HomeSecurityCyber SecurityKey Components + 5 Steps for Designing a Foolproof Disaster Recovery Plan

Key Components + 5 Steps for Designing a Foolproof Disaster Recovery Plan

What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

A disaster recovery plan is a set of tools and procedures that help you recover from any serious disruption to your business. A disaster recovery plan gives you a clear picture of what to do when traditional systems fail, so your business can carry on after an outage. It provides an alternate procedure for restoring systems in case of any data loss or hardware failure. With periodic testing, your DR plan can also serve as a powerful deterrent against cyberattacks like ransomware.

A disaster recovery plan is an essential part of any business continuity strategy. It helps insure that a disaster will not disrupt business operations and hurt your company financially. A proactive disaster recovery plan like those provided by Managed Security Services will help you respond quickly to any data loss or intrusion and dramatically reduce the time it takes for you to restore normal business operations.

What’s in a Disaster Recovery Plan?

Goals

The company aims to respond to a disaster within a certain timeframe, and it also has data loss and recovery time objectives.

Backup procedures

In order to recover data in the event of a disaster or other problem, it is important to know where you can find your files and how to get back to them.  This will also include secure offsite storage.

IT inventory

Your IT department must have a list of all software and hardware assets, along with their uses and an indication of whether they are critical for business operations.

Staff responsibilities

You should have a list of all employees involved in the disaster recovery process, along with detailed descriptions of their roles and responsibilities after a disruption. Everyone in your organization should play a part in your disaster recovery plan. Every employee has something valuable to offer, even if it’s simply reporting cybersecurity threats up the chain of command to someone who can enact the DR plan. With everyone contributing, you’ll have a more effective plan than you would have if nobody knew what to do when trouble strikes.

Disaster recovery sites

This details the locations of all your secondary offsite backup or data storage systems.

Disaster recovery procedures

The organization’s response in a cybersecurity threat will determine how much damage the organization sustains and how many backups are performed.  Your disaster recovery procedures should include how the organization will respond to cybersecurity threats, such as implementing backup procedures and checking for vulnerabilities.

Disaster recovery point

The amount of data that may be lost during recovery efforts can be controlled by how often data backups are made.

Recovery Time Objective

The RTO (Recovery Time Objective) is the amount of time allotted to recovering lost data. The RTO can be decreased by increasing the frequency of data backups.

Restoration

Any procedures that will be followed to restore lost data and resume normal operations.

DRP testing

Creating a disaster recovery plan can be a significant undertaking. The last thing you want to do is set up a plan that doesn’t actually prepare the business for disaster. To ensure the effectiveness of your DR plan, it is important to periodically test that plan. Your testing should consider the following:

  • Think about all of the systems that need to be in place when you recover from a disaster. Are there any single points of failure in your recovery plan? If so, what are you going to do about them?
  • How long does it take to recover from a disaster? How much longer for things to return to normal? Consider these aspects to understand your recovery times and find ways you can make them faster.
  • What are the recovery points for your data? Is the lost data critical to your operations in any way? Verifying recovery points is important when switching to a remote backup so that you can avoid losing data during an actual disaster.
  • What kind of disaster are you simulating? Are you running a test that assumes there is damage to your network’s assets or your data center, or are you simulating corrupted data?
  • Your recovery needs and options may be affected by the type of disaster you experience. Keep this in mind when creating a DR plan, and you’ll be more likely to find ways to make your business more resilient. Some businesses offer DRaaS to help organizations create and manage their DR plans. The global disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)market is expected to grow from $5.79 billion in 2021 to $8.08 billion in 2022 at a CAGR of 39.5%. The quality and reliability of DRaaS services can vary from one vendor to the next—you should always vet these services before signing on with one.

How to Create a Disaster Recovery Plan in 5 Steps?

Risk Assessment

  • The purpose of risk assessment is to evaluate the potential impacts of a disaster and its effects on your business. It’s one of the most important steps in creating a disaster recovery plan because, without it, you won’t know what measures you need to take.
  • You can start by listing all possible hazards (natural disasters and man-made incidents) that could affect your business. Next, consider whether any existing conditions within the organization might make it more susceptible to these hazards.

Organize Mission Critical Data

  • In order to create your disaster recovery plan, you need to know what data is mission critical. This will help you define how much time and money you need to spend on backup solutions. To start, list all of the information that would be detrimental if it were lost in a disaster scenario.
  • Next, try to think about how often this data changes and how long it takes for those changes to occur. Your backup frequency should be determined by this. In addition, determine the amount of time required by each person who needs access in order to recover their own data after they’ve been restored back into production servers during an outage event.

Responsibilities and Communication

  • The most important thing to remember when creating a disaster recovery plan is that it’s important to communicate with all stakeholders. This includes employees, customers, suppliers, insurance companies, and regulators.
  • It’s also important that you designate who will be responsible for these communications and how they’ll be made. If your company has multiple offices or warehouses in different locations (or even different countries), then you should have people in each location who are responsible for communicating with each other on a daily basis.

Response Steps and Recovery Goals

  • In the response stage, you will be coordinating with your team and business partners to determine if they need to take action. You may need to call in additional staff or resources to help with recovery efforts, so it’s important that you’ve planned ahead for this scenario.
  • If you have a business continuity plan or a backup system that can be activated immediately, now is the time for you and your team to execute these plans as quickly as possible. The longer it takes for these systems to come online and begin functioning normally again, the more likely it is that business will suffer from lost revenue or missed deadlines.

Create a Test Disaster Recovery Plan

  • The disaster recovery plan is the backbone of your business continuity program, but you won’t know how it will hold up until you test it. Testing your plan lets you verify that all its components are functioning properly and to identify any issues with its execution.
  • Regularly review and refine your emergency procedures, policies and plans to ensure they’re up-to-date with current technology changes and best practices. Don’t forget to have these documents available in an easily accessible location so that team members can refer back to them when necessary.

Recovering from a disaster is never an easy process. However, if you follow the five steps we’ve outlined above, you will be well on your way to ensuring that your business can recover from any data loss event quickly and efficiently.

Post courtesy: Cyber74, Cybersecurity Solutions Provider.

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