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A Business continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan is about making sure your company can quickly become operational after a systems failure, natural disaster, breach, or other interruption. A simple way of putting it is do you have a plan of what is required to get your doors open and your employees productive after a catastrophic event.

It is important to understand and separate basic data protection from Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery planning. Most companies have some type of backup in place to provide basic data protection. When data is lost in isolated situations, such as a hard drive failure, lost device or virus, your local or cloud backup provides a reactive way to rapidly restore your data. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery provides a proactive plan to reduce your risk in a disaster recovery scenario and shorten your time to get back to business as usual. If you don’t currently have a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plan you should really think about creating one. Here are some things you should consider:

  1. Your risk assessment. Start by gaining an understanding of you environmental risks and exposure. For example, the geographic area your business is located in may make you more prone to flooding, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes or fire. These variables may raise your risks. However if you are adjacent to a hospital or fire department you may have a lower risk of losing power during a disaster.
  2. Tailor your plan to your company’s needs. Evaluate your core systems to determine what applications and data you need to operate. Basic services such as phone, email or order processing may put your business at risk even with a brief outage. If you are a manufacturing or retail business you may need to make sure that you continue to receive the products that you need for your customers. If you are a highly regulated industry such as: finance or healthcare you may need to focus on making sure that you have access to your customer’s data as quickly as possible.
  3. Keep your IT Infrastructure up to date. An outdated and unreliable infrastructure may be more vulnerable to malware attacks and less resilient to surviving a power surge. This can make it a larger challenge to recover systems in the event of a disaster. Keeping your IT infrastructure up to date and compatible with the latest compliance patches and operating systems will make it easier to bring new systems on line in the event of a disaster.

Remember, it is fundamental to your plan to understand your risks, tailor your plans to meet your needs and make sure your infrastructure is up to date and supported.  If you are interested in finding out more about creating a business continuity and disaster recovery plan for your business we can help.

Published on 4th May 2015 by Jeanne DeWitt.

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