Mistakes business owners must avoid when making a disaster recovery plan

Disaster recovery planning is quickly becoming a standard across businesses in many different industries. A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a comprehensive set of actions that a business intends to take in the event of a disaster, as a way to protect its ability to continue operations.

However, disaster recovery planning isn’t always a smooth process, and many organizations have had their share of DRP deployment mishaps. Here are some common mistakes you should look out for when formulating your DRP:

Failing to customize your DRP

Creating an effective DRP requires ample planning. Note that what may work for other companies may not work for yours. Furthermore, adequate planning will ensure that your resources are used efficiently.

Failing to plan properly may lead to a DRP that has holes, meaning some facets of your business may not be protected just when you need it most. Recovering from a disaster involves a series of actions that aim to ensure that a business is more prepared and better equipped for the next disaster that may come its way.

Failing to distinguish backups from disaster recovery

On most cloud platforms, backups and disaster recovery plans often overlap, which leads many people to think that they are one and the same. Backups are an important component of any DRP, but should not be considered a DRP on their own. Although essential, having backups alone cannot provide a company with an accurate estimate of how long it will take to normalize operations after a disaster.

On the other hand, a DRP is an end-to-end process that begins with an infrastructure and asset audit and ends with a recovery process. Backing up and creating redundancies of your data is essential to it, but without an actual deployment plan, these backups may not be utilized properly and efficiently, which may cause the recovery process to suffer from delays or other setbacks.

Overlooking the importance of staff

Implementing a DRP takes more than just having your IT presence patch downloads in. As with many aspects of a small- to medium-sized business's (SMB) IT infrastructure, your disaster recovery should be a team effort. Involving all members of your organization in recovery efforts will ensure smoother implementation, and it can help spread out responsibility so that your technical team won’t be too swamped at critical moments during the process.
Informing your employees of their respective roles also facilitates effective communications. Having a system in place means that they will be prepared to face events outside of the expected natural course, as well as the inevitable task of addressing investors and other stakeholders.

Failing to regularly update

An outdated DRP can be detrimental to the business because old solutions for old disasters are often inadequate to address current disasters. For instance, a 20-year-old DRP will in all likelihood have no provision to address ransomware, and may lead your employees to act erroneously.

Ideally, you should amend your DRP every six months or less, given the current rate of technological development. Make sure to update it if you're migrating data, installing new servers, or in case there are new cyberattacks that could potentially affect your systems. Lastly, maintain constant communication with your IT provider, as they can guide you through how your DRP can be kept up to date.

Arnet’s Backup & Disaster Recovery service will ensure that your business can bounce right back after a fire, flood, or hack. Maximize the potential of the cloud for your company. Give us a call to schedule your assessment.

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