If your business is getting ready to set up or install an IT disaster recovery plan, make sure you cover all the bases. Few companies are able to fully recovery from the loss of data or significant downtime, so this is one type of safety net you simply can’t do without.
- Monitor and/or update your disaster recovery plan regularly. The business world and the Internet are both like living, breathing organisms – they change and adapt daily. This means that a disaster recovery plan put in place six months ago might very well be obsolete by the time the unthinkable occurs. Whether you rely on automated monitoring, regular back-up data storage, or an actual physical update of your system, it’s a good idea to include regular updates into your planning and your recovery budget.
- Test the system regularly. Although this is technically part of the monitoring step, it’s a step that 9 out of 10 companies fail to do. But if there are weaknesses in your disaster recovery plan, you might actually be worse off than if you had no plan at all. That’s because you and your team will go through your recovery efforts under the assumption that you were safe from the more pressing issues, and you might fail to perform the most basic – and necessary – steps.
- Keep data stored somewhere else. Whether you keep your backed-up data stored physically off-site or you use offshore storage for all your information needs, having the information away from your own system is the most important thing. This back-up data will need to be updated regularly, according to your recovery point objective (or how reliant your business is on having the most recent data possible).
- Protect the hardware that goes home. If you have laptops that employees take home for work use, you need to install the laptops with theft recovery and data delete options. The top-of-the-line options will be able to return all the necessary information to you and still disable the computer so that the thief can’t get access to the same data.
- Consider hiring someone to do the disaster recovery planning for you. Whether you are a small business without an IT department or a large business whose data planning needs span entire departments and cross-country facilities, this is one area where it doesn’t pay to cut corners.