A business disaster occurs when the essential elements of a business are unable to function as normal over a long period of time. Such a disaster can be caused by several things. This includes natural catastrophes, equipment failure or human personnel failure. To deal with a business disaster effectively, you need to have a recovery plan in place.
A good recovery plan has two main facets. First, it aims at preventing such disasters from happening and second it aims at helping you restore everything back to normal after disaster strikes.
Your recovery strategy should have four main constituents; data, human resource, equipment and facilities. Equipment includes both the hardware and software that runs, secures and reinstates functionality of your systems in case of disaster. Here are the key things that your recovery plan should have:
- 1. Establish the key elements of your network and ensure that you have extra equipment in case something happens. E.g. you can have extra cables or data cards.
- 2. Have an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) in place, so that you have ample time to shut down your systems in case of sudden power loss.
- 3. Back up your data in more than one place in case something happens to your original backups.
- 4. Have a good antivirus program in place and make sure to update it on a regular basis.
- 5. Check the system requirements for all the products that you are using and ensure that your systems meet those requirements.
- 6. Back up your data in several places and using several methods, to make it easier to access the data and restore it in case something happens. For instance, you can back up data in a cloud server, Thumb drive or CD-RW.
- 7. Back up your data frequently. Don’t let long time intervals pass in between backups. E.g. you can choose to backup on a weekly or a monthly basis.
- 8. Your backup devices should be kept in water resistant and fire resistant areas.
- 9. Any recent software installations should also be backed up. It may be possible to download some software applications online and burn them on a CD.
- 10. Any recent software installations should also be backed up. It may be possible to download some software applications online and burn them on a CD.
- 11. Test your backups to ensure that they are working ok. Carry out a system restoration to see if your systems will be seamlessly restored.
- 12. Secure your servers to prevent unauthorized access.
- 13. Have the names and contact details of people to be contacted when disaster strikes.
- 14. Check out the environment where your data has been backed up to ensure that it won’t damage your back up devices. E.g. the room temperature, humidity, light and airflow should be ok.
- 15. Train your personnel on what they should do in case strikes. Assign staff members specific duties to do to help in the disaster recovery process.
- 16. Outline how your network works in a simple way, such that anyone who reads the information can understand it easily and follow the outlined steps. Everyone should know where this outline is stored, so that they can easily access it when they need it.
- 17. Have a back up office that you can use in case you are unable to access your normal office for whatever reason.
Continuously test and evaluate your recovery plan, to ensure that it is working well in case you ever need to use it. A good recovery plan can make the difference between your business going down under or recovering from catastrophe. Now that you are informed, do not let yourself be caught unaware by disaster.