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What is a Disaster Recovery Plan? Does your business have one? What should be in it?
It’s vitally important that your business can remain operational – regardless of anything that is thrown at it. But bad things happen in all walks of life and IT is no exception, which is why you need a plan in place to minimise any disruption and potentially destructive security breaches.
A Disaster Recovery Plan is a must for any business. It ensures that if something does happen you are prepared and ready to implement pre-arranged solutions without delay – which could save your company.
It really is that important!
Many businesses are aware of just how vital this is and have implemented their own Disaster Recovery Plan but many more have not.
Even for those who have, we would always advocate an ongoing review of what your company has in place and that regular updates be made as and when required.
This has taken on even greater significance in recent times with more people working from home or employers adopting a policy of hybrid working where employees can split their time between working remotely and going into the office.
Most people have had to work from home during the pandemic and many firms are finding that this policy is something they are happy to continue with as in many cases it suits the needs of the business and the employee. But remote working can heighten security breach dangers to IT systems with loss of sensitive information and cyberattacks, which is why you need to ensure that your Disaster Recovery Plan fits in with your latest business requirements.
When thinking about a Disaster Recovery Plan there are several steps you should take:
Look at your overall IT infrastructure – Assess strengths and weaknesses, highlight where problems may occur. This could be in areas like employee passwords or, where you are protected, cloud systems that can be accessed anywhere. Review your software, hardware and security, phone systems, how clients or customers contact you and the systems you employ to service them.
Think about how much downtime is acceptable – Consider a scenario where you have no access to your IT systems – no computer access, no way for employees to work, no way to monitor your staff or projects. How long would your business remain operational or even function at all? Your Disaster Recovery Plan will detail just what you need to do in this situation – part of which may be to contact your IT provider to resolve the situation for you. You will also need to let your staff know what to do during downtime, what’s expected of them and have procedures in place to inform customers and clients about what is happening.
Vital systems – What are the systems that are critical to your firm’s survival? If your business uses IT systems for general administration then it may be that a loss of access may not be so detrimental, but if your company uses a CRM system to communicate with customers and deal with day-to-day issues it becomes a critical part of the service you offer.
Be prepared – Your Disaster Recovery Plan is your go-to guide of what needs to happen when something goes terribly wrong. It needs to be a detailed procedure that can be implemented immediately you become aware of there being a problem. It needs to be clear and something your staff are aware of and understand, but most importantly it needs to cover all the bases so that any damage to your business can be at best eliminated and at worst minimised.