We’re not doomsday preppers over here at iTology, but when it comes to data breaches, we work by the phrase “not if but when.” Small businesses receive over 350% more social engineering attacks than corporations and it’s not hard to guess why cybercriminals are targeting them—47% of companies with less than 50 employees have no cybersecurity budget at all.

But disaster recovery doesn’t only apply to data breaches. Severe storms, fires, human error: anything that affects your data on a disaster-level score. To protect your business, you need a comprehensive disaster recovery plan (DRP) that takes into account different scenarios and evaluates what resources are needed to recover.

What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

When you’re in a public place, like a school or a library, you’ve probably seen those plaques that outline what to do when an emergency happens. Don’t take the elevator, find the nearest exit, and stay calm. Those are all elements of a physical disaster recovery plan, but like most things on the internet, a business DRP can be a little more complicated.

Let’s take the example of a data breach through ransomware. Your well-meaning but unaware employee clicks a link sent in a sketchy email about donating to the local animal shelter (hackers will know how to get ya). Clicking on that link allows the hacker to take control of your computer, encrypt all your data and demand a ransom to decrypt it.

Steps of a DRP would include creating a recovery strategy for this situation, taking those steps that you’ve outlined, communicating with employees or customers about what’s happened, updating security software and backup copies of critical data, and running a complete security check on your entire network to make sure that no other vulnerabilities have been opened up.

And while this is just one example, the steps of a DRP apply to any situation where data might be compromised: flooding, power outages, fires, hardware failures—you name it. Having a well-thought-out DRP in place can make all the difference between making a costly mistake and protecting your business.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: Why You Need A Disaster Recovery Plan

Say you’re in a public place and you smell smoke. You see a fire down the hall, but you don’t hear any fire alarms, see any emergency exit information, or even know where the stairs are, let alone recognize any safety signage. At that moment, would you feel confident in your ability to get out of danger?

The same holds true for businesses and data security: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to protecting your business against disasters. A comprehensive DRP takes into account your IT infrastructure, how it can be affected by different types of disasters, and what steps you need to take to minimize downtime and maximize recovery.

There are many different studies about how much downtime really costs—it depends on how big your business is and what kind of disaster you’ve experienced—but some estimate that it costs up to $5,600 a minute. That number is staggering if your systems are down for even a day.

Whether it’s creating backup copies of critical data, updating security software and procedures, or testing your plans for real-world scenarios, a DRP is an investment in your business that can help keep you out of danger and running smoothly despite the unexpected.

How to Build a Disaster Recovery Plan Customized for Your Business

Whether it’s a data breach or any other disaster, having a comprehensive disaster recovery plan is key to protecting your business and ensuring that you’re able to bounce back quickly after an emergency. If you’re looking for ways to create your own DRP, you can follow these steps: 

  1. Identify the different types of disasters that are most likely to affect your business, and outline how each one could impact your IT infrastructure.

  2. Evaluate what resources you need in order to recover from these disasters, such as backup copies of critical data or temporary workstations for employees.

  3. Communicate with employees about how to access these resources and what steps to take in the event of a disaster.

  4. Update your security software and infrastructure regularly, including anti-virus software, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems.

  5. Test for real-world emergencies by running through your plan with employees or simulating a disaster through software.

  6. Revisit and revise your disaster recovery plan regularly to ensure that it remains relevant and effective in protecting against the latest threats and emerging technologies.

  7. Partner with a managed service provider to help manage and oversee your disaster recovery plan, so you know that all of the details are being taken care of.

Overall, having a comprehensive disaster recovery plan is an essential part of any business, no matter what type of industry or organization you’re in. With the right steps, tools, and resources, you can rest easy knowing that your systems and data are protected. And if the unexpected happens, you’ll be able to bounce back quickly and get back to business as usual.

Be Prepared With iTology

Just like that library coordinated with the local police, fire department, and hospital to help you get out of danger, iTology can help you create a comprehensive DRP that outlines how your business’s IT infrastructure will be impacted by different types of disasters.

Together, we can work through each step of a DRP and make sure it’s tailored to get you up and running as quickly as possible—helping you to save money and serve customers. Schedule a free consultation to find out if we’d be a good partner for your disaster recovery plan.