A solid disaster recovery (DR) plan is vital in protecting your enterprise’s networks, people and data access, and ensuring business continuity when natural or man-made disasters happen.
While most organisations will have some DR policy in place, just how effective is this system, and what should it include? Here are three non-negotiable DR essentials to better prepare and counteract the unexpected.
1. A Breakdown of Potential Threats and Response Reactions
The purpose of a disaster recovery strategy is to anticipate the likelihood of business disruptors and threats and activate response mechanisms accordingly to ensure business continuity and minimum damage.
For this to happen, start with a comprehensive analysis of all possible disasters that can affect your business, and proceed with a recovery plan for each scenario stating the response actions in each situation.
For example, if a cyber attack affects your IT server infrastructure, what will happen next? How will you mitigate this risk?
Include all potential scenarios from natural hazards such as fire and floods to cyber attacks and malware, but – and this is very important – prioritise these threats according to the most likely scenario to happen.
2. A Business Impact Analysis
A business impact analysis (BIA) is effective in strategising your disaster recovery’s priority points based on the impact of the potential identified threats to your current business operations.
Once potential threats and disaster recovery policies are stipulated, conducting a business impact analysis is the next step you should take.
A successfully-conducted BIA identifies and evaluates the potential effects and implications of hazardous events, from financial to legal, to minimise loss. BIA should be carried diligently for each IT infrastructure critical to the business to determine specific system priorities and dependencies.
BIA remains an absolute requirement to establish priorities for disaster recovery and business continuity with the following security objectives in mind: integrity, availability and confidentiality. It is the basis for your contingency plan development.
3. A focus on the Big Picture, People, and Processes Involved
Disaster recovery planning will be ineffectual without a clear indication of people’s responsibilities in the process, the teams in charge of responding to crisis and system maintenance.
In other words, do not forget the people aspect and solely focus on technology to get you through the crisis. Identify the people and team needed to make the process smoother and respond promptly as needed.
Adopt a long view of the disaster recovery process, and build your DR strategy in the context of the organisation as a continuous prevention exercise, including all the steps that need to be taken after an averted disaster. Your DR mission is not over.
Are you protected against the growing number of threats to business continuity?