Information technology plays an integral part in every aspect of a company and is crucial in the successful running of a business. Access to data is a must and therefore it is vital to have an effective and well-planned data recovery system that will ensure continued access to data in case of disaster.
While local statistics are hard to come by, a US-based research group found that almost 60% of North American companies do not have a disaster recovery solution in place. Considering that additional research showed that 50% of companies that lose their data due to disasters go out of business within a year and that 93% of businesses closed their doors within five years, the importance of a disaster recovery plan becomes crystal clear.
Planning for disaster might seem a hefty task, so we have compiled a three-piece article on how best to plan for disaster according to your business’ unique needs. This is Part 2.
8. Regularly test the disaster recovery plan
The latest research shows that almost 90% of companies test their disaster recovery plans or systems only once a year, if at all. In the event of a disaster, these companies are left at the mercy of the theoretical success of their disaster recovery plans – which is simply not good enough. In fact, it might be better not to have a test at all. Technology is ever-developing so that alone requires regular testing. Testing should take place twice or more per year under realistic circumstances, while simulating conditions similar to that of a striking disaster. This will also prepare employees better and make sure that new faces to the company are quickly introduced to these valuable protocols.
9. Do not neglect off-site backups and storage
Most disasters will make access to on-site back-ups difficult if not impossible. This would include fires, rain and flood damage, storms, tornadoes and acts of terrorism. Having a backup storage site that is not in close vicinity to the company’s offices becomes vital, as this will be the only data left or accessible for a while. To determine how often backups need to be taken or sent to this site, you need to establish the company’s recovery point objective – the time between the last backup and when a potential disaster or disruption may occur. Typically, backups should be done once a day (usually overnight), but some companies might need continuous data protection. It is highly advisable to use the cloud as at least one of your disaster recovery plan’s backup storage sites.
10. Make sure BYODs are also backed up
11. Redundancy is good
Have redundant servers for all critical data on your on-site and off-site locations. These provide an alternative way to access essential components of the disaster recovery plan. Redundant servers at the off-site disaster recovery plan location can decrease the time to implement the disaster recovery plan and get back up and running significantly. You will need less time to download any backed up data, software programs and applications as it already has a secure source.