What Are The Benefits of Creating A Business Disaster Recovery Plan
The biggest benefit of creating a disaster recovery plan is to ensure business continuity after a disaster. It is a known fact that the fallout of disasters can be devastating to a business.
Whether caused by natural events, hacking or human errors, you’re likely to incur major losses without a disaster recovery plan.
In this post, we’ll explain the benefits of a disaster recovery plan and how to create one for your business.
What Is A Disaster Recovery Plan?
A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a set of procedures that helps a business with proactive support so they can recover after experiencing an unexpected event. In the end, the organization can continue to carry out its functions and projects.
A DRP is critical for every business and makes up an integral part of a business continuity plan (BCP).
To create a DRP, you will have to conduct a business impact analysis (BIA) and risk analysis (RA). These are extensive analyses of all your business operations and continuity needs.
You will then get an evaluation of the necessary areas you need to focus on and the overall risks you need to manage.
A DRP also helps you meet compliance requirements for privacy legislation..
Benefits of Disaster Recovery
- Reduction of the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) of your business. RTO is the maximum time your business can use to recover from a disaster. While RPO is the maximum data your business can afford to lose.
- Revenue improvement by reducing the cost of possible damage due to data loss or downtime.
- Enhances business continuity by lessening the interruption of business operations.
- Maintains business integrity by preventing compromise and building trust.
- Acts as a treatment strategy to strengthen network security.
What Does A Disaster Recovery Plan Include?
1. To develop a Disaster Recovery Plan, you need to include the following elements:
Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO)
An RTO defines the maximum time your business can survive after a disaster before it resumes its normal functions. While an RPO entails the highest amount of data your business can afford to lose after a data breach.
2. Records of All Hardware and Software
Keep an updated record of all your IT assets such as hardware devices and software programs. You will need it to create an effective Disaster Recovery Plan. Make sure that the DRP covers the most important IT materials first, before the least necessary ones.
3. Assign Disaster Recovery Processes to Qualified Personnel
Make sure to employ personnel to develop and implement effective disaster recovery processes. The specialists are accountable for detecting and managing unexpected disasters. And also recovering operations and sustaining business continuity.
4. Disaster Recovery Sites And Storage Facility
Disaster recovery sites are backup locations where business assets like data are kept in case of unforeseen events. While a storage facility stores copies of physical documents and storage media. These backup locations should be included when creating a disaster recovery plan.
5. Record of Disaster Response Strategies
This is an integral part of a disaster recovery plan. It contains a detailed action plan with clear measures to be taken at the onset of a sudden disaster. All the strategies aim at minimizing the effect of the disaster, securing data, and ensuring recovery.
6. Develop Tactics to Ensure Network Security
Network security is one of the most crucial elements of a DRP. This is because there is an increase in cybercrime, which is one common business disaster. All endpoint devices connected to your network should be protected with efficient security.
7. Develop An Effective Communication Plan
The effective flow of information in the workplace can go a long way to minimizing the effects of a disaster. A communication plan can improve the effectiveness of a disaster recovery plan. It can also build trust and assure your clients.
8. Conduct Disaster Recovery Plan Tests
Testing your disaster recovery plan is a great way to detect loopholes that may cause it to fail. Make sure to carry out tests at least once after every 6 months to a year. Do not forget to make adjustments and updates to your plan after running tests.
How To Make A Disaster Recovery Plan
Having known the importance and elements of a DRP, waste no time creating one for your business. Below are steps to guide you on how to make a DRP:
1. Identify Your Business Risks and Continuity Needs
Carry out BIA and RA analyses of your business to identify possible risks that can lead to disasters. This is a proactive step that exposes areas of weakness that should be managed. It will also guide you on how to create DRP strategies that will reduce damage and recover your business.
2. Create A Disaster Recovery Unit/Team
This unit should have skilled personnel who create and implement a DRP for your business. If you’re running a small business, you can employ the number of staff depending on your budget.
3. Develop DRP Action Plan with Clear Procedures
A DRP should contain clear procedures that are easy to understand and access. Outlined steps should be concise, legible, and well-organized. All threats, risks, and actions should be listed and communicated to all employees.
4. Audit Hardware and Software Resources
Keep an updated record of all hardware and software devices in your organization. This allows you to keep track of IT activities, identify cyber security threats, and manage network security. Also, an inventory can help you locate and store data in your disaster recovery sites.
Identify which data is of high priority and get rid of unimportant files. This way you’ll be saving storage space to secure more important data.
5. Create Recovery Goals
Recovery goals such as RTO and RPO are necessary to help guide you in designing your DRP. When combined with RA and BIA analyses, these goals help to improve your DRP.
6. Test and Update Your Disaster Recovery Plan
After developing your DRP, it is important to test it to know its efficacy. Run tests and exercises with your defined risks and record flaws in your DRP. This way, you will know which areas need fixing and modification.
How Often Should A Disaster Recovery Plan Be Tested?
It is recommended that a disaster recovery plan should be tested as often as possible. But the frequency of tests largely depends on the type of business you’re running.
In general, a disaster recovery plan must be assessed and updated at least once every year. For every major change you make in any unit of your business, you must conduct a disaster recovery test.
A DRP testing combines technology configurations and vendor platforms to test your procedures. Assessment results of DRP tests are generally passed or fail. You can also get certifications after testing your DRP in the vendor platforms.
Asides from using vendor platforms, you can run mini-exercises to improve your DRP. Some of them include testing and restoring data backups, fire and evacuation drills, and call tree exercises.
You can also take training courses if you want to improve your knowledge of BCP and DRP. This gives you insight into the best way to create and test DRP in your business.
The importance of testing your disaster recovery plan cannon be overemphasized. It shows you areas in your DRP that need improvements or modifications. Making these updates can reduce losses and even save your business in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a disaster recovery plan and why is IT important?
A disaster recovery plan is a set of measures that helps a business bounce back after an unexpected disaster. It is important to ensure the continuity and success of a business.
What are the advantages of disaster recovery as a service?
Some of the advantages of disaster recovery are:
- Minimize loss caused by disasters
- Ensuring recovery of business operations
- Securing valuable business assets
- Providing compliance with regulations
- Preventing possible threats and risks to a business
What are the most important aspects of disaster recovery?
The most important aspects of disaster recovery are:
- Identifying risks
- Backing up essential data
- Create an effective communication plan
- Set up a disaster recovery team
- Testing disaster recovery plan
What’s in a disaster recovery plan?
A disaster recovery plan contains procedures on how to recognize and minimize the effects of threats. Some of these threats are cyber-attacks, natural disasters, human errors, and more.
What is the purpose of business recovery plans?
Business recovery plans are special procedures used by operational teams to restore activities to normal after an unexpected event.
Final Thoughts On The Benefits of A Business Disaster Recovery Plan
The best benefit of having a disaster recovery plan is that it assures your business of recovery and continuity after a disaster. A DRP is a set of predefined steps that saves your business by helping you bounce back quickly.
This post explains the requirements and steps for creating an effective DRP for your business. After creating one, you would need to regularly test your DRP to improve its efficacy. Computronix is a Managed Service Provider that has been providing disaster recovery services for over 25 years. Contact us today to establish your disaster recover plan before disaster strikes.