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Disaster Recovery - Why It Should Be A Top Priority

Bekir Kilic
Bekir Kilic

Simple mistakes can lead to costly business disasters. Every day on the news we hear about the next recall or outage that leads to the need for public relations to clean up the mess. More often than not, the damage is too great to overcome and that company which suffered the IT disaster is unable to recover.

Short for disaster recovery plan, DRP is a plan for business continuity in the event of a disaster that destroys part or all of a business’s resources, including IT equipment, data records and the physical space of an organization.

The goal of a DRP is to resume normal computing capabilities in as little time as possible.

Planning for the unknown and unlikely can be difficult but having enough funds to implement an IT disaster recovery plan can seem close to impossible. Often companies are faced with more pressing issues to their business than something that may or may not happen, or so they think, which is why we hear about these stories on the news quite frequently.

But how unlikely is it that an IT disaster could happen to your company? With the combination of natural disasters, hardware failures and human error, the reality is that data loss is only a matter of when, not if.

IT Hardware or device failure. While modern IT hardware is fairly resistant to failures, most devices fall far short of a perfect track record. No one is immune to hard disk or internet connection failures. While it can be costly for your company to eliminate any single point of failure in your IT infrastructure, it is the only way to ensure that a hardware failure doesn’t interrupt your service or cause data loss.

The less expensive and more sensible option would be to have your data backed up regularly. Ideally, and more cost-effective than building your own facilities, would be to outsource your IT infrastructure to a managed services provider. This eliminates any capital expenses while ensuring the strictest protection from service interruptions due to IT infrastructure failures.

Similar to IT Hardware, humans are also not perfect. They make mistakes. Have you ever accidentally saved over a word document or had your computer crash before you could save an important file? It happens to the best of us. Even the most cautious can forget a step in an important process causing data loss or the wrong data to being entered. While very common, these mistakes can often be the hardest to prevent and correct.

Creating a series of incremental online data backups let you easily restore your files to an error free state.

Having redundant firewalls, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software can ensure that security breaches are protected against if one were to be accidentally disabled or a port accidentally left open. Often times the most important way to prevent human error is in process improvements and quality insurance activities. Checking and double checking is often the best remedy, with online backups as a safety net.

A typical DRP has several stages, including the following:
• Understanding your organisation’s activities and how all of its resources are interconnected.
• Assessing your organisation’s vulnerability in all areas, including operating procedures, physical space and equipment, data integrity and contingency planning.
• Understanding how all levels of your organisation would be affected in the event of a disaster.
• Developing a short-term recovery plan.
• Developing a long-term recovery plan, including how to return to normal business operations and prioritising the order of functions that are resumed.
• Testing and consistently maintaining and updating the plan as the business changes.

“A key to a successful DRP is taking steps to preventing the likelihood of disasters from occurring, such as using a hot site or cold site to back up data archives”.

Conclusion: Save Money, Save Time, Save Your Business. Develop a Solid IT Disaster Recovery Plan. No business is invulnerable to IT disasters, but speedy recovery due to a well-crafted IT disaster recovery is expected by today’s ever-demanding customers. Too many businesses fail because they were ill prepared for an IT disaster, even when a simple solution like online backup could have easily saved them. If your business hasn’t thought about developing an IT disaster recovery plan yet, it should be on the top of your list of priorities. Your business and customers demand it.

Published on by BiziNet

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