Disaster Recovery, Security

What's Included in a Disaster Recovery Plan?

Chaz Hager July 15 2022

According to research by SysGroup Marketing, 93% of all companies that suffered any form of major data attack or disaster went out of business in under 12 months. With the reliance on data and electronic forms of storage growing by the day, a fool-proof disaster recovery strategy is of paramount importance.

Businesses are often confused though: what components make up a reliable disaster recovery plan? Well, it depends. But there are many components or ‘must-haves’ in such a plan that will help your business mitigate the risks from cyber threats, attacks, and calamities.

In this article, we’ll take a look at a few of them:

The Core Components

Before delving into the more profound realm of elements that should form a part of your disaster recovery plan, you should take note of some essential components that should be included simultaneously while preparing the plan. 

Here are a few things to take note of during the planning stage:

  • Outline your goals and plans in detail, so you can prepare to mitigate the most threats and calamities possible. The greater you choose the scope of the plan to be, the more disasters it will cover.

  • Do not forget to integrate authentication tools such as password managers, encryption mechanisms, etc. to keep your data secure. This will limit data misuse even in case it is compromised. 

  • One-size-fits-all does not work – remember to tailor your disaster recovery strategy to suit not only your business practices but also your geo-location. For example, is your data stored in locations where earthquakes or floods are likely? If so, you might need to create backups and take relevant precautions.

  • Always version your documents. We all learn from our mistakes, and your organization will be no different. Update documents with information on how you tackled a disaster, what steps worked and what didn’t, which steps affected the speed and rate of mitigation, etc. These will be invaluable learnings for the next disaster and help you act faster and with more confidence.

  • Create a media release plan. This may seem strange to include in a disaster recovery plan, but remember, data compromises can shatter your reputation and create dissent among shareholders, as well as distrust among the public. Plan well in advance the company policies that shall govern your communication with the media in such cases.

Once you’ve got this part down, you should focus on other components that will help you maximize your disaster recovery strategy. The below points should be treated like a checklist of things you should ensure the plan contains once it’s ready.

Form a List of Likely Disasters

A disaster recovery strategy is aimless till the time you explicitly come up with vulnerabilities and breaches, as well as potential downtime causes. Knowing the problem is half the solution, as this will guide all your planning efforts in the right direction. This will help your team identify the most accurate and likely-to-work strategies and policies, and mentally prepare the business for when you do encounter those disasters.

Segregate Operations and Documents Based on Criticality and Priority

Some threats may expose your core business functions, resulting in a complete downtime of all your services. This could prove to be incredibly costly, so differentiate all documents and business operations based on how critical they are to running your business, so you can at least offer some services to your staff and customers alike when disaster strikes.Canva Design DAFIfFXpnWI

Create a Specialized Team

A core team of experts should from the in-house IT team should be assigned disaster recovery roles in the plan. Every employee should be certain of their roles, and the plan should detail the names, roles, and contact details of the entire disaster recovery team. This team will solely be responsible for mitigating the threat and ensuring the plan is followed throughout the business. 

Do not forget to name a leader within the team. If you do not have in-house cybersecurity and business continuity experts, the plan should mention the name and contact details of your third-party cybersecurity vendor.

If you’re confused by this, you should consult managed cybersecurity providers such as Northriver IT to cover any and every threat your business may encounter.

Allocate Individual Roles to all Employees

Every individual and department, from C-level executives to that intern you onboarded the other day, will have a role to play. This could range from informing stakeholders or media, to contacting third-party vendors, checking inventory, calming clients, and more. Ensure your employees are aware of their role, so they know exactly where to be and what to do during a disaster.

Final Word

It may seem like a hassle, but with proper planning and a thorough understanding, a good disaster recovery strategy saves a lot of cost and effort. Our ‘A 12 Step Guide to Build Your Disaster Recover Plan’ is an excellent start for a step-by-step guide. But when it comes to data security, though, it’s best to rely on experts with years of experience to get your job done for you

If you need assistance, our managed cybersecurity services might just be what you need. Reach out today: at Northriver IT, we’re always happy to chat and guide!

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