Here’s how to take your Disaster Recovery planning to the next level, whether you’re starting off or not.
We live in a world where disasters, such as security breaches, data corruption, or hardware failure, will unfortunately occur regardless of how well we plan for them. Therefore, it is critical to have a disaster recovery (DR) strategy in place so that everyone knows what to do and the impact is minimised in the event that fate does come knocking.
All aspects of a company’s operations that could be affected by an unexpected event should be factored into its recovery strategy. In addition to the effects on your workforce, issues with your data centres, networks, or even the cloud can have ripple effects on the satisfaction of your customers and the success of your business as a whole.
Regular reviews of risk assessments, prioritisation of business-critical applications and documents, and disaster recovery plans are essential.
If you currently have a DR plan and need to evaluate its essential components, or if you’re developing one for the first time, the following nine practices will assist you through the process and guarantee your organisation is ready for disaster.
What is Disaster Recovery Planning (DRP)?
A disaster recovery strategy helps an organisation recover its technology and operations based on its business policies. It’s a subset of business continuity and security planning. 2021 taught the world that calamity strikes unexpectedly. Pandemics or wildfires must not hinder businesses’ ability to supply services. Planning helps by identifying key resources and how to secure and backup them.
1. Determine the metrics for disaster recovery planning
Following completion of the BIA, the criticality and cost of downtime for the company’s IT infrastructure and processes are quantified. Every aspect of the company can have its own set of official, measurable recovery goals that we can work toward together.
Initial Aim: Set a Target Recuperation Date (RTO)
This is the length of time an individual service can be unavailable before seriously affecting operations. A website that sells products online, for instance, cannot have a lengthy outage of its “Add to Cart” feature. While this may be an inconvenience, the ‘Customer Care chat history’ feature can be unavailable for a few hours without major consequences.
Second Aim: Find the Target for Recovering (RPO)
Most discussions about mitigating risk in the face of disaster centre around either updating security measures or creating offsite copies of critical data. Backups stored on many servers or in the cloud are preferable in the event of data loss. The RPO establishes at what intervals this should be performed for each asset or duty. This basically tells you how far behind the times your data can be before it causes problems in the event of an unexpected occurrence.
2. Keep disaster recovery playbook at hand.
While no one likes filling out paperwork, having a well-documented DR strategy is essential for a successful and rapid recovery.
The recovery plan’s goals and strategies, as well as the procedures to be followed for each strategy, the duties associated with each role, and the people who will be performing those duties at each stage, should all be recorded. Every step of the plan should be easy to understand, and the chain of command should be approved by upper management.
Depending on the disaster’s type and location, businesses with dispersed resources and expertise will be better able to recover.
3. Assess the risks.
A good disaster recovery (DR) strategy starts with a risk assessment of all potential threats to all functional areas of the business, in order to identify what IT resources are required.
An inventory of your IT systems and data, along with a risk assessment, can help identify critical software and hardware needs, as well as any potential issues with external partners or service vendors. This information can then be used to create a disaster recovery plan.
The inventory-tracking process must take into account any and all SaaS apps, such as Microsoft Office or Salesforce. Though they may have little to do with the company’s services themselves, losing touch with potential customers could have serious consequences. Loss of contact may be a serious setback for any firm, and email suites play a role here.
4. Maintain a high level of employee education, training, and practice.
Constant communication with everyone involved is essential, and DRP drills should be as routine as fire drills at your workplace. Refresher courses and other forms of training should be scheduled regularly.
5. Consider the cloud.
The answer is yes, DRaaS (disaster recovery as a service) does exist. It’s important to remember that not all cloud-based DRaaS solutions are created equal. Some provide cloud-based backup and recovery, while others employ virtualisation to keep a copy of your servers and apps and duplicate data from production systems to virtualised failover systems.
It’s true that cloud disaster recovery has its drawbacks, but similar to other cloud-based services, it’s affordable for a wider variety of organisations as there’s no need to purchase expensive backup and recovery hardware right away.
6. Generate detailed reports after the test.
At the end of any testing process, a thorough report covering the following should be generated:
- What kind of tests are performed?
- The Regularity of Examinations
- Success factors – outlined criteria used to judge the efficacy of the test. Having an error-free result isn’t the only criterion for a successful test. Errors that might have made it into the final product might be prevented by conducting thorough tests.
- Practiced testing techniques
- Analysis of Test Results
7. Triple check DRP security practices.
Your plan for disaster recovery and security are inseparable. Using sound safety procedures, you can lessen the likelihood that you’ll have to implement your DR strategy.
However, as part of a thorough DR plan, you should assess the state of your security and take appropriate measures to shore it up if necessary. What to do if specific defences are breached should also be predetermined.
8. Reconsider and reevaluate.
Once your disaster recovery strategy is complete, you may be tempted to forget about it. However, the strategy needs to be updated frequently due to the rapid pace at which new technologies are adopted, new employees are hired, and circumstances inside the organisation itself change.
For instance, if cloud computing is introduced, the disaster recovery plan will need to be revised to account for the specifics of this new technology, such as where and how data will be backed up and restored.
9. Champion disaster recovery response team.
A successful recovery strategy requires the right personnel to execute it. This includes both internal staff and any external contacts, like software vendors.
It is important to clearly define disaster recovery roles and responsibilities, and to have comprehensive documentation and training. Depending on the nature and location of the disaster, businesses with more dispersed resources and skills will be in a better position to put their recovery plans into action.
It’s ironic that the best way to protect your backup team is to have a backup for each role. This way, if something happens and someone on the team can’t continue, there will be someone else who can step in and fill the role.
Communication is essential for an effective recovery plan. Make sure you have multiple ways to contact each team member, and that their contact information is clearly marked on the recovery plan.
What is disaster recovery in cyber security?
Making sure your company can keep running with minimal damages when a crisis strikes is what disaster recovery is all about.
Security incidents brought on by cyberattacks, such as distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks or data breaches, are the primary focus of cybersecurity disaster recovery.
Your company’s recovery plan will outline the measures it will take to mitigate losses, eliminate the danger, and move forward without putting its continued existence at risk. These are some of the most important outcomes you’ll want to target with your strategy.
1. Disaster Recovery and Business continuity.
One of your first orders of business must be to set up a means of keeping the firm running smoothly.
In other words, you should prioritise safeguarding the company’s ability to carry on operations during and shortly after the attack. With this method, you can keep making money. Additionally, when you pick up the pieces and go forward, it is important to keep your reputation intact.
2. Disaster Recovery and data protection.
In addition, you should consider how to keep your information secure.
As part of this process, we take measures to limit access to your data by hackers, lessen the likelihood of data loss, and enable you to restore your data when an attack has been thwarted.
3. Disaster Recovery and reduced losses.
A disaster can cause other losses and damage to businesses.
These include money losses, legal issues, and reputational harm. Part of your disaster recovery plan must focus on limiting losses.
4. Disaster Recovery and communication.
You should consider how you will convey this calamity to both internal and external audiences.
How will you ensure that everyone on your staff is aware of what has happened? And how would you inform the relevant parties?
5. Disaster Recovery and restoration.
Restoring normalcy is the next step after a threat has been eliminated or reduced.
How do you get things back to normal as quickly and effectively as possible?