Ways to Create an Effective Disaster Recovery Plan for Business

By CIOReview | Thursday, December 6, 2018

The increase in security threats nowadays has made disaster recovery plans an integral part of business models for the seamless continuity of business. Every business has its own challenges, requirements, and demands that make each disaster recovery plan (DRP) different from others. To create an effective (both in terms of cost and implementation) DRP one must keep in mind a few important points that help in creating a DRP.

1. Auditing the IT resources: The very basic and important step is to first audit the available resources, both hardware and software. This ensures narrowing and streamlining of data. One must decide that which resource holds what kind of data and also the importance of the data, as this helps you at the time of recovery to prioritize recovery and seamless continuity of business.

2. Risk Reduction: The main goal of any DRP is to reduce the risk to minimal. It is very essential for businesses to analyze all risks prior to developing the DRP infrastructure as this will allow them to eliminate the maximum of them at the infrastructural level only.

3. Defining Tolerance Level: Every business has its own level of tolerance for system downtime and data. One must analyze two key components while creating DRP. First, recovery time objective (maximum time one can wait for before resuming of the affected system). Second, recovery point objective (maximum loss of data one can bear during the disruption). These two are pillars on which a DRP stands. Factors like cost, viability, and achievability also play a role while creating DRP also help in deciding the RTO and RPO.

4. Data Backup Architecture: Resuming the system is one component and eliminating data loss is different. The most effective and reliable method backing up data practiced in the current era is by creating 3 copies of it. Out of the three, two of them are kept in the same building but at different location/devices, this makes the availability of backup fastest. But considering a case of natural calamity like flood, fire or earthquake in which both the copies may get destroyed. So to overcome this third copy plays an important role as it is always kept miles away from the rest somewhere in any other data center. Nowadays, cloud storage is preferred so that the data is safe from any kind of physical damages.

5. Communication Plan: Many DRP model lacks this stage but it is really important. Lack of proper communication leads to chaos during the time of disruption as people are not properly aware of whom to contact. This chaos also hampers the work of other sections as well later result in the delay of work. It is very important to clearly designate people with their responsibility during the disruption and avoid such chaos.

6. Testing the DRP: One must always test its DRP prior finally deploying it. The outcomes during testing allow the team to update their plan accordingly and also think of new alternatives as per the requirements. This stage is equally important; similarly like software testing is done prior handing it over to the client or releasing it.

7. Regular Maintenance and Update: Just creating an effective DRP is not enough. This system should have a maintenance check at regular intervals and also updates in it as per time and requirements. Every day new cyber threats are emerging in the industry and to tackle them one must always keep its DRP update and maintained. New technologies must be taken into considerations to improve the recovery plan as it being time and cost-effective both at the same time.

The disaster recovery plan can include much smaller details but that varies organization to organization. The above key points are the main things that should be kept into consideration while creating DRP. With emerging and futuristic technologies, one must keep researching and experimenting to find new and effective methods of recovery.