Why Your Business Needs a Formal Disaster Recovery Plan

closeup photo of turned-on blue and white laptop computer

You can’t predict when a data disaster will impact your business. An insider threat might expose company data out of nowhere, or you could get hit with a ransomware attack next week. Although you can’t control these situations, you can control how prepared you are to deal with them.

By implementing a disaster recovery plan in your organization, you’ll be prepared to handle just about any disruption to your business, whether it’s a data leak, data breach, server failure, or prolonged downtime. If you don’t have a plan yet, consider the following reasons to create one as soon as possible.

Disaster recovery is crucial for maintaining your business

When your network or server goes down, the ultimate end result is lost revenue. Depending on the size of your company, you might lose hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars after being offline for just a day. Ransomware is particularly troubling because you have to decide whether or not to pay the ransom to get your data back, knowing that you may not actually get your data back. With a solid data recovery plan, you’ll never have to consider paying a ransom.

What would happen if you lost important data tomorrow? Do you have backups that can be restored easily? If all you have is a hard drive full of files, you don’t have a disaster recovery plan. About 60% of people who have backups acknowledge that their strategy consists solely of automatically backing up files to a central repository in the cloud. This isn’t a strategy, and it’s no wonder that 26% of backup strategies fail.

In order to recover from a data disaster, you need immutable backups that can be restored from any incremental point. You can’t afford to have backups run just once a week because losing a week’s worth of data can be disastrous. You also need multiple backups in case one media source fails, or there’s an error. Most importantly, a backup and restore strategy needs to be tested to ensure the data can be fully restored. This is where most businesses drop the ball, understandably, since testing data restoration takes time. However, you can’t afford to skip this step.

Why a simple list of tasks isn’t a recovery plan

It’s satisfying to check items off of a list, but performing individual tasks won’t help you in a true data disaster. For example, “save and restore databases” looks good on paper, but what does that mean, exactly? After a disaster, it’s too late to save your databases, so without a genuine plan, you won’t have any data to restore. Although a task list can be useful for implementing a recovery plan, the list itself is not a plan.

So, how can you get a plan? Managed IT services are the best way to protect your business with disaster recovery that keeps you in business. When you work with a managed services provider (MSP), you’ll get a data backup and recovery plan tailored to your business needs, and you won’t have to do anything. Your provider will monitor your network, eliminate threats, and secure your data. They’ll also ensure your backups can be easily restored should you experience a data incident.

Your data recovery plan should keep you in business

Whether you create your own data recovery plan or partner with an MSP, a data recovery plan should keep your business running while your tech team works on the problem in the background. If you can’t keep your business running, you’re going to lose money, customers, and possibly your reputation. Even one day of downtime is too much.

To see the impact, all you need to do is look at how city websites have been attacked over the years. Many city governments have been targeted by ransomware attacks that took them down for long periods of time and cost the city millions of dollars.

For instance, it took the city of Springfield, Tennessee four days to restore their data from a backup, which is far too long. When this happens, cities resort to manual methods to process requests, which ends up being a nightmare. In this case, the city had a backup but didn’t have an efficient restoration plan, costing them money.

Don’t risk losing revenue to a data disaster

Although it’s inconvenient, a data incident doesn’t have to disrupt your business. With a solid data backup, recovery, and business continuity plan, you’ll be confident about recovering in the face of any data disaster.