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Tips to Creating an Effective Disaster Recovery Plan

It is an unfortunate reality that as technology continues its steady march forward, there are those who use those advances to find new ways to commit illicit deeds. As a result, cyber security threats are an ever-growing concern, with 14 million businesses expected to be targeted by hackers in the United States alone. Making matters worse, only 2% of business owners view cyber security as a top priority.

Cyber-attacks and breaches in your security can effectively bring your business to a grinding halt through various means that include stealing your data or even crippling your network, cutting you off from the tools you need to conduct your affairs. For this reason, you need to have a disaster recovery plan in place.

The purpose of a disaster recovery plan is to prepare for a cyber security or data theft event using a step-by-step plan. With an effective plan in place, you will be able to respond to threats quickly and effectively, restoring your systems and compromised data while protecting your system for continued attacks.

Preparing a recovery plan involves several steps:

Determine Which Assets Are in Need of Protection

Not all your assets are equally valuable. Identity those that are critical to your continued operation and those that are of minimal importance. Items should be individually prioritized, allowing you to target those assets that allow your business to survive.

Review Your Options for Disaster Recovery

With many different disaster recovery solutions available, you should determine which one is the most appropriate for your needs and your company’s infrastructure. This may be a simple backup, or something more complex which would allow you to recover everything at the click of a button, and may be cloud based, or an on-site solution.

Determine Your Ideal Recovery Scenario

Have a clear goal in mind for your recovery. What matters most in a given event and what would be your ideal response to a threat? By building your plan around a specific goal, you have an objective to work toward.

Document Your Plan

Sketch out a detailed explanation of your plan, and make it readily available as a reference should a disaster occur. This plan should include your major assets and offer details of your recovery process and procedures.

Assign Recovery Duties to Each Employee

Response time in the event of a disaster is critically important. Consequently, each employee should have a role to play as part of your recovery strategy.

What should be done? Who should be contacted? Who is authorized to re-deploy data? These are all questions that your employees should know the answer to. Knowing who is responsible for what will greatly speed up your response time.

Finalize Your Plan

Ensure that your plan is complete and contains all the necessary details listed above. Document the employee roles, and information regarding the chain of contact for informing everyone that a breach has occurred. Be clear about the goals of your plan, namely the restoration of your company to working order as quickly as possible, returning it to the condition it was in before the attack.

Test Your Plan

Your plan will only help you if it is truly effective, so it is important to run a test scenario to evaluate how well you will be able to respond. This will allow you to test whether you missed anything in your planning and whether your employees fully understand their roles in the recovery plan.

Review Your Plan Regularly, Adjusting as Needed

At least once a year you should review your plan, optimizing it to ensure that it continues to appropriately address your needs and concerns. You may find that your needs change and evolve; your plan will have to evolve as well. Employees may come and go, or switch roles, requiring new employees to take their place. All of these things should be addressed as you conduct your review.

By anticipating your needs during a cyber crisis and preparing an appropriate plan to deal with them, you are saving yourself from a great deal of panic, but more importantly, you will be able to reduce the amount of damage done to your company if you find yourself the victim of a cyber-attack.  With proper planning and preparation, you should be ready for anything that comes your way.

For the most comprehensive disaster recovery plan, contact Safe Harbour today!