2020 has taught us many valuable lessons. Most of all, it’s readily apparent how important it is for every organization to prepare for a crisis. From the sudden shift to remote work to the impact of illness and quarantine to the recent Nashville bombing incident that caused widespread internet outage throughout an entire region, there was no way to fully prepare for what this year threw our way.
But that doesn’t have to be the case for IT disaster preparedness. Does your information technology department have a disaster recovery plan? If your organization was hacked or suffered a structure fire where your servers are located, how would you ensure business continuity if the worst-case-scenario happened to your firm?
Continue reading as we make five informed suggestions on how you can best prepare for every possible disaster situation in the new year.
Take Inventory of All Your IT Resources
It’s nearly impossible to rebuild your network after a disaster if you don’t know what devices and applications your users need to do their jobs every day. That’s why the Federal government’s website, Ready.gov, recommends that all firms, such as yours, make and maintain a database of the following assets and who uses them:
- Wireless devices
- Software applications
Prioritize Who Needs to Be Up and Running First After an Emergency
If you had a disaster at one of your organization’s locations, which machines need to be back online first? Which should never have gone down? Who needs immediate access to their resources? The answers are likely different for every organization. After you’ve identified who needs what to work efficiently, the next step in creating your disaster recovery plan is to prioritize which people and departments need to be functioning at normal capacity first in order for your business to go back online after a data breach, fire, or natural disaster.
Ensure IT Disaster Preparedness By Having the Resources Saved (and Duplicated) To Restore Productivity and Ensure Business Continuity
Once you know which IT assets your business needs to operate and who needs to be up and running first, ensure the tools to restore functionality as soon as possible are in place. Your disaster recovery plan should include:
- Plans for re-imaging new hardware after a crisis
- Access to backups of software applications to deploy to critical workers
- Documentation of passwords and instructions behind a secure cloud, so you can access this information anywhere, anytime
Make Sure You Have a Robust Data Backup Plan – And That You’re Following it to a “T”
One of the biggest disruptors to business continuity after a disaster is when your employees can’t access the critical data they need to do their jobs effectively. This is why it’s so important that, as part of your IT disaster preparedness plans, you define a detailed plan to regularly back up your data so you can restore it as soon as possible.
Ready.gov recommends that your organization:
- Regularly backs up servers, computers, and wireless devices
- Creates hard copies of business-critical information, preferably in the cloud
- Ensures all backups are securely stored, using at least the same security protocols that are created for your organization to use and access this information in the first place
Practice Your Disaster Recovery Plan Using Mock Emergencies
First responders routinely hold mock emergencies such as train wrecks, multi-car pile-ups, or other potential health emergencies that could affect your community. Even though law enforcement, EMS, and ER physicians deal with emergencies every day, they still practice for major events so that they’re prepared in the event a true disaster strikes.
Once you’ve created a disaster recovery plan, hold regularly scheduled mock disasters (at least once annually) to remind your IT team what their roles are in the event of a crisis. These mock emergencies help your team identify complications in your plan and adjust as needed. They also remind your staff about their critical roles and train new IT members on your disaster recovery plan.
Preparing to Create a New Disaster Recovery Plan
If you’ve prioritized disaster recovery and planning in 2021, we can help. Bedroc works with enterprise organizations in sensitive industries to ensure they are ready for anything that might come. From implementing a plan and contingencies for major disasters to having the equipment in place to protect your data, we can help.
Contact Bedroc today to schedule a consultation and learn more.