What is a disaster recovery plan?

The right DRP solution gives you the guidance you need to get your business back on track as quickly as possible when something goes wrong.

Mike Mead

11/02/2020

Today’s companies face a wide range of threats every day, from cybersecurity issues and malware to the potential for a sudden loss of crucial information when an employee loses a mobile device. However, in today’s digital world, it’s easy to get so caught up in the latest cybersecurity and digital threats, that you forget about other natural disasters that can leave your company in limbo.

Imagine what would happen if you arrived at your office one day to discover that a flood has destroyed your business data server, making it impossible for you to access years of valuable information. Maybe a fire has broken out and destroyed all of your computers and the hard backups you had of your digital data.

A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is how you protect yourself from these terrifying possibilities. The right DRP solution gives you the guidance you need to get your business back on track as quickly as possible when something goes wrong. Here’s what you need to know about designing your recovery policy.

What is an IT disaster recovery policy?

Studies suggest that up to 90% of small businesses fail when they can’t get their operations back up and running within five days of a disaster. While it’s difficult to accurately predict every challenge that your company might face over the years, having an IT disaster recovery policy in place is the best way to make sure that you know how to respond when something goes wrong.

Even if you suffer from a significant issue like a security breach or significant data loss, you should be able to restore the critical services you need to keep serving your customers in the smallest amount of time.

An IT DRP is a policy that you put in place for employees and team leaders to follow when unforeseen events affect your software and hardware. These instructions may also include step-by-step plans designed to greatly reduce the impact of the disaster in question. Your disaster recovery plan might include steps on how to recover information from lost mobile devices, tips on backing data up to the cloud, and more.

How to create a disaster recovery plan

Creating a disaster recovery policy for your business is simpler than you might think. It all begins with analysing the business processes that you rely on each day and looking at the continuity needs of the company. For instance, if you have a bring your own device (BYOD) policy that allows your employees to use their devices inside and outside of the office, then your DRP will cover steps on how to back the data on those devices up, secure private information with a mobile management plan, and more.

Your DRP analysis will require you to look at all of the aspects of your IT stack, including hardware, connectivity, data, software, network access, and more. Depending on the industry you’re in and the kind of business you run, your IT disaster recovery plan could end up being quite in-depth.

Make sure that your disaster recovery policy includes:

  • A description of the resources required to allow for the recovery of business functions
  • A list of the team members responsible for implementing and managing DRP initiatives
  • Strategies for communication if phone and internet connections are down
  • Tips for continuous disaster prevention and advice on how to backup data
  • Guidance on how often the disaster recovery policy should be updated

Most experts will recommend testing your disaster recovery plan at least once a year to make sure that you’re covering everything that needs to be managed to keep your business running smoothly.

Who needs an IT disaster recovery plan?

There are still companies out there that assume that backing their information up on a hard disk or sending information to the cloud is enough to protect them in the long-term. However, the truth is that all organisations, both large and small, need a full disaster recovery policy to ensure that they’re protected – no matter which challenges might come their way.

The more time and focus you put into building the right disaster recovery policy, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to pick your company up off the ground after a disaster, and get back into action as quickly as possible.