Disaster Recovery Checklist: Are You Prepared?
Disaster can strike your business at any time. Whether it is the result of a natural disaster such as an earthquake, or a system crash resulting in a loss of critical data, encountering one can wreak havoc on your ability to conduct your business.
It is a sad fact that 2 out of 5 companies surveyed do not have any disaster recovery plans in place, and a quarter of those who do admit to not testing them regularly.
Moreover, downtime can be expensive, with 69% of businesses estimating their losses at approximately $20,000 for each day their systems are not operating.
Therefore, having a thorough and well-executed disaster recovery plan is crucial to the continuance of your operations in the event a worst-case scenario hits, particularly when it comes to your technology infrastructure.
If calamity does strike, do you know what steps you should take to mitigate any potential damage? Is your DR plan accessible to all, and does everyone know what to do when the time comes?
In this article, we will look at the key items to consider when a catastrophe strikes.
Disaster Recovery Checklist
Different calamity types can affect various aspects of your organization. For that reason, it is vital that you have a disaster recovery plan in place that covers the entire scope of your operations.
So when disaster hits, ensure that you have the capabilities and resources to recover according to the following steps:
Ensure your plan is current. Outdated disaster planning can be detrimental to your recovery as personnel, processes, and technology may have changed. Ensuring your program is up to date will help its execution go smoothly.
Assign responsibilities. Before a disaster, relevant personnel should be assigned to conduct recovery tasks. By taking this step beforehand, you will be better positioned to ride the storm since people will know what their responsibilities are.
Set communications protocols. Once a disaster hits, how will employees communicate with each other? This question should be planned for in advance so as to avoid breakdowns in information flow. Some organizations maintain or designate offsite websites for this purpose.
Set failover locations. Designating offsite failover locations may be essential to your business continuity, especially if a natural disaster destroys your data storage facilities.
By designating remote locations, you can rest assured that your critical data will not be affected by a local disaster.
Set recovery time objectives. By setting in advance recovery timeframes, you will be able to estimate the speed of which you will be able to return to operations
Notify vendors. Vendors can be a critical part of your disaster recovery plan, especially in cloud-based environments. Make sure that your suppliers are aware of your recovery expectations and that they have set SLAs.
Identify disaster types. Since different events may entail different recovery protocols, it is important that you plan for varying contingencies.
Ensure documents are kept safe. Your disaster recovery planning and preparation should be carefully documented and kept safely, with physical documents copied electronically. In the event of an emergency having fast access to them may be crucial.
Conduct a thorough assessment. At the advent of an emergency, a previously-designated team should investigate the extent of the problem and determine the degree to which it affects you and your customers.
Some of the factors to consider in your assessment include:
- Potential hazards to people and dangers to equipment and facilities
- Which files have been affected and how much data have you lost?
- Has the disaster affected a local system or is the damage more widespread?
Identify critical steps. Next, it is important to establish priorities, determining which steps are urgent and which actionable items you can push back. Some of the goals to set include:
- Identifying which systems are more critical and setting priorities for their restoration
- Determining whether data recovery or system repair is more urgent a task
- Picking an appropriate restore point
Determine the type of recovery necessary. The fastest path to recovery is to identify which type of recovery is optimal for the situation. At this point, you should decide whether a primary file restoration is warranted, or in the case of a virtualized environment whether a local or offsite restore is necessary.
Verify that the recovery has been successful. Have the mission-critical systems been returned to operational status without data loss? As part of the process, you should evaluate network connectivity, and users should have access to computing resources.
Conduct a system restore. Once you have confirmed a successful recovery it is time to restore the system, should it be necessary. Your IT professionals will determine which type of restoration is warranted whether your network is hosted locally or a cloud-based virtualized environment.
Do a post-recovery assessment. After your organization has recovered, conduct a post-recovery assessment to ensure that everything is operating optimally. It is also an opportunity to understand lessons learned so that you can improve the process in the future.
The fastest way to recover from a disaster is to make sure that you have a plan in place. Proper planning will lead to efficient execution, allowing you to become operational in as timely manner as possible.
You will not only reduce your risk of financial losses, but you will also help to preserve your reputation while safeguarding your critical data.
TechGroup is a full-service IT company helping businesses of all sizes overcome technology challenges. From IT guidance and consulting to managed IT and cloud services, TechGroup has the solutions you need to empower your business. Contact us to learn how we can help you take control of your technology.