Any enterprise requires a disaster recovery plan. A well prepared disaster recovery plan comes in handy in safeguarding an enterprise’s operation in case of a disaster. The disasters could include:
- Cyber attacks
- Natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes
It can be quite frustrating to have you systems fail, or enterprise hit by a natural disaster without a disaster recovery plan in place. The process of recovering your business may be a lot easier if a disaster recovery plan was well formulated. A well formulated plan should cater for the recovery of:
- The enterprise’s processes
- People such as clients and employees
Protecting the above aspects will see a business back to its feet not long after a disaster hits it. This way, the amount of losses incurred is greatly reduced.
The process of formulating a disaster recovery plan can be quite challenging. In fact, many companies still collapse after a disaster hits them, yet they had prepared a disaster recovery plan to handle the disaster. A company should invest in preparing a disaster recovery plan. The steps discussed below will help formulate an effective disaster recovery plan
1. Formulate a Disaster Recovery Management Contingency Statement
A disaster recovery Management contingency statement is a formalized set of guidelines that grants permission for a disaster recovery plan to be developed, and later implemented. These policies do not necessarily have to be permanent because of how fast technology is evolving. It is even better when they are flexible and ready to embrace any change that may come their way.
However, it is important that the disaster recovery plan gets updates anytime a new technology or software is incorporated into an enterprise.
At this stage of formulating a disaster recovery plan, a team should be created. As the policies are being put in place, the team should assume roles such as:
- Determining the scope of the whole DR plan
- Ensure the DR plan caters for both external and internal assets
- Assemble all documents and equipment required for the development of a disaster recovery plan.
After the steps above are taken care of, the team should go ahead and brief the enterprise’s senior management on the Disaster recovery plan they are about to develop and implement.
Before the DR plan development begins, the team should put into account:
- What disaster poses the most threat on their enterprise
- What disasters have hit the company before
- What are the most threatening vulnerabilities
- How each disaster will be handled
Keeping the above factors into considerations will ease the formulation of a superior DR plan.
2. Conduct a Business Impact Analysis
A business impact analysis comes in handy when:
- Determining the risks the enterprise might face
- What effects will the risk pose to the enterprise
- How the enterprise will deal with the risks
- Identifying their priorities
- Prioritize the enterprise’s plan
If a business impact analysis is not conducted, the risks that may befall the company may be disastrous.
3. Formulate Control measures
One of the most important parts of having a disaster recovery plan is identify the control measures. The control measures include:
- Detective measures
- Preventative measures
- Corrective measures
These control measures reduce the threat that the company might face. Detective measures help detect problems before they happen. Preventative measures help prevent disaster from occurring. Some of the disasters cannot be prevented, especially the natural disasters.
Therefore, if a disaster happens, corrective measures will be employed to bring back the business on its feet.
The control measures should be documented, and tested on a regular basis, just to ensure the measures are workable.
4. Incorporate an IT Contingency Plan in the Recovery Strategy
After the corrective measures and important information has been complied, the enterprise should decide on having their DR plans saved in a reliable software. With a reliable software, the enterprise can easily retrieve its important data and information.
An offsite destination is preferred for use in backing-up data and duplicating information. Back-up of data should be done regularly and if possible daily.
5. Implement, Test, Train and Measure the Workability of the DR Plan
The worst mistake a company does is in DR plan formulation is developing the plan, and abandoning it until a disaster strikes.The importances of organizing drills on the DR plan include:
- Test whether or not the DR plan works
- Familiarize the employees with the recovery process
- Adjust any mistakes, or parts that are not working effectively
- Review the priorities of the company
Abandoning the DR plan until a disaster strikes implies that the recovery plan will be new to the employees. Unfamiliarity of the plan might lead to a strenuous recovery process.
We have already established that any enterprise, despite its size has to have a disaster recovery plan. A disaster recovery plan can be quite challenging to prepare. An enterprise can invest time, money and manpower on formulating a disaster recovery plan, only for the plan to turn to be useless.
To many companies, a disaster recovery plan is useless until a disaster hits them. A company should take keen interest during a formulation of a disaster recovery plan, lest the plan disappoints them in case a disaster occurs.