Information Technology is essential for modern businesses to operate quickly and efficiently. In fact, many businesses’ operations would come to halt without their IT and electronic data. As a result, it is the responsibility of all managers to think about what happens when you are hacked, hardware fails, or a natural disaster hits your office. An IT disaster recovery plan is critical to restore or backup electronic information that could be lost during one of the situations mentioned above.
An IT disaster recovery plan is a subset of business continuity plan. The disaster recovery plan focuses on the IT or technology systems supporting critical business functions. A business continuity plan describes all aspects of getting a business functioning after a significant disruptive event.
The disaster recovery plan is a set of policies and procedures to enable the recovery or continuation of vital technology infrastructure and systems following a natural or human induced disaster. There are multiple things to consider when developing your plan. Before generating a detailed plan, each company needs to determine their Recovery Time Objective (RTO): the maximum tolerable length of time that a computer system, network, or application can be down after a failure or disaster occurs.
There are several questions to consider when determining your company’s Recovery Time Objective. They include:
- How much revenue would be lost?
- What would the cost of lost trust from customers?
- What would your employees do while your IT systems are unavailable?
- How would manual records be created?
Once a company has determined their RTO, the next step is to define procedures for the different scenarios that could occur and to put technologies and services in place to support the RTO. A few key technologies and services to consider are:
- Hosted email solutions: allow you and your employees to continue to have access to email without interruptions on non-affected devices (like smartphones). Today’s most common hosted email solution is Microsoft Office 365.
- Virtualization on a local BDR (Backup and Disaster Recovery) device: capable of “spinning up” the latest on-site backup. This allows the business to continue to use server functions and access server data, even during an event that affects the server for an extended period.
- Cloud Virtualization: capable of "spinning up" the latest offsite backup in the cloud (at a data center). Virtualization will allow employees to continue to access server functions and data during an event that affects premise server hardware.
- Insurance: Business Interruption insurance can protect your business from lost income and extra expenses. Cyber Liability insurance is also available to companies to help protect themselves from major expenses, business losses, and regulatory fines and penalties should a breach occur.
Cyber insurance is typically not included in general liability policies and covers the following:
- Liability for a data breach involving sensitive customer information
- Internal crisis management, public relations, and fraud prevention expense
- E-theft loss
- Cyber extortion/ransomware
- Social Engineering fraud
- Business interruption
31% of cyber-attacks target businesses with less than 250 employees
- Workplace recovery solutions: Where would your employees go if your office were unavailable? Today, many companies are preparing for that possibility by making agreements for a dynamic recovery workplace. This service provides an alternate local office space to companies that find themselves without access to their office.
Regardless of your RTO, you need to have a documented plan in place in the event of a disaster. Being prepared is the best defense when a disaster occurs. For more than 30 years, Wolf Consulting has been helping Pittsburgh businesses deal with their technology problems through our set of IT managed services. Our solutions include complete data backup and IT disaster recovery to pair with your business continuity plan, bringing peace of mind to business owners and executives.
For more information on how Wolf Consulting can help you develop your disaster recovery plan