Protect Your Business with the Right Disaster Recovery Plan
43% of businesses that experience a significant data loss go out of business within five years, but by improving your business’s disaster recovery plan, you can increase your chances that critical business data and information will survive a disaster.
To evaluate and improve your disaster recovery plan, follow these steps:
- Assess the risks to your business. What could cause significant damage to or loss of your facilities, equipment, inventory, or data?
- Develop policies and procedures for responding to and recovering from a disaster. Make sure all employees are aware of these procedures.
Test your plan regularly. Set up regular simulations or “tabletop exercises” in which you test different aspects of the plan. This will help identify any weaknesses in the plan so they can be corrected before an emergency occurs.
Every day, businesses across the country lose valuable data due to natural disasters, cyber-attacks, and other unexpected events. In fact, according to a study conducted by IBM, 72 percent of companies surveyed had lost data in the past 24 months because of an unplanned outage or system failure. That’s why it’s so important for small businesses to have a business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place—not just for business operations but also for data protection.
Steps to Evaluate and Improve Your Disaster Recovery Plan
Before creating a plan to protect your business from disasters, you must assess the risks that could affect your company. This includes evaluating what type of threats—natural disasters, cyber-attacks, human error, etc.—could occur in your area and how those threats could potentially impact your operations.
Once you have evaluated the risks, you can develop policies and procedures that will allow you to respond quickly and effectively when a disaster strikes. You should also regularly test your disaster recovery plan with simulations or “tabletop exercises” to be prepared if something happens.
Best Business Continuity Strategies for Small Businesses
Once you have evaluated potential risks and developed policies and procedures for response and recovery, it’s time to develop a comprehensive business continuity strategy that works best for your small business. One of the most important steps is establishing a risk evaluation team composed of key stakeholders who can analyze potential disasters and recommend preventive measures.
Having this team in place will help ensure that any threats are addressed before they become problems.
Additionally, it is essential to create an IT disaster recovery plan that addresses all possible threats to operations, data storage/protection, personnel safety/security protocols, communication systems/networks, etc.. Finally, investing in offsite backups (such as cloud storage) is one of the best ways to protect data from physical loss or damage due to disasters like fires or floods.
A comprehensive business continuity strategy is essential for small businesses looking to protect their operations from potential threat scenarios like natural disasters or cyber-attacks. The key elements of such a plan include assessing risks; developing policies and procedures; regularly testing plans; establishing risk evaluation teams; creating IT disaster recovery plans; and investing in offsite backups/cloud storage solutions. By taking these steps now, you can ensure that your small business is prepared for an unexpected event.
Take Inventory Of All Your Critical Information
When crafting a disaster recovery plan, it is essential to consider where important documents must be stored. Keeping backups onsite isn’t enough – if the primary location is damaged or destroyed, so are the backups.
That’s why incorporating an offsite storage solution into your plan is so vital. With a wide range of options, selecting one that fits your budget and fulfills your business’s specific needs is key. Armed with the right strategies and technology, small businesses can ensure their critical data and applications stay intact no matter what arises. Creating an effective business continuity strategy in advance can minimize downtime and keep operations running even when an emergency strikes.
Don’t Forget About Employee Communication
It is of paramount importance that small businesses have a robust continuity plan in the event of a disaster. While it may be easy to overlook, employees are often the first responders to such unfortunate circumstances.
This makes it critical they have multiple communication channels in place to receive timely updates and instructions on how to aid recovery efforts. Social media platforms can be used to share updates, form teams, and stay in touch with each other. However, procedures should be put into place to vet the accuracy of the information shared. In addition, other communication methods should also be considered, such as company intranets and hotlines.
By having multiple communication solutions available to staff during a disaster, small businesses are better insulated against its ramifications and can continue operations quicker.
Responding To Clients & Customers
In these uncertain times, a small business must protect itself and its customers. A great way to do this is by having a plan for responding to customers in the event of a data disaster.
This plan should include identifying who will be responsible for customer communication, how customers can best contact you, what information are sharable (and with whom), and step-by-step procedures for responding to customer inquiries and complaints. Having a solid plan and point of contact for customers will help both parties stay on the same page in a crisis.
Developing an effective customer response strategy with these critical components will ensure that your small business is prepared for future disruption.
Every Business Needs A Business Continuity Strategy
As businesses strive to remain competitive, a disaster recovery plan is essential. No matter what size of business you operate, the ability to quickly and successfully recover from a disaster can make or break your business.
It’s essential to have backups for critical information such as customer data, financial records, and other data that could be lost if not appropriately protected. A comprehensive plan should review all aspects of your system, including corporate data stored in the cloud and remote desktops, so you can rest easy knowing that your system is protected no matter what event occurs. To get the most out of your disaster recovery plan, seek assistance from an experienced Managed Service Provider (MSP). MSPs specialize in backup and recovery solutions and are well-versed in creating plans tailored to fit any business size or type.
Get started on protecting your business today by contacting us so that we can help you build the right strategy to secure your most important information.