These days, businesses of all types and sizes manage and create vast amounts of electronic data. While no one plans to fail, disasters—whether they’re man-made or natural—can strike at any time. Businesses need to restore threatened or interrupted services as quickly as possible, and disaster recovery plans allow them to do just that. Here, we’ll discuss these plans and explain how to create them.
IT disaster recovery plans, which are sometimes referred to as DRPs, are sets of procedures and tools that companies use to recover from security breaches and data disruptions. Generally, DRPs help organizations react to disasters, mitigate damage, and resume operations while prioritizing risks and protecting sensitive data.
As far as information technology or IT services are concerned, disaster recovery plans focus on aspects including server downtime, employee workstations, databases, and getting crucial systems online. If an event such as a power outage, a DDoS attack, or a weather event affects data access and interrupts a company’s workflow, it’s considered a disaster, and a DRP can help a company get back online as quickly as possible.
While many use the terms interchangeably, business continuity and disaster recovery planning are substantially different. IT DRPs outline how businesses will resume full operations after a natural or man-made disasters, while business continuity plans show how companies will continue to function as a disaster is occurring. For organizations with the human and financial resources to do so, creating business continuity and disaster recovery plans provides comprehensive protection.
To prepare for IT disasters, managers and executives must first know their companies’ vulnerabilities. If something is fundamental to an organization’s daily operations, it should be considered. Some of the most common weak spots include:
By understanding when and where things go wrong, companies can adequately prepare themselves to work around these issues.
Strong DRPs should list potentially disruptive scenarios and outline how the company will respond. Since disasters are likely to keep employees out of work for extended periods, recovery plans must be ready to implement and easy to understand. As you’re creating a DRP, follow this plan checklist.
Business disaster recovery planning is all about procedures—how the company will respond to crises and how teams will act to mitigate damage and back up sensitive data. Testing is another crucial component; it ensures that strategies can safely be implemented in the event of an emergency.
When building a DRP, follow these plan steps to ensure the inclusion of crucial details.
Now that the plan has been created, it must be tested periodically. When creating a DRP test, consider factors such as failure points, redundancy, recovery time objectives, recovery point objectives, and the types of disasters being simulated. With the evaluation of these factors, effective business disaster recovery planning becomes easier.
Test the DRP by conducting drills and assessing key team members’ reactions. Then, learn from their mistakes and modify the plan as needed. Periodic reviews, done at least twice per year, ensure that disaster recovery strategies remain relevant and reflect a company’s current IT and operational structures.
Preventive actions are always best, and basic precautions do much to maintain the safety of information technology and everything it controls. In the end, though, all these systems are run by humans—which leaves a wide margin for error. When the above disaster recovery plan components are included, a DRP is the safest and most effective way to recover from all types of disruptions.