4 Easy Steps For A Disaster Recovery Plan Review In 2024

Disaster Recovery Plan

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Was an “extended global pandemic” a scenario your disaster recovery team considered during your disaster recovery planning sessions? 

According to a study by Mercer, over half of companies worldwide still lack any business continuity plans for emergencies or natural disasters. In fact, only 54% of organizations have an established, company wide disaster recovery plan. This statistic is alarming considering the increasing frequency and severity of natural and man-made disasters.

In our original blog post, we discussed various ways to elaluate your disaster recovery preparations. However, as we move forward through 2024, the workplace landscape has significantly evolved due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent shift to remote work. 

This article aims to provide a refresher on how to initiate disaster recovery planning and how to review an existing one in the context of our current reality.

 

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Understanding an IT Disaster Recovery Plan
Portrait of pretty young businesswoman and many question marks around

The challenges of maintaining employee engagement are not the only issues that leadership has faced in recent years. Business impact analysis has revealed new hurdles in IT, operations, sales, legal, and all business aspects. 

With the rise of remote work, team members now face diverse technological circumstances, including internet connectivity, power outage risks, and cybersecurity. Existing disaster recovery plans may now have multiple external points of potential failure for business processes and data protection. The share of employees working remotely worldwide increased significantly in recent years, rising from 20 percent in 2020 to 28 percent by 2023.


Elements of a Disaster Recovery Plan

woman with a laptop working from home smilingThe threat of data breaches and cyberattacks remains real and is now potentially magnified as your valuable team members are no longer within the protected, secure technology space of the office. The challenges of 2020-2024 have underscored the need for robust disaster recovery and business continuity planning. In the first quarter of 2023, 6.41 million data records were leaked in worldwide data breaches.

 

Your disaster recovery planning should always include:

1. Identifying mission critical part of your business

Every business has certain functions that are absolutely critical to its operation. Identifying these functions is the first step in creating a disaster recovery plan

2. Evaluating potential risk 

Once you've identified the critical parts of your business, you need to evaluate the potential risks to these functions. This could include everything from natural disasters to cyber-attacks.

3. Determining what data backup and recovery entails

Data backup and recovery is a crucial part of any disaster recovery plan. You need to determine what data needs to be backed up, how often it should be backed up, and how quickly it needs to be recovered in the event of a disaster.

4. Creating a communication plan

Communication is key in any disaster situation. Your disaster recovery plan should include a communication plan that outlines how you will communicate with employees, customers, and other stakeholders during and after a disaster

5. Regularly testing the plan

A disaster recovery plan is only as good as its execution. Regular testing ensures that everyone knows their roles and responsibilities and that the plan works as intended.

 

Looking for more details on business continuity planning? Check out our blog: 5 Essential Components of a Business Continuity Plan

Here are some steps you can take, to review your plan and continue testing:

4 Steps for A Successful Disaster Recovery Plan Review

1. Check Your Backups

Backups are crucial for ensuring business continuity and play a significant role in how the company handles general threats to their IT security. In 2024, business network failures can still result from a natural disaster or cyberattack. However, hardware failure has become an issue that can occur more frequently outside the office. In fact, 80% of outages in your data center stem from server hardware.

For instance, in 2017, British Airways experienced a massive IT failure due to a power surge that resulted in 672 cancelled flights over three days, affecting 75,000 passengers. This incident underscores the importance of having robust and reliable backups

Don’t wait until after you have lost the data or lost customers to adapt your most critical pieces to current events - there’s nothing wrong with having a plan B!

2. Understanding New Threats To Your Business

The past few years have revealed many unforeseen challenges for leaders. It's essential to reassess your business's overall threats and identify any new vulnerabilities.

For example, the shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic has opened up new avenues for cyberattacks. According to a report by Interpol, there was a significant increase in cyberattacks targeting the remote work infrastructure during the pandemic.

2020 unlocked a lot of pandora’s boxes for leaders. What could have seemed like an impossibility is now reality; have you given “what else could happen?” 

You should already have a clear picture of your business’ overall threats and planned for them, but is there anything new vulnerability?

Calgary’s 2013 flooding had enormous implications for businesses.

In 2016, the Fort McMurray Fire destroyed nearly ten percent of the city and destroyed over 2,400 structures. Only 25% of SMBs had disaster recovery (DR) plans in place during these times.

There is no reason to be fearful of these types of events, we can only do our best to prepare - so why not review and see how new threats could affect your existing plan?

3. Follow Up With Resources In Your Plan

Review the personnel in your disaster recovery team. Have there been any changes that would require new team members? Do you have the resources your business needs for making remote work a more permanent part of your operations?

For instance, Twitter announced in May 2020 that its employees could work from home 'forever' if they wish, highlighting the need for businesses to adapt their disaster recovery plans to a more permanent remote work setup

Do you have the resources your business needs for making work from home a more permanent part of your business operations? There are opinions that say 70% of the workforce has to this way of working.

4. Confirm Details of Your Plan With Any Existing IT Supportlearning and planning

Technology evolves at a rapid pace. Therefore, discussing your disaster recovery plan with any external IT support should be a part of your review and refresh process.

For example, in 2019, the city of Baltimore was hit by a ransomware attack that shut down most of its servers. The city did not have cyber insurance and had recently switched IT leadership, leading to a lack of preparedness.

In times of crisis, your business is not the only one that has been affected - its probable that any IT service or support company deals with all sorts of changes that can benefit you and your disaster recovery planning.

Look at things like costs, emerging technologies, potential vulnerabilities - most IT companies should be able to provide you with insights on these fronts.

Start a conversation, learn about what’s new, find out if there are new ways to address gaps and opportunities in your plan.

 

In conclusion, the post-pandemic world has brought about a new normal that requires businesses to rethink and reevaluate their disaster recovery plans. The shift to remote work, the increasing threat of cyberattacks, and the need for robust data backup systems have all underscored the importance of having a comprehensive and up-to-date disaster recovery plan.

As we navigate through 2024, it's crucial for businesses to stay ahead of potential threats and ensure they are prepared for any disruptions. Remember, a well-crafted disaster recovery plan not only helps in mitigating risks but also instills confidence among stakeholders, ensuring business continuity in the face of adversity.

As the saying goes, "Failing to plan is planning to fail." So, let's plan for success in this new normal.


Don’t leave your business vulnerable to unforeseen disasters. Contact GAM Tech today and let our team of experts guide you in creating a robust and comprehensive disaster recovery plan tailored to your business needs. With GAM Tech, you can ensure business continuity and peace of mind, no matter what the future holds.

 

Posted by Adrian Ghira on Mar 31, 2021 8:00:00 AM

Topics: productivity, it services, cyber security, security, it solutions, disaster recovery, prevention, employee awareness

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