20/01/14

Why You Need Disaster Recovery Planning

Did you know…?

“70% of businesses which suffer catastrophic data loss are closed within 18 months” (UK DTI)

IT
systems are a vital part of your business. If disaster strikes the
results can be tragic; so it pays to invest time in disaster recovery
planning to be certain you can continue to trade if the worst happens.
But what is disaster recovery planning? How can it benefit your
business? And what steps should you take to create an efficient disaster recovery
plan?

What is disaster recovery planning?

Simply put, it’s a
set of procedures to protect and recover your IT systems that click
into play in the event of a disaster. Most disasters can be categorised into natural and man-made. Natural disasters include weather induced power-cuts,
fires and flooding. Man-made disasters include staff accidents
such as spillages, crimes such as theft and vandalism and computer viruses such
as the notorious Cryptolocker virus. 

How does your business benefit from disaster recovery planning?

The most obvious answer is by making a speedy recovery
so that business operations are back to normal with the minimum of down-time. Clearly anything which impacts on sales or customer confidence
needs to be dealt with efficiently. A plan helps you do that.  

Other
key advantages include:

  • less
    disruption to business activities
  • reassurance
    for staff and management
  • prevention
    of financial loss.
  • prevention
    of loss of credibility and reputation in eyes of customers
  • protection
    of important data.
What makes an effective disaster recovery plan?

A good plan has 3 elements. It needs to have procedures for prevention, detection and recovery.

Prevention: means putting ‘belt and braces’ systems,
software and regular routines in place to minimise the risk of any potential threat creating a disastrous outcome. These are likely to include:

  • regular
    backup of data
  • educating
    staff on safely using the internet and identifying suspicious emails
  • email
    anti-spam filters
  • reputable
    antivirus software
  • uninterruptible
    power supply’s (UPS) – to minimise damage to equipment
    during power fluctuations and outages

Detection: means
identifying and responding to potential threats within your IT
systems so that any incident
doesn’t come as a complete surprise.  Detective measures are put
in place to detect disaster before it takes full effect. Examples of these routines include:

  • regular
    PC/laptop/server health checks and maintenance
  • server
    health reports
  • backup
    reports
  • regular
    anti-virus scans
  • CCTV
    and security alarms
  • fire/smoke
    alarms

Recovery:
means having a detailed and up-to-date plan with the corrective measures you will follow in the event of the ‘disaster’. Key personnel in your organisation need to
know the plan and exactly what they have to do. Examples activities:

  • recovering
    data from backup
  • having
    IT support on hand to support your recovery
  • testing
    your system to identify any damage or data loss

It’s easy to see the importance of disaster
recovery planning for your business IT systems. Taking a few diligent steps and putting a plan in place now will aid a swift and efficient recovery should the unthinkable
happen. If you still have questions about how to tackle the practicalities of disaster recovery planning in your business, please call 0808 168 5999 or email katy@networksupportsolutions.co.uk

We’ll be glad to help.