Disaster Recovery Planning: Why Every Business Needs a Plan

Disaster Recovery Plan: Why Your Business Needs One

When natural occurrences strike, like a hurricane, or a cyberattack occurs for businesses, it can cause immeasurable damage. A disaster recovery plan or DRP can be the only way to ensure your enterprise stays afloat if these types of things should happen.

So, what exactly is a disaster recovery plan? It’s a comprehensive, strategic roadmap that businesses follow in case of an unexpected interruption in operations. By preparing the company for the worst, the plan can guarantee that it can continue to function and get back even stronger.

DRPs also allow companies to identify probable and improbable future crises they would like to prepare for, ensuring their systems are always up to date. Therefore, it’s imperative that businesses, regardless of their size, have some form of a DRP in place for any potential disaster that may happen.

The Necessity of a Disaster Recovery Plan

DRP involves safeguarding business assets, both tangible and intangible, and ensuring they remain secure in case of an emergency. A DRP’s main goal is to keep the operational wheels rolling by minimizing the damage or disruption caused by a catastrophic event, whether man-made or natural.

A disaster recovery plan is, therefore, the only way to protect your company from a downtime that may last for days or even weeks, leaving customers dissatisfied and hurting the business’s reputation.

Imagine a software development company without backups, firewalls, or antivirus. If a cyberattack occurs and all the data in the system is lost, there’s no telling how much damage may occur without a DRP in place.

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Still not convinced? Here are some statistics to buttress the importance of a disaster recovery plan:

● According to FEMA, 40% of small businesses do not intend to reopen following a disaster.
● Forbes reports that 95% of cyber-attacks result from human error.
● The State of Cybersecurity Report states that a small company is attacked every 40 seconds

Whether a corporation is big or small, a disaster recovery plan is vital. It can mean the difference between completely closing, albeit temporarily, and ensuring that its daily operations remain up to speed.

How to Develop a Disaster Recovery Plan

Creating a DRP may appear daunting for an individual who has not done one before. First, it is crucial to identify how long the company can exist without their systems running smoothly as a prerequisite. It might be an hour or two, but that needs to be determined.

The second step is to recognize the essential operations that are needed to keep the company function seamlessly. For instance, what are the things that the office staff needs to keep the company running? Is access to email, customer databases, or invoicing software necessary?

After identifying the necessary tasks, the third step is to establish how to resuscitate the system when a disaster occurs. Does the business have necessary backups? Are there alternative schedules and procedures to get back up and running if the primary system is down?

Finally, the DRP needs to be tested regularly to ensure everything still works. Otherwise, a business may have a DRP that is outdated and possibly non-functional.

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Real-Life Disaster Recovery Plan Examples

To understand disaster recovery with real-life examples, let’s look at some companies that had a plan, those who did not and paid the price.

Target - In 2013, Target was hit by a cyberattack that affected 40 million customers’ credit and debit card data. Target’s payment system was highly vulnerable, and the company could have reduced damages if it had a disaster recovery plan in place.

Delta Airlines - In 2017, Delta Airlines suffered a systemwide outage when a power outage shut down the company’s computer system. After the experience, Delta revealed later that it invested over $150million into upgrading IT capabilities and improved its DRP.

Netflix - In March 2011, the popular streaming platform suffered a significant outage that lasted several days and interrupted viewing services for many clients. Netflix’s DRP enabled them to move rapidly and communicate effectively with its customers while the company resolved the issue.

Final Thoughts

Disaster recovery is crucial, regardless of the size of an organization. In today’s world, your company need not wait for the next major natural disaster or cyberattack to make a DRP a priority. Creating a DRP plan is something a company must do proactively to protect its assets and ensure customer satisfaction.

At the end of the day, a DRP should be seen as a form of insurance your enterprise takes out to shield itself from the unexpected. So, whether you are a start-up or a Fortune 500 enterprise, don’t delay in creating a solid DRP today. It could mean the difference between your company’s failure or continued success.

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