Top Considerations for Disaster Recovery Plan
Disaster can strike at any moment, and its effects can be devastating. A study sponsored by Symantec found that each individual breached record costs a company an average of $188. The accumulated costs of data loss can easily total thousands, or even millions, of dollars. Other recent payouts included up to $10,000 per user with Target 2013 data breach. With such consequences, it is critical to have a solid disaster recovery plan in place in case the worst happens. However, 40% of small businesses do not have such a contingency plan, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance. A good disaster recovery plan has three parts: Planning, Storage, and Recovery. There is hope and light at the end of the tunnel.
Planning, Management & Testing
A solid disaster recovery plan requires everyone involved to know their roles and be ready to execute them at a moment’s notice. At the very least, your business should designate someone to ensure that all preparations are laid out and that all critical data is backed up regularly. Ideally, this person will be someone other than you, since you as the business owner will want to go back and double check their work for redundancy.
Maintaining a strong chain of communication can mean the difference between a temporary outage and a major business catastrophe.
Storage – Cloud, No Cloud, Encryption?
Storing your data securely for a post-disaster recovery is as important as planning. The first step to storing and protecting your data is choosing a backup and storage method and provider. There are many options available for both backup and storage, and choosing the right one is based largely on the needs of your business.
Most cloud and managed backup providers already guarantee a level of duplication and redundancy by distributing your stored data across multiple different data warehouses in multiple locations. However, needs are dynamic. it is important to make sure that backups are not all located in the same data storage facility, and certainly not in the same building as your offices.
Depending on the sensitive nature of the data you are backing up, you may have additional requirements such as encryption or other security measures. In such cases, your data would not only need to be encrypted when it is stored, it will also need to be encrypted as it is transmitted to the backup location.
The process of recovery begins with a good policy of detection and monitoring. Make sure that your disaster recovery plan accounts for careful tracking of your data in case of fires when you are out of the office, malicious intrusion (either physical or cyber), power outages and other issues. The faster you learn that your data is in danger, the quicker you can react and the easier the recovery process can be.
Don’t be one of the over 50% of businesses that do not make regular backups – plan for the worst, and you will be able to weather any storm.