With more and more businesses becoming IT-dependent, the importance of a tried and tested disaster recovery plan couldn’t be greater. Fire, flood, theft and system failures all pose a threat and can lead to a complete catastrophe without proper contingency planning.
So what can you do to protect your business?
Assess the Risk
The first step is to carry out a full assessment of the risks to your business. Perhaps your premises are particularly vulnerable to flooding, your server is out of warranty or your backup is kept on-site? Look at your security - both physical and technological - and assess the threat of hardware theft, data theft, viruses, spyware and hacking. Take into account unforeseen emergencies...... if your offices were closed due to a bomb scare or fire, could you and your staff continue to work from home, accessing emails and company data? Categorise business critical assets and prioritise their protection to ensure a smooth transition to crisis working if the worst happens.
Once you’ve identified your weak spots, put together a full disaster recovery plan to ensure your business recovers quickly in an emergency. If it isn’t already, move your backup to an off-site location so all vital data can be accessed remotely from any location at any time. Look at your phone systems and establish whether your calls can be quickly and easily diverted to an alternative number should you have to temporarily re-locate your offices. Maintain your anti-virus protection and ensure updates are regular and appropriate to your business needs.
When you have your disaster recovery plan in place, test it – there’s no point having a process in place if it could fail at the critical moment. This also gives you the opportunity to make any necessary tweaks to the programme and finalise the plan accordingly. Brief all relevant employees and make sure they are educated on how to access the systems from home, have access to all log ons and are confident and competent on how to keep the business running.
According to the Contingency Planning Research and Strategic Research Corporation, 43% of companies experiencing disasters never re‐open, so put your emergency plan to action before it’s too late....
For guidance and assistance on disaster recovery and contingency planning, give axon IT a call today.