A disaster recovery plan is a document that outlines actions and procedures necessary to restore vital services and information in the event of a natural or manmade disaster. It is essential for any organization that relies on technology, such as a business or government agency, to have a disaster recovery plan in place.
A well-developed disaster recovery plan ensures the continuity of operations by ensuring that critical systems and data are adequately backed up and maintained. It also provides a mechanism for notifying stakeholders in the event of a disruption, such as an emergency involving physical damage to a facility or equipment. Develop a well-thought-out Disaster Recovery Plan with the help of Disaster Recovery Houston experts to minimize the risk of disruption of vital services and information in the event of a crisis.
The goal of a disaster recovery plan is to ensure that business operations continue as usual in the event of a disaster. It can be as simple as writing down basic procedures for ensuring continuity in case of an IT emergency or as complex as setting up a robust backup system with redundant storage and power sources. A well-thought-out disaster recovery plan can help minimize the damage caused by any IT disruption.
Seeking the help of an experienced team, we have assembled a shortlist of five steps recommended by Managed IT Services Houston professionals to aid in crafting an effective disaster recovery plan that will expedite your business’ restoration.
Table of Contents
Organize a Disaster Recovery Team
This team should be comprehensive and include several individuals with varying skill sets. They should have experience in the field of disaster recovery, such as IT professionals or engineers. They should also have knowledge of the local area and the infrastructure.
The team should also include individuals communicating well with the public and media. These individuals can provide information to the public about how they can prepare for a disaster and what they can do to help. The team should also include someone who can act as a point of contact for emergency responders and law enforcement.
Finally, it is vital to have a team that communicates well with one another and stakeholders, such as government officials or other organizations involved in disaster recovery. Having a strong team that understands their role in a disaster is essential for effective recovery after any incident.
Examine the Effects of a Disaster (Risk Assessment)
A disaster recovery team assesses the impact of a disaster on an organization by performing a risk assessment. A risk assessment helps determine the likelihood and consequences of various types of hazards that could impact an organization. It consists of four main sections:
- Identify Hazards: This section looks at the potential internal and external hazards that could impact an organization due to a certain type of disaster. These include natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes, technological threats like computer viruses, power outages, and data loss.
- Mitigation: This section looks at ways to reduce or eliminate the risk of these hazards. For example, a company may invest in backup systems to prevent data loss in case of a power outage or hire IT professionals with disaster recovery experience to mitigate the risk from technological hazards.
- Response: This section looks at how the organization will respond to a specific type of hazard. For example, if a major hurricane hits near your business’s location, you may consider relocating your business as a response to reduce damage and liability.
- Recovery: This section focuses on how the organization will recover from the effects of a specific type of hazard once it has occurred. For example, suppose the equipment is damaged by flooding after Hurricane Harvey strikes your business’s location in Texas. In that case, you must decide on the best course of action to repair it and resume normal operations as quickly as possible.
Establish Recovery Time Goals
After conducting a risk assessment, it is important to create recovery time objectives (RTOs) that outline the specific actions needed to recover from potential issues. These can align the recovery efforts with the organization’s goals and objectives. They can also be used to measure progress against the action plan and identify areas for improvement.
Creating effective RTO involves taking into account a number of factors, such as:
- The skills required by the team members.
- The level of expertise required by them.
- Their availability and availability of resources.
- The nature of work involved in the project.
- The time required to complete the project.
These factors will determine the number of people that should be involved in the recovery process. Once these are decided, it will help create a detailed and realistic plan for recovery from any potential issues.
Construct The Disaster Recovery Plan
You should be able to assemble your disaster recovery plan now that you have acquired knowledge from finishing the earlier steps. Every action necessary to restore every essential function of your organization must be documented, with accountability given to the appropriate people. This will reduce distraction and second-guessing while enabling the different tasks to be completed in accordance with the book.
Testing And Assessment
Once you have a solid plan in place, it is essential to test your plan. Here are some steps you can take to do so:
- Identify the critical systems and applications: This will help you determine which systems and applications are essential for your business’s operations. You should also identify any backup systems or cloud storage that may be used in case of a disaster.
- Create a backup plan: A crucial step in any disaster recovery plan is creating a backup plan. This includes determining how often backups should be taken, where they should be stored, and what type of media they should use (such as tape or disc).
- Test your backups: Once you have created your backup plan, it is necessary to test it. This can be done by performing periodic backups of key systems and verifying that they can be restored.
- Train staff on disaster recovery: It’s vital to train employees on disaster recovery procedures, including responding to specific emergencies and contacting officials or other resources if needed.
- Consider third-party solutions: Finally, consider using third-party solutions such as cloud storage providers or external data backup services for even greater security and redundancy. These can help ensure your business’s critical systems are well protected in a disaster.
Post courtesy: Scott Young, President at PennComp LLC.