When we hear of disasters, we think of only natural calamities and hazards like earthquakes, flood, hurricanes, etc., but the threats like maligning the software, cyber-attacks, and terrorism are also disasters. These cyber threats are the new monsters which are eating up all our data and causing us more harm with just a click!
Many organizations have got brutally attacked by such type of disasters and those have cost them quite a big amount of bucks! Therefore, companies are getting smarter and are willing to invest in disaster prevention and recovery services. They are also creating the plans for the disaster recovery solutions so that they can run the critical functions as soon as possible and bring everything back to normal. They want to try to reduce the costs and losses so that their customers face least or no trouble.
Definition of Disaster Recovery
Recuperating from the online attacks/threats, software/hardware failure, etc. is the disaster recovery in terms of business. It focuses on the IT systems when considered in the IT space and it works to support the business operations. IT systems are crucial for any business and hence disaster recovery is vital to keep the business going.
Identify risks and vulnerabilities
The first step to create a disaster recovery plan is to identify risks and vulnerabilities. The company has to set up a plan but regular updates to it are also necessary. If your business has a disaster recovery plan, this might be the time to upgrade to a next level. But, if you are choosing a plan for the first time or upgrading to a new one, please do your risk and vulnerability assessment beforehand. For that, you should know your IT infrastructure well.
Just creating plans for worst-case can't be enough. By defining just the worst-case scenarios for business continuity plans can distract us from the more significant and upcoming threats. The key is to focus on handling the crisis situations, recuperating the mission-critical functions, and communicating with the stakeholders throughout the process.
What is a disaster recovery plan?
Most people think creating a disaster recovery plan is simple as they can get the ready templates for the points when searched on Google. But, you have to make lots of custom modifications to the templates according to your business and risk analysis.
The disaster recovery plan must cover the following points:
- Clearly defined goals and overview
- The contact numbers of the people to reach in an emergency
- The list of actions to be followed in case of an accident or disaster
- The outlines and diagrams of the complete IT infrastructure are essential. The instructions should be clear enough for the teams to understand.
- Know your most vital IT assets and set the maximum RPOs and RTOs as per the capacity.
- Documents of license keys of software which will be needed in the recovery process.
- The verified documents from vendors related to the system software technology.
- Insurance coverage summary points
- Ready material for dealing with legal, financial and the media confrontation situations
Setting up a disaster recovery team
The disaster recovery plan should be in coordination with the IT members who are the backbone of the infrastructure. Further, the CEO, directors, senior manager, human resource department, department heads, and public relations officers should also know about the plan. The contact information of the vendors of the disaster recovery software and backup products should be handy. In addition, the property managers, stakeholders, facility owners, emergency contact personnel, and law enforcement contacts should also be in the plan and updated periodically as they will be most needed.
After the creation of the plan, approval of the management is necessary and later the changes can be made. Regular reviews and audits of the disaster recovery plan are mandatory. Updation of every small change is also necessary. You have to take the efforts as you can't just sit and hope that the disaster won't occur.
What if a disaster has occurred?
After the disaster has struck you, it's your responsibility to start implementing the plan you made earlier and work in accordance with the incident response team and disaster recovery team (if they both are different).
The duties of the incident response team are assessing the condition of the software/hardware after the disaster, recovering the systems, and following up later so as to know what worked, what not, and what shall be improved.
What is the current trend? Recovery or Cloud-as-a-service
Organizations are moving to cloud for storage and it is not new but now even disaster recovery is given as a service. It has also moved to the cloud for the obvious reasons like low costs, easy and quick deployment, and accessibility from anywhere. However, you have to take care that the performance doesn't hamper with the increasing complexities.
There are several DRaaS (disaster recovery as a service) providers in the market but only the best ones can offer you the proper service. You will have to do some research on finding the proper DRaaS provider to suit your needs.