It doesn’t matter whether you’re seeking protection against the physical damages of flood and fire or the more pervasive damages of a system that has been infiltrated by hackers – disaster recovery planning is necessary for any business. However, because the scope of potential threats is so large – and because there are so many kinds of threats you may not have even realized – it can be a daunting task to undertake.
Before you do any disaster recovery planning, it’s important to prioritize what’s important for your business. No two disaster recovery plans are alike, and the only way to minimize your own damages is to act accordingly.
Some of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself include:
What are the most likely worst-case scenarios? (For example, if you are located in a flood plain, you may need to place a greater focus on keeping physical damages to a minimum. If your company deals with a large amount of personal data, keeping your customer’s information safe might be the most important thing.) How can these be prioritized to streamline the disaster recovery planning stage?
What do you need to keep the business running in the event of a disaster? Do you need email? Phones? Access to backed-up data on the system? Alternate computers or technology?
What liabilities might you be facing? If your network is infiltrated by hackers, what are the legal ramifications for your company? How much of an effect will this have on your company reputation and your bottom line?
How long can your system be down without causing you to go bankrupt? (For example, if you experience a denial of service attack or you simply can’t access your system for a few days, how prepared is your company to “weather the storm?” Do you have access to emergency funds or an alternate way to keep business running?)
Is your data somewhere safe? Imagine that you’ll never be able to get your system back up and running again. Do you have backed up data located somewhere where it won’t be damaged?
What sort of information sharing system do you have in place? Employees and administrators will need to be kept appraised of the disaster and its recovery efforts. A way to contact everyone is important in making sure that things continue to run as smoothly as possible.
How are you going to let your customers know about the situation? Nothing is more irritating to a customer or client than being unable to access your company (either online or in person). If your system is going to be down, or if you need to send out notifications of an information breach, you must have a way to get in contact with all of your customers.
No one likes to think that a disaster can happen to them. However, most businesses will experience some sort of an information emergency during operations. In order to successfully get your company back up and running, it’s important to plan ahead.