Business man prepares for disaster recovery plan

3 things your disaster recovery plan should include

Let’s imagine the unimaginable for a second.

What if a fire damaged your building? What about a hurricane or a flood? Or better yet, what if a hacker reached into your network and totally destroyed everything inside of it, current and past data included?

Nothing good. That’s for sure.

Nearly 40 percent of small companies close after a natural disaster, says FEMA. Still, shockingly, 75 percent don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place.

Preparing for the worst-case scenario with a disaster recovery plan might be the last thing on your mind, but it could be the only thing that saves your business from going under.

With that in mind, here are three things every disaster recovery plan should include.

1. A proper backup solution

Data backup is a pretty boring subject. We get that. There are definitely more interesting things you could be spending your time on.

However, losing all your data is far from boring — and in a bad way. So do yourself a favor and back up your data. A proper data backup solution (that’s regularly tested and monitored) can protect your data from disasters and help you avoid downtime.

It’s just like locking your front door every time you leave your home. It just makes sense, right?

“The impact of data loss or corruption from hardware failure, human error, hacking or malware could be significant,” says the Department of Homeland Security. “A plan for data backup and restoration of electronic information is essential.”

2. Define your RTO and RPO

When it comes to data recovery, there are two important terms you need to understand and define — RTO and RPO.

Both RTO and RPO are measured in time — but in different “directions.”

Recovery Time Objective (RTO) refers to the maximum amount of time it takes to get your IT systems and networks working again after an emergency (thinking forward). Recovery Point Objective (RPO), on the other hand, refers to the amount of data you can lose after an emergency (thinking backward).

Knowing RTO and RPO can help you reduce the amount of damage your business might experience during an IT-related failure or natural disaster.

“RPO and RTO really influence the kind of redundancy or backup infrastructure you will put together,” says TechTarget.

A managed service provider can help you define your RPO and RTO and in the process, improve business continuity and mitigate risk.

3. Know your role during a disaster

If disaster strikes, you need to act swiftly. Within your disaster recovery plan, there should be a detailed outline of who’s responsible for what after a power failure, natural disaster, malicious attack, or other data incident.

And no matter what, make sure you communicate the plan to staff, too.

“Do employees know what processes to follow when the extraordinary occurs?” asks CIO. “Whether the internet or phones go down, sensitive customer data is stolen or severe weather stops them from getting into the office, clarity and communication of disaster recovery processes is just as important as the plan itself.”

A managed service provider can help you build the perfect disaster recovery plan for your company. These professionals can limit the damage that occurs during a data disaster with a unique-to-you DR approach. But whether or not you decide to partner with an IT provider, it’s important to protect your data from disaster and to build a plan for recovery.