The wisest thing you can do is always to be prepared for the worst. Sometimes things are just out of your control.
Preparing a Disaster Recovery Plan for Small Business
You can do everything right, but your company will have to defend itself from a disaster due to external issues. If something like a cyberattack or a fire happens to you, it is crucial to ensure your business continuity.
That’s why, here, you can get information on how to prepare a disaster recovery plan for your small business, including things like setting up an emergency response plan, mapping out the strategy, identifying critical business activities, and more.
Read on and make sure your business will handle anything!
If you think that your business is safe from disasters, here are some reasons why you should think again. The first and the most important reason is that disasters do not choose who they visit.
They don’t care if you are a small or a big company. They don’t care about your business reputation or how much money you have.
You can be as prepared as possible, but you will never fully know what kind of disaster may strike you. It is better to be prepared for anything than to be sorry later on.
It is true that your business continuity depends mostly on the well-planned structure of your business. It is important to say that you can be at risk for many reasons.
These include natural disasters like floods, fires, tornadoes, and earthquakes, technological hazards such as computer viruses and crashes, human-made incidents such as fire, utility interruptions, and crime.
Be sure of one thing: it doesn’t matter if your business is big or small. Even the largest businesses today can lose everything if they are not prepared for the worst.
The first step is to create a plan for your business recovery in the case of a disaster. This means that you will need to identify what you consider critical activities and how they fit into the overall picture of your business.
The so-called critical activities are those that must be up and running within a short time after the occurrence of an incident. Also, you should decide what should be restored first because it is essential for the survival of your business.
The second step is to make sure that everyone in your organization knows about the plan and understands what their role in it is. If there ever comes a time when your company needs to implement this plan, every employee will have to pitch in and do their part.
You should hold regular drills and review the plan in detail with everyone involved.
When creating your disaster recovery plan, you need to keep in mind several things:
To make it easier, you can use templates created by software developers to provide instructions on how to recover from specific types of disasters such as power outages and water damage. Also, there are free templates available online which can be used as a guideline for creating your own documentation.
Make sure to include all the details needed for recovery in case of an emergency: contact information, procedures to follow and who should do what, and any additional information related to supporting activities. The documentation must be easy to understand and accessible to anyone who might need to use it.
Know where you can store all your critical data and keep them safe from weather conditions and other potential threats such as fire and flood. In most cases, this means storing backups off-site in a secure location away from your office building.
But remember: being on-site means that these backups are always ready for use. That’s why the best solution is to choose an off-site backup strategy coupled with an on-site backup strategy that will become active only in case of an emergency.
It’s important to test your backup solution regularly so that you’ll know exactly what will happen in case of a disaster. This means backing up your data, restoring it, testing it (for example, by using a different computer), and then restoring it all over again. You should also test your restore process to find problems before they happen and fix them before it’s too late.
You should determine how often your business activities should be backed up and how long backups should be kept in storage before they are deleted automatically. The frequency will depend on what components of your company’s data must be protected and how much data needs to be backed up. Be sure that you maintain enough storage capacity on-premises so that you will not run out of space when performing backups.
Determine what services or equipment will be needed to recover from a disaster by examining what critical processes need to be restored as soon as possible and by planning what resources need to be replaced in the event that systems or facilities are destroyed or damaged beyond repair.
The most common resources are power, telecommunications, data storage, security, heating/ventilating/air conditioning (HVAC), office supplies, etc. Also, make sure that everyone knows how to access these resources before a disaster strikes so that they will not waste time trying to find out where they are located during an emergency situation.
Make sure that security measures are taken into account throughout all stages of the recovery process, including restoration of business operations and systems testing. For example, don’t restore systems without securing them first because this can put your business at risk if another attacker discovers the vulnerabilities created during the restoration process and hacks them in turn.
After creating and implementing the plan, you should test it to ensure that the actions described in it will work in a real disaster situation. This can be done as part of regular business continuity procedures, but you should also perform periodic tests by simulating various types of disasters.
The cost of implementing your disaster recovery plan will depend on what you are planning for and how much data you need to protect. Also, there is a chance that you may need to spend money on annual maintenance for the hardware or software needed to carry out the disaster recovery plan.
Your disaster recovery plan will help you to:
Once you have implemented your disaster recovery plan, you will be able to recover from the most common business disruptions almost immediately.
If you are using an off-site backup strategy, this can result in hundreds or thousands of lost dollars per minute.
Even if you are using an on-site backup strategy, you will still save time by avoiding the need to ship tapes to a remote location for off-site storage.
Your business can avoid a lot of unnecessary expenses related to equipment replacement, long-distance communication charges, and data recovery fees.
Also, if you use a combination of on-site and off-site backups, you can significantly reduce the number of tapes and other storage media that you need.
This can also save your company the cost of hiring additional personnel to manage off-site storage facilities or tape rotation.
Customer satisfaction is a crucial factor for the success of any business today. When you are able to recover your business operations quickly after a disaster strikes, your customers will appreciate it and stay with you for longer.
This means more profit for your company. Also, if they notice that your customer service is great even during disasters, they will be likely to recommend you to their friends and colleagues.
It doesn’t matter how well you plan for disaster recovery; disasters will happen at some point. It is important to remember that you can never predict when and how they will strike. So, it is better to be prepared as much as possible.