IT Disaster Recovery Plan: Explained

The challenges of 2020 have proven that every organization needs an IT disaster recovery plan in place when things go wrong. Well-thought-out procedures can help protect your business. Here, we have outlined the essential elements of a disaster recovery plan to help get you started.

Many businesses often think they do not need an IT Disaster Recovery Plan. Unfortunately, that is where they go wrong. 

Your employees are the number one reason why your business needs to have an IT disaster recovery plan in place.

It is not that one disgruntled employee decides to destroy a robust system, although that happens sometimes. The most common risk is someone clicking on a wrong link or opening a malware-infected file from an email.

This is why preventing hackers, ransomware, or viruses requires having systems in place to reduce the risk of human error. It is one of the first steps you want to take from a preventative point of view. You may also want to consider other risks, including:

  • Hardware failures
  • Fire
  • Natural disasters
  • Criminal acts
  • Flood
  • Power surge/outage
  • Loss of communication systems

Before you dive into building the information technology side of your business continuity strategies, you should know the most critical elements.

Essential Elements of a Disaster Recovery Plan

Do a Thorough it Assessment and Inventory

To put a robust IT disaster recovery plan into action, you must do a thorough IT asset and inventory of your on-site hardware and software. 

Your IT provider usually conducts this assessment and risk analysis. However, based on the size of your business and the complexity of business processes, your disaster recovery plan assessment can take some time.

A managed security service provider plays a crucial role in ensuring that your security and compliance requirements are being met, regardless of your niche.

Plan an IT Backup Management Strategy

Once you have done a thorough evaluation of your IT assets, including data, systems, hardware, cloud, now is the time to get to work on an IT disaster plan.

The formal strategy generation process starts when an IT engineer takes the data from the assessment and analyzes it to see what tools and tactics will work best for your situation and business operations.

Every organization is unique. It may be cost-effective for your business to migrate to the cloud rather than maintaining physical offsite data centers.

Proper Backup Management Needs Employee Training

To be efficient, disaster recovery strategies must be adopted throughout the organization. Each management team member and members need to understand their role in keeping processes within the umbrella of protection provided by the disaster recovery plan.

An organization must invest its time in training employees both in cybersecurity awareness and their individual roles (what they should do) if disaster strikes.

Create Disaster Response Teams

The best practice for a disaster recovery plan is to have an emergency response team that determines to what extent the disaster recovery plan must be entreated.

Once the roles & responsibilities are assigned, this team then contacts and assembles the disaster recovery team, including IT specialists and key staff from the main business departments that focus on business recovery.

It is vital to create and test the plan, along with having backup staff delegated. 

Team members must have the contact information of third parties, such as key customers, suppliers, insurance, media, and even family members in cases of natural disaster or injuries.

Part of your response may also include a financial assessment evaluating the costs due to the disaster and the financial needs to recover from a disaster to re-establish normal operations.

Ensure your Backups Include Data and Workflow

Perhaps the cornerstone of an IT disaster recovery plan is data backup to stop data loss. However, it is crucial to note that not all backup solutions are designed equal.

For instance, many consumer-grade and “business-lite” backup solutions only back up data files, not your entire system. Without access to both your information and your applications & operating systems, your business could have trouble with restoration.

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