This blog post is an excerpt from one of our recent FREE e-books of the same name. Click the link below to download the complete eBook. Why You Desperately Need A Disaster Recovery Plan For Your Business. In a study of companies that experience
a major data loss without having a solid disaster recovery plan in place, ONLY 6% survive; 43% close their doors immediately and 51% limp along and eventually close within 2 years. And the situation is getting worse as more and more companies store – and rely on – digital information and systems to serve customers and keep the doors open.
Fact is, every business connected to the Internet with human beings accessing digital information is highly vulnerable to hackers, viruses, data corruption, data loss, system failures and downtime. A disaster can happen at any time on any day; and thinking, “That could never happen to me,” is an open invitation for Murphy to visit you and wreak havoc on your business. (Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong will.)
The cost of the aforementioned disasters is enormous and spread far beyond simple downtime. Client data stolen can cost you big in reputational capital and easily turn into lawsuits and government fines. Extended downtime can cause you to lose customers and miss important deadlines, not to mention put a damper on productivity. And with more and more private data being captured and stored by companies, the long-term losses and legal challenges can have significant short AND long-term impact.
That’s why it’s no longer “nice” to have a disaster recovery and business continuity plan for your business – it’s an outright necessity to protect what you’ve worked so hard to create and achieve. This report will outline 7 simple things you can do right now to minimize the impact or even prevent such disasters.
1. Have a written plan
As simple as it may sound, just thinking through in ADVANCE what needs to happen if your server has a meltdown or a natural disaster wipes out your office, will go a long way in getting your business back online fast. At a minimum, the plan should contain details on what data and systems are most important, and a step-by-step process of how those systems will be secured, backed up and brought back online. Any good, professional IT person or firm can help you with this part of your disaster recovery and business continuity plan. If they can’t (or won’t) find someone who will. Here’s a short list of what your Disaster Recovery Plan should include:
- An IT Asset Inventory of all hardware, software licenses and assets. Your IT person or vendor should have this anyway in your basic Network Documentation. If you don’t have this, make sure you get one!
- A list of all the cloud applications you use, what data is stored there, how it’s accessed (UN/PW)
- A process for how the data in these 3rd party cloud applications will be backed up to YOUR location to avoid losing it from the company closing, being hacked or having them simply deny you access to your data for any reason. This would include web sites, member portals, CRM systems, accounting systems, etc.
- A “Break The Glass” document of critical web sites, passwords and other information held only by key executives that are critical for running the business. If something should happen to that executive, you want to be able to keep the business running.
- A detailed process of how all your PCs, laptops, servers and other devices are being backed up AND who is responsible for backing them up and validating the backups through periodic test restores.
- A telecommunications recovery plan that would deal with a situation where all phone lines are down or your building is inaccessible.
- A “high impact” disaster plan for how your business would continue to operate if your building was inaccessible temporarily or permanently.
- A list of key vendors and their contact information. You should also have emergency contact information for each employee in case of a major disaster where you are unable to access your office and you must contact them at their home.
- Information about your insurance policies, coverage, contact information for the insurance provider, a copy of the policy, etc. You should also have documentation (receipts) and pictures of the assets in your office in case you need to submit a claim. Having this is proof that you actually owned the assets you are claiming.
2. When writing your plan, think business continuity, not just backup
A HUGE mistake made by almost all business owners is thinking that having a backup copy of your data will enable you to be back in business quickly. Not so. Business continuity is the process of planning and systems to make sure your business continues operating after a disaster. We often see business owners shocked to learn that it may take 5-7 days, sometimes more, to get their operations back online and functioning because they only have a copy of their data. Don’t make this mistake! With some simple planning (and help from your IT pro) you can make sure critical operations, e-mail and other functions don’t go down for extended periods of time.
* To see the rest of the 7 reasons, CLICK HERE to download the FREE e-book.