Data is the most critical asset of a company. Organizations try to protect sensitive customer information in several ways, but of course, they can never be entirely safe from cybercriminals. In fact, the University of Maryland states that a cyberattack occurs every 39 seconds.
To overcome such attacks, organizations establish Data Disaster Recovery Plans for several aspects of their business function. This way, they know how to proactively restore their operations as soon as possible after a sudden disaster.
In this article, we will get better insights into Disaster Recovery Plan and understand how organizations can establish one. We will also discuss the seven chapters of the typical Data Disaster Recovery Plan structure.
A comprehensive Data Disaster Recovery Plan, also known as the IT Disaster Recovery Plan, includes guidelines that direct an organization to respond to sudden situations promptly. These events can be cyber attacks, power outages, or natural calamities.
If companies stay uninformed or unorganized about responding to these mishaps, they may lose their brand authority, customers' trust, or finances.
A Data Disaster Recovery Plan is a formal piece of document that standardizes how to reduce the after-effects of disruptive events and instantly restore operations.
An effective plan is organized based on the nature and location of the disaster. It also provides a detailed step-by-step guide to help stakeholders understand and implement them efficiently.
A Data Disaster Recovery Plan consists of the seven chapters listed below:
Organizations spend a hefty amount of time and money developing their proprietary data. Unfortunately, one disaster is enough to cause a massive dent in their efforts.
Therefore, businesses need to plan a Data Disaster Recovery strategy to overcome and restore their data and operations quickly. Here are some benefits of establishing an IT Disaster Recovery Plan:
This goes without saying; the ultimate purpose of a Data Disaster Recovery Plan is to secure sensitive data from being exposed.
Every year, IT systems are growing and integrating into one another which poses potentially massive threats to the information an organization stores.
Restoring and backing up data on every device is quite stressful and time-consuming for organizations. However, with a Data Disaster Recovery Plan, the data is managed via a complete backup system. So, users don't have to create backups separately on their devices.
Organizations should assign at least two responsible personnel to execute data recovery plans. In case one of these employees is unavailable, the other can fill its place. This way, an organization's productivity doesn't get compromised.
Creating a Data Disaster Recovery Plan isn't easy. Organizations need to be extra careful while writing documents. The following steps will help you establish an efficient Data Disaster Recovery Plan:
First, organizations should identify the software, hardware, network equipment, and data that needs to be protected. Then, after listing all the IT assets, note each asset's location, type, and relation with the other.
The next step is to understand the criticality of your assets and their importance for your organization. To do that, sort down the assets based on their impacts to disturb your operations. The categories can be "high impact, medium impact, and low impact."
Now, identify the threats your business and assets are likely to face. You can take help from the employees responsible for managing crucial systems and inquire about the reasons that may interrupt their operations.
This step requires the input of upper management and operations staff to better understand the impacts of disruptions in every critical system. It's effective to evaluate these interruptions according to different time zones, such as after one minute, hour, day, or even a week. Then, utilize these findings to set your RTO and RPO.
Organizations have to evaluate their final Data Disaster Recovery Plan set up in this step. For that, ask these questions:
To find answers, choose the right disaster recovery tools, software, or stakeholders capable of helping you out.
The most effective way to set an IT Disaster Recovery Plan budget is to find the right balance between investment and threat in disaster recovery technology. This can be done by presenting multiple budgeting options to management see as though upper level options have higher costs but impressive RTO and RPO.
Once the budget is set, the agreed draft of the data recovery plan is then finalized and approved by the management.
After approval, the Data Disaster Recovery Plan is communicated throughout the team and upper management. This step is key to ensure that all members of the organization have a clear understanding of what steps to take in the event of a disasister.
Finally, the testing phase of the plan starts. Companies can organize realistic disaster drills and see if the plan is effective to cope with the situation or not. Doing so also shows whether the staff is acting upon the plan or if there are any problems they're facing.
It's recommended to review the plan every six months to ensure its relevance and effectiveness to the organization.
Establishing a Data Disaster Recovery Plan requires extensive knowledge of the topic. If you're confused at any point, you can give Accountable HQ a call to learn how you can design and implement your IT Disaster Recovery Plan. We are a risk & compliance company that helps organizations stay compliant with every data security rule.