A solid disaster recovery plan is crucial to the security and productivity of your business. One Microsoft study found that organizations suffer an average of 4 or more disruptions per year, and just one disruption can cost upwards of $1.5 million per hour. A disaster recovery plan not only saves time, but also a great deal of money. With the advent of cloud computing and ever-evolving server room technology, disaster recovery plans are becoming more complex – and more important – than ever. Here are a few common questions we receive regarding disaster recovery.
ONE: Why Should a Disaster Recovery Plan be My Top Priority?
When you think disaster, you likely don’t automatically think about your data. Most businesses don’t make protecting their data a priority. It’s normal to think that nothing will ever happen to threaten your company data. The truth is, it does happen, and it happens more than you think. An NFIB Small Business Poll found that 10% of small businesses are affected by man-made disasters, and natural disasters affect an additional 30%. Aside from natural disasters, there are a number of other reasons a disaster recovery plan is critical:
- Protection against machine and hardware failure
- Preventing data loss due to human error
- Keeping up with consumer demands for uninterrupted service
- Avoiding customer data loss, which can result in losing customers altogether
Disaster recovery plans aren’t just about backing up your data; they’re about protecting your business as a whole. One study found that 80% of companies without disaster recovery plans go out of business after a data loss event. Without a disaster recovery plan, you risk losing vital information that is the backbone of your company.
TWO: How Often Should I Back Up My Data?
There are differences between regular backups and disaster recovery backups. You’re probably familiar with regular backups, and likely backup your server on a weekly or monthly basis. If something happens, you can go as far back into the archive as necessary to find files or folders on the server. A disaster recovery backup, on the other hand, protects a wider range of data. For example, you can back up an entire server, which protects your organization in the event of a flood, fire, or some other disaster. Most companies should have some combination of the two backups. That way, you can access individual files in addition to protecting your entire database. Because disaster recovery backups have a small range time-wise, you should be backing up your server on a daily basis. Regular backups can be done as often as needed, but most people do one weekly.
THREE: How Often Should I Review My Disaster Recovery Plan?
Technology is constantly evolving and new disaster recovery trends are emerging every day. It doesn’t take much for a plan to become outdated. IT professionals suggest that you should be giving your disaster recovery plan a “health check” at least twice a year. However, if your organization is undergoing infrastructure changes, you should be reviewing your plan more frequently. Many companies only review their plans annually with a “set it and forget it” type of attitude. This is hazardous to your plan’s health. You should regularly review your disaster recovery plan and keep it up to date with any changes that occur within your organization, such as new employees, hardware and software updates, and changes to customer data.
Whether your company data is stored in the cloud, in an on-site server room, or somewhere offsite, it’s imperative that you have a disaster recovery plan in place. For help with creating or updating a disaster recovery plan, contact us today. We offer customized solutions for all your IT needs.