Disaster Recovery 101: 4 Best Practices for Business

When we say the word “disaster,” there are several different things that may come to mind – from a natural disaster or an event gone seriously wrong, to a major information technology (IT) shutdown. By definition, a disaster is a sudden event that causes great damage or loss.

You never hope for a disaster, but, regardless, disaster is likely to strike your organization at some time. So, when it does, will you be prepared?

Statistics say that 75% of small businesses have no disaster recovery plan in place – don’t be one of these small businesses.

Instead, here are a few best practices to help your business effectively prepare for a disaster.

Always maintain full copies of all critical data outside of your production region.

You likely have a main server or a primary data center that houses all of your data. While this is generally a harmless practice when it comes to disaster planning you need to consider all possible risks.

Find a secondary location, preferably a significant distance away, and keep full copies of all of your critical data here. This way, you are backed up should the worst happen.

Keep in mind that anything can happen.

When working on disaster recovery, bear in mind that almost anything could happen. It is best to enlist the help of experts in this process, as you may overlook something without this additional perspective.

When preparing, always assume the worst; the worst disaster and the worst possible scenario. For example, a hurricane while you are understaffed, and with no warning.

Automate your backup process.

Have you ever had your computer unexpectedly crash, and found yourself hoping that you backed it up recently? Maybe you have been haunted after ignoring that “backup now” notification for so long, and losing precious data as a result?

Backing up your software to cloud storage can sometimes be a lengthy and inconvenient process, but it is vital. 

Thankfully, nowadays, the process can be automated. “One of the most popular backup methods for 2019 is software-defined appliance-based backup with geo-redundant cloud storage,” according to RT Insights.

Test your plan.

The only way to be sure that you have a good plan is to test it. Of course, you can’t replicate the randomness and unexpectedness of a real life disaster, but you can put the plan through its paces to the best of your ability. 

You practice fire drills to avoid chaos and panic if the real thing happens. When it comes to a disaster recovery plan for your business, the same logic applies – your staff need to know the plan, and how to execute it, inside out.

Prepare for a disaster before it strikes. If your business does not have a disaster recovery plan in place already, now is the time to start working on one.

Or, if you’ve had a disaster recovery plan in place for years, now is a great time to make sure you are familiar with it and make any necessary updates. Use these best practices as a guide, and keep your business operating at its best, even when the worst happens. It is up to you to be prepared.