In the face of cyber attack or natural disaster, businesses can can minimise impact to operations through an effective disaster recovery strategy.
When you mention the term ‘disaster recovery,’ most people think about the big ground-shattering events like earthquakes, fires, floods, tropical storms, etc. While these natural events are certainly disasters and devastating in their own right, smaller things can constitute as a disaster for your business, and they aren’t seasonal.
Let’s look at the definition of disaster.
A calamitous event, especially one occurring suddenly and causing great loss of life, damage, or hardship, as a flood, airplane crash, or business failure.
To MX2 Technology, a disaster is anything that involves a major loss of data or major downtime. When one of our clients experience a server malfunction that leaves most employees sitting idle unable to work, that is a disaster.
The Cost Of A Disaster
Downtime is a very terrible expense to not try to avoid. Try this simple formula for yourself:
Number of Employees Affected by an IT Outage X Average Employee Hourly Cost (NOT WAGES)
+ Average Company Hourly Income X Percentage of Income Lost Due to the IT Outage
This simple formula will tell you about how expensive every hour of downtime is for your company. The hardest value in the formula is understanding the percentage of income lost. Not all companies might have a figure, but you will want to consider it as you do the math. This doesn’t include the cost of repair, consultation, parts, or any of the remediation required to get things back up and running.
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Disaster can strike from any direction. Hard drives can go, data can be corrupted, hardware can fail, and networks can go down, and systems can become infected with viruses and malware. User error can cause disaster, as well as theft and other malevolent activity. While companies should take precautions to safeguard themselves against threats both external and internal, and managed maintenance can prevent a lot of foreboding issues, having a solid disaster recovery plan can mean faster turnaround when there is devastating downtime.
Employing a disaster recovery plan starts with the data – your most important IT asset. Computers can be replaced, hardware can be repurchased and software can be reinstalled. Your data is the culmination of countless hours of work by all of your employees ever and is thus your most important asset when it comes to ensuring business continuity in the event of a disaster. It’s no wonder why most businesses that suffer a major data loss go out of business within the first year. You can lose your credibility, and things go into disarray when there is data loss. Data needs to be backed up-always.
Your backed up data should be archived regularly offsite and / or on a secure cloud. Most importantly, your backup solution needs to be easy to test, and tested regularly. You don’t want to find out your backups are corrupted when it is too late.
Major Goals of a Disaster Recovery Plan
When creating a disaster recovery plan, businesses need to cover the following objectives:
- To minimize interruptions to normal business operations.
- To limit the extent of disruption and damage.
- To minimize the economic impact caused by the interruption.
- To establish alternative means of business operations in advance.
- To train personnel with emergency procedures.
- To provide a way for smooth and rapid restoration of service.