Disasters are unpredictable, varying in type and scale. The best strategy is to have some kind of disaster recovery plan in place, so that operations may return to normal after a disaster has struck. For an organization, a disaster means abrupt disruption of all or part of its business operations, which may directly result in revenue loss. To reduce disaster losses, it is crucial to have a comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) for every business subsystem and operation within an organization. Business leaders create disaster recovery plans to ensure their company is capable of continuing operations during times of increased need.
A recent research survey, however, reports that nearly 60% of North American businesses do not have a disaster recovery plan in place in case of crisis – a recipe for potential business failure. Below are some tips to help organizations plan for a disaster.
Identify Potential Disasters
The first step in planning recovery from unexpected disasters is to identify the threats or risks that can bring about disasters. Conducting a risk analysis (sometimes referred to as a business impact analysis) involves assessing existing physical and environmental security and control systems, and evaluating their suitability with respect to the potential threats. The risk analysis process begins with a list of the necessary functions of the business. This list will determine priorities for addressing the risks. Essential functions are those whose interruption would significantly disrupt the operations of the business and may result in financial loss.
Create a Plan
It’s essential to have specific plans and procedures in place that deal with disaster recovery. Your organization can prepare for disasters by conducting frequent backups of critical data and storing original documents in a secure offsite location. Determine how clients’ needs can be met from a secure offsite facility and what key personnel will need to be relocated in order to perform these duties. Your organization’s disaster recovery plan should include specific steps outlining how it will prepare, secure, and quickly restore business operations in a variety of disaster-related situations. These plans require a regular review including objective suggestions for improvement from organizational leaders.
Plan for Continued Maintenance
The disaster recovery plan document should be kept up to date with the current organization environment. The following are recommended for maintenance of the plan documentation.
Regular testing: The disaster recovery plan should be tested from time to time (DRP plans should be tested yearly, or more frequently, if possible). Regular testing affords feedback on the effectiveness of the plan and identifies gaps that may be present and must be mitigated in the next revision.
Periodic Updates: Technologies, systems, and facilities that the plan covers may change over time. It is important that the disaster recovery plan document reflect the current information about the components it covers. For this purpose, the Disaster Recovery document should be audited periodically against the present components in the organization.
To keep a business running even if a crisis strikes, your organization requires a comprehensive, DRP. Any unforeseen interruption that disrupts communications or keeps staff from reaching the workplace is a danger to business operations. A detailed DRP is required to protect people, operations, data and most importantly, your organization’s reputation.
The Litcom Approach
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) Planning is not just an IT issue, it is a business problem and that’s where the planning needs to begin. Litcom will help you define your organization’s requirements and build a business case to support your disaster recovery initiatives. Our professional team will work with you to understand your business requirements with respect to disaster recovery and data protection. For more information on how Litcom can help your organization with a Disaster Recovery Plan, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.