How to Build a Disaster Recovery Plan

By RMON Networks | September 18, 2018
disaster recovery plan

Data loss due to data breaches and disasters is on the rise in the world of IT, nonprofits, municipalities, and every other type of business organization. You must have a Disaster Recovery Plan because data is the life blood of every organization and to lose that data would be detrimental to your business. Since disasters happen so rarely, management may de-prioritize the disaster recovery planning process. Remember, disasters are not limited to just adverse weather conditions and can include hardware failures, human error, power outages and much more. Any event that could likely cause an extended delay of service should be considered. It is important to realize that organizations that suffer a major incident of data loss or extended downtime never fully recover. In fact, 70% of them go out of business in less than a year. Building a proper Disaster Recovery Plan can save your business, and even give your company a competitive advantage.

The information in this blog is gathered from our expert engineers and is intended to help you start developing the framework for your own disaster recovery plan. Protecting data can be complicated, so we do recommend working with an expert like RMON Networks.

Plan Ahead

plan aheadPlanning is the first and the most important step in developing a disaster recovery plan. Be prepared and take steps before a storm or data disaster hits. 31% of small to medium businesses do not have a plan of action for responding to IT security breaches, and 22% admit that they lack the expertise to make such a plan. Your response during these times will determine whether it’s a survivable disaster or not.

Having pre-defined mitigation strategies can make a huge difference to the extent of damage done. Gather a team of your best employees to come up with the best course of action to follow and execute these mitigation plans.

Below are suggestions for you to add to your Disaster Recovery Plan from the SANS Institute:

  • Computer Emergency Response Plan: Who is to be contacted, when, and how? What immediate actions must be taken in the event of certain occurrences?
  • Succession Plan: Describe the flow of responsibility when normal staff is unavailable to perform their duties.
  • Data Study: Detail the data stored on the systems, its criticality, and its confidentiality.
  • Criticality of Service List: List all the services provided and their order of importance.
  • It also explains the order of recovery in both short-term and long-term time frames.
  • Data Backup and Restoration Plan: Detail which data is backed up, the media to which it is saved, where that media is stored, and how often the backup is done. This should also describe how that data could be recovered. (Detailed explanation of this step below)
  • Equipment Replacement Plan: Describe what equipment is required to begin to provide services, list the order in which it is necessary, and note where to purchase the equipment.

Making sure everyone knows what actions are needed; who to contact immediately and who to get in touch with if the primary contact does not respond is critical to your success during a disaster. Security breach and data loss incidents can be handled well if everyone works according to your plan. REMEMBER: remain calm and work through the proper channels when dealing with data disasters.

Identify Your Unique Needs for a Data Storage and Backup Solution.

backup solutionStoring data backups is your ticket to get back in business after the adversity. Critical data can always be lost, corrupted or stolen. Having a thorough data backup is an insurance policy every business organization must take. Various levels of backup are available to you. Choose the option that meets all the requirements of your organizations.

RMON’s recommended considerations in identifying the right data backup plan for you:

  • Identify the data that needs to be backed up and prioritize it. Make sure you go through all data on the networks, servers, desktop computer, and official laptops. Do not forget records and information that is printed.
  • Consider pros and cons of proposed data backup options. Keep business needs in mind at all times. Establishing an acceptable recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) is imperative to ensuring you pick the proper backup solution.
  • Take your time to do the research and make sure you are choosing the best solution. A poorly chosen data backup method will be of little help in the time of need. If you are not sure what solution is best contact our experts for assistance.
  • Go with the option that best caters to the needs of your organization. Remember your RPO and RTO.

Understand the Different Backup Options Available.

Image Based Backup Solution

Image based backup takes an initial full backup image which includes operating system, applications, databases, user data and all configuration data. The image can be stored locally on the BDR Appliance. After the initial backup, efficient incremental snapshots are taken; all data can then be securely replicated to offsite storage facilities.

File & Folder Backup Solution

A file-and-folder backup solution protects only the files and folders that you specify, and typically give you the option of preserving one or more older versions every time it backs up the latest set of updated files. File and Folder is typically more cost effective because you are only backing up selected files and/or folders that you consider important. Although it can take more time to restore in using this method it is still and reliable solution.

Should I Choose Onsite, Offsite, or Hybrid?

Onsite:  In the event of a downed server, the affected server can be virtualized and hosted via an appliance.

Offsite: For disaster or site-wide outages, users are re-routed to continue to work by accessing the protected infrastructure via recovery site, located within a datacenter.

Hybrid: Combines the speed of onsite, and the reliability of offsite to create the best solution possible.

Ensure Your Business Data Can Be Restored When Needed.

The path to recovery begins with data tracking. Make sure you know where your data is and how to access it. Develop data recovery plans that specify which data should be recovered first.

Practice disaster drills to make sure everyone knows what to do when the disaster hits. Do an impact analysis of the incident and learn from your mistakes. Improve your data security policies if you find any flaws in it.

Make the Smart Choice and Devise a Disaster Recovery Plan for Your Business Today.

Do not be afraid to invest in data storage and data backup plans. Consider this plan the best insurance you can get for your business! When devising disaster recovering strategies, always remember to prepare for the worst and work with an expert!

Contact Us for Assistance in Building the Best Data Disaster Recovery Plan for Your Business.

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