Broadly speaking, disaster recovery means exactly what the name suggests – the actions that a business or organisation would have to take to recover its data and resume its activity should a disaster occur.
Nowadays the term ‘disaster’ is used as a blanket term to cover a vast array of events – from natural disasters such as floods, fires, earthquakes, etc. to technical disasters such as cyber-attacks and equipment failures and even terrorist attacks.
Regardless of the size of a business and the industry a company specialises in, large volumes of data crucial for the survival of the business are created daily; the impact of its loss or damage will be significant. To keep hacking, human error or hardware failure from corrupting this data, disaster recovery planning needs to be put in place.
A disaster recovery plan (DRP) usually outlines the strategy to assure business continuity in the event of disaster should resources, data records, IT equipment and even the physical space where an organisation is located is destroyed. Objectives and priorities for recovery are developed with the primary goal being to ensure an organisation recovers its manpower and crucial functions in as short a time as possible, with minimal loss.
Stages of a Disaster Recovery Plan
The DRP varies in form depending on the organisation’s particular set of circumstances – but there are usually some general steps that are included in the development and implementation of all disaster recovery plans:
- Policy Statement: goal of plan, reasons and resources
Business Impact Analysis:
- Assessing the impact of a shutdown on the business, financially and otherwise
- Recognising the activities of a company and how its resources are linked to each other
- Assessing how vulnerable an organisation is in all its areas such physical space and equipment, operating procedures, data integrity and contingency planning.
- Grasping how the different levels of the organisation will be affected by a disaster
- Identify Preventive Steps: outline measures which can be taken to avoid disaster
- Recovery Strategies: what would have to be recovered and how
- Short-term recovery plan
- Long-term recovery plan: including a strategy for returning to normal business and prioritising the order in which functions are resumed
- Testing, maintaining and updating the DRP according to any changes to the business, both in terms of software and hardware as well as expansions in the workforce and office space
Key to a successful DRP is ensuring steps are taken to prevent disaster from happening, such as using off-site or online back up.
Information technology, which includes elements such as desktop and laptop computers, wireless devices, servers and networks, is crucial for maintaining office productivity and the general activity of the business in terms of accessing and processing data. Therefore, IT recovery should be amongst the priorities on a DRP to ensure all technology is restored in time to meet the needs of the company.
Disaster recovery is essential in making sure the online presence, critical environment and data of your company are safeguarded, easily-recovered and accessible to yourself and clients. Why not view our disaster recovery plan case study to see how we implemented a successful DRP for Ty Hafan.
Here at CSG, we specialise in developing realistic business continuity plans that ensure the effective management, monitoring and automation of your systems back up along with providing off site replication at our data centres.