In 2013, the retail giant – Target suffered a data breach that is often cited as one of the biggest in history, resulting in a whopping payout of $18.5 million in damages – also the highest ever.
The general public was mostly concerned with the potential financial implications of the breach. After all, who wants their credit card information stolen? However, with time it became clear that the Target breach was about much more than just stolen credit card numbers.
The hackers had access to Target’s entire customer database – names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers. In other words, the hackers had access to almost everything they needed to commit identity theft on a mass scale.
This incident served as a wake-up call and showed that even large organizations are vulnerable to extinction level events (ELE) that risk their very existence.
It was then that the need for a disaster recovery plan began sticking out like a sore thumb.
What is a disaster recovery plan?
A disaster recovery plan is a critical component of any business’ risk management strategy. It’s a formal document that provides a roadmap for the business in the form of detailed instructions on responding to unplanned worst-case scenarios (there is no end to the events that can bring about downtime but natural disasters and cyber-breaches are two common examples).
The plan provides a roadmap for the business to:
- Minimize the impact of a potential disaster, protect customers’ data
- Continue serving customers’ needs if the original location or networks are compromised.
- Get the business back up and running as quickly as possible.
Disaster recovery plan steps
Today we’ll break down the steps you need to take to design a robust and effective disaster recovery plan, which could help you improve your disaster recovery preparedness and help you survive threats, whether natural or human-caused.
1- Identification of the critical systems
The first step is to identify which systems and data are essential for continuing operations and whose disruption would severely impact business continuity. It will vary depending on the nature of the business but may include items such as financial records, customer databases, and email servers.
- Designing a Data Backup and Recovery Plan
One of the most important considerations in creating an organization’s disaster recovery plan is determining what information is critical to keep the business operational. It is then followed by deciding on the frequency of backups, backup methods, and testing the data restoration methods.
- Designating a disaster recovery site
A designated disaster recovery site should be established where essential personnel can continue working if the primary work location is unavailable. This could be an off-site office or even a rented space at a coworking facility. The important thing is to have somewhere ready to go so that operations can continue with minimal interruption.
- Test Your Plan
Regularly test the disaster recovery plan to ensure it works as intended by running drills, simulated disasters, or performing regular backups and restorations. Doing so will ensure that you know your plan will work when you need it and that there are no gaps.
DISASTER PREVENTION: You May Not Meet A Road Accident Today, But When You Do In The Future, You’ll Be Glad You Had The Seatbelt On
A backup and data recovery plan is an essential strategy for business continuity – one that can be very costly if ignored because when disaster strikes, every second counts!
Do you acknowledge the critical significance of drafting a disaster recovery plan but don’t know where to get started? You may not be alone. The process is too complicated and expensive for small and medium-sized firms to undertake.
Partnering with a reliable managed IT services provider can ensure that disaster planning is not one of the 99 problems you face.
Don’t be reactive and deal with disasters proactively by initiating the development of a disaster recovery plan TODAY.