Disaster planning basics your business should know

Disaster planning basics your business should know

Businesses are investing large sums of money in IT to help them succeed. Company data is what’s at stake, and firms must do everything to protect them from unwanted entities. Disasters could lead to enormous losses, low employee morale, and worst of all, damaged customer trust.

On top of these, organizations are more concerned about fixing problems that have already occurred in their infrastructure rather than taking the more proactive approach of preventing issues before they cause damage.

Your business can encounter different threats, including natural disasters, physical damage, or theft. The most probable, however, is cyberattacks caused by hackers and malware. Just this month, a ransomware attack targeted Leeds, AL, rendering their mayor’s email, personnel files, and financial systems inaccessible.

Considering all these threats, your business needs to be prepared for the worst to protect your systems. This should include planning every step your company should take in case of any incident. Here are some simple things to remember:

Physical backups might not be enough

If you lose your data, your organization won’t function properly. You need to keep it safely backed up in an off-site location.

However, merely having a separate location to store your data is not enough. It’s important to choose a secure area, and that means considering physical, technical, and administrative measures. Let’s say that you kept your backup in a city outside your workplace. But what would you do if your information suddenly gets stolen or destroyed by a flood or fire? Off-site backups will never be enough.

Cloud-based backups host your data on the internet in multiple locations, in secure colocation centers with all the necessary measures to protect them from disaster. So in case a backup in one area is inaccessible, there will still be another copy of your data in other servers.

The importance of quick recovery

There's a lot more to keeping your systems safe than just backups alone. A significant aspect to consider is how quickly your business can recover after an incident, as any unnecessary downtime could cost you your customers, employees, and profit.

Consider two important metrics when choosing a backup solution: recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO). The former refers to the amount of data you’re willing to lose. For instance, you can afford to lose a day’s worth of data, but if your most recent backup is a week old, this could be dangerous to your organization. Given this, you’ll want to assign different objectives to different systems based on their importance and use to your operations.

Meanwhile, RTO refers to the maximum time it takes to restore your data. Downtime will always be inevitable when disaster strikes, but to mitigate its impact on your operations and profits, you’ll want to keep it to a minimum.

This is especially important when signing up for a cloud-based disaster recovery service, as this will heavily depend not only on your internet connection speed, but also the level of commitment of your provider. This should be included in your service level agreement (SLA) with them.

Always train your employees

No matter how well thought out and expensive your disaster recovery plan is, it will be useless without proper employee training. Your RTO is dependent on how quickly your employees report an incident. You’re reducing the chances of disasters happening when you conduct proper employee training, and this also teaches them to be accountable should the worst-case scenario happen to your company.

Need a reliable off-site backup service? F1 Solutions will ensure that your data is safe from any disaster. Your critical data is stored in two separate locations and checked regularly by our technicians to assure integrity and speedy recovery. Drop us a line today!