Many companies continuously ignore the disaster recovery required in case of any threats to their data infrastructure. It is important for businesses to have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan to remain prepared for an emergency. Let’s explore the common pitfalls companies are unprepared for and the necessary disaster recovery plans that should be in place with the best cybersecurity software.
What Are the Different Types of Disasters in Cyber Security?
Disasters can take many forms, and businesses must prepare for various scenarios. Natural disasters are among the most common types of disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes, that can affect everyone. Businesses can have a disaster recovery plan for these by ensuring their data is backed up regularly and stored securely, such as using a cloud-based server or an off-site data center. The disaster recovery plan should also have a communication plan in place to not lose the chain of command during this period.
Another common type of disaster is cyber attacks, resulting in data breaches, malware infections, and ransomware attacks. Businesses can protect themselves by investing in cybersecurity software with features such as firewalls, antivirus software, and employee training to suspicious online behavior. It is also essential to have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan that includes regular data backups and a procedure for responding to and recovering from a cyber attack promptly and effectively.
Hardware failure is another type of disaster that can occur, and it is essential to have a disaster recovery plan in place for this scenario. This can include regular maintenance of equipment, monitoring of system performance, and regular backups of data. A disaster recovery plan can also consider investing in redundant systems and backup equipment to ensure business continuity in the event of a hardware failure.
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What Are Some of The Issues Associated with Disaster Recovery?
Disaster recovery planning is essential to any business's overall strategy, yet many businesses make common mistakes that can cost them dearly. One of the biggest mistakes in disaster recovery is failing to plan for all potential disasters, such as natural disasters, cyber-attacks, and power outages. This can leave a business vulnerable to unexpected disasters, which can cause irreparable harm.
Another common disaster recovery mistake is not testing the disaster recovery plan regularly. With regular testing, a business can be sure that its disaster recovery plan will work in the event of a disaster. This can leave the business in a vulnerable position, where it cannot perform disaster recovery quickly and effectively.
Finally, many businesses must involve all key stakeholders in disaster recovery planning. This can include employees, customers, suppliers, and partners. By involving everyone in the planning process, a business can ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to disaster recovery.
Get Real About Your Risk Tolerance
How long can your business "be down" without access to its computer network or critical applications? Many business owners and leaders tend to cheat or guess when answering this question, usually to reduce the cost of implementing a disaster recovery plan or because they need to pay more attention to the scope of what is involved. This is a disservice to your business and makes disaster recovery tense times worse - especially when you told your IT service provider that you could be down for 3 days, but it's much less.
Here is a quick way to estimate this risk tolerance: Imagine opening the office only to discover that it has been broken into over the night and ALL OF YOUR COMPUTERS ARE GONE. No servers, no workstations, no switches, no firewalls, nothing.
Now ask yourself, how soon do you want to be up and running the entire operation again? This is closer to your absolute risk tolerance. See how this "gut reaction" compares to your stated risk tolerance. Are they close? They should be hence, why you need a disaster recovery plan.
Have A Comprehensive Plan
"Restore from backup" is not an adequate disaster recovery plan. Now ask yourself:
- How will I let employees know what happened?
- What will I tell customers?
- How are we going to take orders or set appointments?
- How are we going to invoice customers?
- How are we going to process payroll?
- Whom do I need to contact?
- How do I get started?
Now you are starting to grasp what a disaster recovery plan needs to include. And please note: None of the above questions even mentions restoring backups as a disaster recovery plan.
A disaster recovery plan does not need to be too formal but requires you to think about "critical business operations" and "levels of functionality." Your goal should be simple enough for any of your managers to execute a disaster recovery plan it in your absence. Include contact lists, insurance numbers, scripts for phone calls, and step-by-step procedures.
Having a disaster recovery plan is a HUGE step forward toward disaster preparedness. Hence, it is important that you prioritize having a disaster recovery plan in place.
Test Backups And Plans
Having a disaster recovery plan and data backups are GREAT steps! However, testing these regularly is the only way to ensure you are protected. The worst time to discover that your backup jobs are corrupt or unused is when you need them during disaster recovery.
It may seem cost-prohibitive to test backups, but there have been significant advances in technology and pricing that can save you time and money. The old saying, "You're only as good as your last backup," is, "You're only as good as your last SUCCESSFULLY TESTED backup." Likewise, a disaster recovery plan can be "tested" in a phased manner, allowing the procedures to be verified without slowing down normal daily operations. For example: Emailing your insurance agent to verify contact information and updating claim forms and procedures is a message that can be crafted once, saved, and delivered multiple times over a few years.
The bottom line: Your business is the result of everyone’s hard work. Testing out the disaster recovery plans for dealing with adversity ensures that you can do so effectively when executing the disaster recovery plan required and that your hard work is protected.
Compare the best cybersecurity software available to find out the best options in your disaster recovery planning.