Business operations have largely become data-driven. Today, a firm has to prepare for disruptive events such as ransomware, outages, and natural disasters or risk losing valuable business data or worse. A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a proactive strategy to protect data when disaster strikes, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. For a DRP to be effective, it has to be tailor-made to business needs and objectives. If your organization is looking to create a DRP or update one, these tips should help.
Start with this disaster recovery checklistYou will need to fulfill this checklist if you are going to meet with executives and discuss steps for a new or updated DRP that aligns with your company’s needs and objectives:
- Get management approval. A DRP needs funding, so you’ll need to persuade management that it is a necessity or a forward-looking strategy for the enterprise. Management must be informed about the risks, threats, and vulnerabilities that the organization faces and their responsibility in addressing them through a DRP.
- Understand the organization. Learn about the company’s operations, history, and leadership. View annual reports and other relevant documents. Find out about any previous disaster, disruption, or crisis. This helps you identify internal and external issues you need to factor into your DRP.
- Identify issues and solutions by reviewing analytics and talking to leaders. The latest business impact analysis (BIA) and risk assessments are vital analytics in creating your DRP. For one, risk assessments list all the threats, vulnerabilities, and risks to your business. Meanwhile, a BIA will define how quickly each critical area of your business should be recovered. Don’t ignore those closest to the issues and day-to-day operations. Find out from key department leaders and stakeholders what issues really need to be prioritized, as well as their recommendations for DR solutions. Their perspective is valuable in creating a DRP that’s relevant to the organization.
Define your DRP in a larger context
- Growth – Disaster recovery is a valuable exercise in growth. It prepares your organization for expansion by avoiding risks that compromise business growth objectives. In other words, your DRP is part of an overall strategy to prevent downtime and secure profitability.
- Governance, risk management, and compliance – Tailoring a DRP to your organization’s needs will involve aligning it with the governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC) strategy of your organization. Each organization’s approach to GRC must harmonize with specific business goals, as well as to laws and regulations that govern that firm’s industry.
- Business continuity – While disaster recovery normally focuses on IT systems, business continuity pertains to processes and procedures that ensure critical functions continue during and after a disaster. The two are closely aligned and almost interchangeable, with disaster recovery being a necessary activity in business continuity.
The following are some international business continuity standards for preparing for and responding to disasters:
- ISO 22301 specifies requirements for a document management system to protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disruptive incidents.
- ISO 27031 describes IT readiness for business continuity and provides a framework of methods and processes for improving an organization’s IT readiness for disasters.
- ISO 24762 provides guidelines for IT disaster recovery services as part of business continuity management.
Test your organization’s DRPTailoring a DRP to your business doesn’t end with its creation. Frequently testing your plan will not only give you peace of mind that it works, but it will also reveal any unresolved issues you need to address to be fully prepared for any disaster. Every enterprise needs an effective disaster recovery, business continuity management, and data protection strategy that aligns with its business needs. Contact us at Sabio IT for DR solutions that ensure your critical data is continuously archived, redundant, and ready to be restored at a moment’s notice.
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