What Is Disaster Recovery?

IT Services | September 29, 2022

Hardware failure makes up 55% of all companies’ downtime. Servers, networks, and systems fail all the time due to many different disasters. 

Even if your system doesn’t fail because of hardware issues, you could experience downtime due to natural disasters and cyber-attacks. Every minute your system is down, you lose money.

Not only that, but if you don’t have a disaster plan in place, you could lose all your data. Many companies struggle to recover, and the last thing you want is to have to shut down your business.

You may be wondering “what is disaster recovery” and how you set a plan up. Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about data recovery and why it’s important to keep your company safe. 

Why A Plan Is Needed

If you don’t have a plan, you are allowing yourself and your company to be vulnerable. Even if you have a plan, it’s important that you test and exercise your plan regularly. You may even find blindspots and holes in your plan that you can fix before disaster strikes.

As a business owner or manager, it’s easy to put off making a data recovery plan. You may be thinking, “it’ll never happen to me,” or “I’ll make time later.” The thing that makes disasters so bad is that they are unpredictable.

You never know when an outsider or even someone with your own company is going to steal information and take advantage of your weak spots. Having a plan will keep you in business and help minimize damage when the unexpected happens. 

What Is Disaster Recovery 

A disaster recovery plan is an operation that a company has in place in case all its data and information is lost. If their servers are destroyed in a storm, the problem won’t be as severe because the data is stored somewhere else.

For example, you can have your business’s information stored on a private server or at another central location. This will allow you to reduce the amount of time you are unable to conduct business. No matter what size your company is, you need to have a plan in place. 

How It Works

There are three components that DR aims to address. Prevention is the first one. Avoiding outages and downtime is ideal. Human error accounts for a lot of mistakes, and a plan will help prevent those. As we know, we can’t control everything, so anticipating issues is key.

If a disaster does happen, mitigation is the next step. This is where everyone would start and execute an IT recovery plan.

Communication is going to make or break your plan. Not only during the catastrophic event but prior to it in the planning period. Everyone should know everyone’s role and who to reach out to for questions and requests. 

What Your Business Needs 

When you are creating your disaster plan, there are a few different method types. Some may work well, and others may not. The purpose of planning ahead is so you don’t have to rush the process. Take your time evaluating your needs and discussing a way to protect your business. 

Risk evaluation

Risk evaluation is crucial; you need to be aware of areas that are more susceptible to attacks. You also need to consider different disasters and make alternative procedures.

For instance, a plan for a cyber attack may not work as well if a hurricane or tornado hits. You’ll need to decide which resources you need and how you will use them in different situations. 

Backups 

Backing up your data is one of the simplest ways to protect your company. It also isn’t challenging and won’t take much time. However, it’s crucial that you back up your information often, and you may even want to put an automatic setting on, so you can have peace of mind knowing your company is safe.

Be sure to take the time to check it frequently. You don’t want a disaster to happen and then realize your backups failed. Backups can be on the cloud, downloaded onto a flash drive, or you can make hardcopies and have them offsite. 

Testing 

Once you have your disaster recovery plan in place, test it to be sure it works. Have your company do a trial run, this will show you that everyone knows their role, and if they don’t, you can take the time to communicate it with them. 

If you already have a plan in place, when was the last time you updated it? It may be the perfect time to resize your place. Your company may have grown or expanded; you may need to change your plan a bit. 

More Types of Disaster Recovery

You have many options when it comes to choosing which disaster recovery is best. You can also test different ones to see which ones work best with your business. 

DR Group

If you are a smaller company, you may not have the resources to create an entire destroy recovery group or team. However, it can be beneficial to have a few people who can create and manage the plan. 

Cold Site

A cold site may not be necessary or feasible for your company, but it can be helpful. A cold is a place where you and your team can go in case of a natural disaster.

This will allow you to keep your business running as scheduled and keep your employees safe. This method will need to be paired with another recovery plan, as having a cold site will not help you recover already lost data.

Hire A Service

Hiring an outside expert can be helpful when disasters strike. There may be a time when you can’t get the servers back up and running.

If you have an outside company that has your back, you’ll always be able to work. If you’re unable to access your information from your site, you’ll still have the ability to see and recover the information from the third party’s location. 

On-Site DR

There are a few pros and cons that come with having your disaster relief plan completely on-premises. First, it will be secure; you and your team will be the only ones who have access to the backup.

You will also be able to execute the plan without the internet, which can be helpful during a bad storm. Since the server will be with you, you’ll have more control over it. 

An on-site isn’t as reliable, and it doesn’t allow for much growth. You’ll need extra physical space to store the information. It will also cost more as you’ll need more maintenance. 

Off-Premise DR or Cloud Back Up

Using the could as your primary plan has many advantages. First, it will automatically back up and update every few minutes.

You will also have access to it from any device, whether that be your phone or computer. This means if you have to evacuate your home and office due to a storm, you will have access to your business’s information.

Unlike on-premise disaster recovery, you can easily grow and scale your business using the cloud as backup. You will also save money as you’ll only pay for what you’re using. 

There are, however, some cons. You’ll need access to the internet, and you’ll need to be comfortable trusting a third party. 

Creating Your Recovery Team

It’s crucial that more than one person in your office knows how to access and execute the plan. Having a skilled team will make all the difference in the world; you may not realize it right now, but you will if a disaster strikes. 

The first member of your team is going to be in the leadership role. This may be you or one of your employees.

This person should be able to coordinate with other members of the team and know how to get things done in the most efficient way possible. It can be easy to panic during a crisis; however, be sure the person in the leadership position can stay calm and also reassure the rest of the team. 

The next person on the recovery team should be an IT expert. They will assist the other in making the best plan possible and should have an understanding of networks and IT infrastructures. You’ll also need someone who is knowledgeable about the business side of things. 

This person will need to ensure the recovery plan aligns with the company’s needs in relation to making money and conducting business. This may involve communicating with clients, other employees, or even product production. 

If your company has multiple department heads, you may also want them to be involved in the planning. Each portion of your company will have different needs.

The marketing department may have a concern that is unrelated to the finance or HR department and vice visa. You’ll want to ensure each one is protected and isn’t left vulnerable to cyber attacks.

The Benefits

Now that you know the answer to “what is disaster recovery,” it’s time to talk about the benefits. One of the main benefits of having a data recovery plan is that it very may save you thousands of dollars.

If you take the time to invest in a plan, you won’t have to spend as much time recovering your business records. In some cases, you won’t have any loss of productivity as the backup plan can restore the information immediately.

The longer your business is down, the more money you lose. If you don’t have a way of getting your business information and records back, you’ll likely have to spend weeks, if not months, recreating the data and projects. 

Backup systems, like the cloud, typically have extra security built in. You can reduce your security risks by having a plan in place. If your customers know you are well prepared, they will be more likely to trust you with their business. 

Many people understand that unfortunate circumstances happen without warning; however, your clients will become frustrated the longer your business is down. You don’t want your company to be known for its lack of preparedness.

Having a plan will allow you to make your business stand out in the industry. You’ll also be able to create and customize a plan that works best for you and your business. There are templates and systems out there to help, but you are in complete control of how your business handles difficult times. 

Disaster Recovery 

Knowing the answer to “what is disaster recovery” is only the first step. Having a plan is important, but having the right place is even more crucial. It can be overwhelming and stressful to make a plan. You don’t want to be unprepared, but it can be challenging to know where to start.

Many companies start with physical backups, but that’s not always the most effective way. You can also have multiple plans and backups. You don’t have to put all your faith in one plan. As we’ve all learned in the past few years, disaster can strike at any time.

Diseases, weather, and scammers pop up out of nowhere without warning. Being prepared with a plan will help you combat unexpected events, save you money, and keep you in business. 

We have helped many companies and businesses with their disaster recovery needs, and we can help you too. Contact us today to get started so you don’t have to worry about your profits and employees.

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