can be damaged? – The main concern when thinking about an effective DRP is how to protect data. Equipment such as desktops, laptops, servers is the physical device that needs to be saved from total damage. Lack of networks and connectivity disruptions is another major point in the Disaster Recovery Plan. Last but not least it needs to be tough about the companies’ reputation – how to react and communicate the problem with the interested parties and the general public.
What does it include?
Goals & Reasons – what are the main goals of the organization. To minimize interruptions, to normalize operation processes as fast as possible. To minimize economic impacts and limit the extent of disruption to a minimum. To establish alternative ways of doing the daily operations in advance so when a disaster occurs – the organization can respond accordingly. Everyone has to be trained to provide their service for a smooth and rapid restoration of the normal way of doing things.
Personnel – who is responsible for developing and updating the DRP. Who is responsible for training the employees in case of emergency/outages / cyber-attacks / natural disasters etc.? Information about potential threads has to be distributed regularly so that employees stay alert of potential disasters happening.
IT inventory – knowing your inventory in detail plays a good amount of importance when conducting an attempt to make DRP. A list with information about the manufacturer, model, serial number, cost, and if each item is owned/leased has to be kept and updated at all times. This date has to also be accessible for all interested parties involved in the DRP
Backup procedures – a record of every time a backup is saved, where it is saved, and what is the amount of data with all of the changes in comparison to the last backup. Following a backup procedure will give a glance at how the DRP will be structured so minimal data losses will happen in case of a disaster. Track modified objects in libraries and directories to recognize any unusual behaviors.
Disaster recovery procedures – 3 main responses need to be implemented: emergency response procedure, backup operations procedures, and recovery actions procedures. Although documents regarding the emergency response to natural disasters are widely available, they need to be tailored to the specific floor planning and location of your office building. Part of the DRP is also the backup of essential data and restoration actions as well.
Disaster recovery sites – IT partners build an alternative site called “Hot Site” where real time-data is replicated of the existing network environment. This new website is planned to be used temporarily with backup data until a recovery is reached.
Restoration procedures – steps to restore the entire working system to the state it was before the disaster has occurred. Damage needs to be assessed and re-construction of data loss needs to begin.
IT Disaster Recovery Planning is for businesses that cannot tolerate any downtime. And let’s face the fact that none of the companies are actually thrilled to face such problems. Preparing and training the IT department for these kinds of bad situations with the help of DRP is the way to go.