Whether it’s a cyber attack that devastates critical systems, a natural disaster that ends in total outage, or a human error that leaks sensitive information, there is no shortage of damage that businesses suffer when disaster happens unexpectedly. A well-thought out disaster recovery (DR) system is the lifeblood of corporate survival and business continuity.
The most successful disaster recovery strategy is one that will never need to be implemented. This means that when all vulnerabilities, loopholes, and threat vectors are sealed, risk can be prevented. However, after putting a disaster recovery program in place, some business executives become complacent and the program is forgotten. disaster recovery planning is not a one-time event. It requires a continuing cycle of management, updating, and testing.
The following important questions need to be answered when devising a disaster recovery strategy:
Is management on board?
Often, senior executives think that disaster recovery is an activity that is better left to the IT department. Business continuity is a critical concern of top management. Disaster recovery managers must convince management that it is not just about systems, networks, and data, but a bigger picture of the entire enterprise. After all, those at the top are accountable if the enterprise finds itself in a catastrophic situation.
Are existing and potential risks constantly assessed?
The risk analysis process includes not only the evaluation of threats and vulnerabilities but the probability of their occurrence. Disaster recovery officers should test their disaster recovery strategy on a range of disaster scenarios, from data inaccessibility to outage to facility damage and more. They should consider recent untoward events and analyze the impact those events had on business, as well as assess the associated costs and other collateral damage.
Is the redundant backup system working?
Redundant backups are the last lines of defense for recovering lost data. Thus, it is important to ensure that backups are working reliably to eliminate all potential points of failure within the backup framework.
A reliable backup solution includes deploying backup servers and using redundant backup media. For backup severs, the best approach is a two-step, or better still a multi-step, backup design and process. Each backup server is a fall back to the other so that if one fails, the others can take over. To further strengthen the backup system, disaster recovery officers may consider replicating the backup servers’ contents to a third-party data center or the cloud rather than depending on in-house replication.
Is there an effective cycle testing process for the disaster recovery system?
The cycle testing process should utilize multiple methods and approaches from one stage to the next. At the end of the cycle, the entire disaster recovery plan should be completely evaluated for errors and deficiencies that should be removed from the plan no matter how minor they are. Cyclic recovery testing helps early detection and correction of errors and the resulting problems.
For management, disaster recovery plan testing ensures stakeholders that the disaster recovery system is working. For IT, it provides key inputs into improving the business continuity strategy of the enterprise.
A business continuity strategy is only as good as its disaster recovery plan. Contact us at Copper State for a no-obligation session to learn more about how we can help you with your disaster recovery needs.