According the FEMA, 40% of businesses are affected following a serious storm, earthquake, flood, or hurricane. As a Miami, FL-based business experiencing downtime due to a server crash, a power outage, a natural disaster such as a hurricane, and causing the inability to work, this would mean significant lost to revenue.
When evaluating the need for a disaster recovery planning, businesses especially in the Law, Finance, and Healthcare industries must address their backup and continuity needs based both on 1) compliance and regulation issues (if applicable), as well as potential 2) loss of revenue. Typically, the cost of downtime is based on:
- Cost of continuing without the data
- Cost of recreating the data
- Cost of notifying users in the event of a compromise
- Loss of reputation
- Fees incurred due to compliance breach (for Law, Financial, Healthcare firms)
The potential for lost is a big reason why preparing for the worst and making proactive decision before disaster strikes will increase the chances that the worst disaster will have a minimal impact on your firm’s ability to continue operating.
Use the below checklist to both plan and prepare for a disaster:
- ASSESS THE PROBLEM AND ITS IMPACT ON YOUR FIRM
Every disaster is different. Before doing anything, understand the underlying issue and how it will impact your client.
- Is the issue local to one machine, or does it affect your entire system?
- Have files been deleted or are servers /workstations down?
- ESTABLISH RECOVERY GOALS
Recovery is what makes a Disaster Recovery solution different from a simple backup product. Be sure to plan out your firm’s road to recovery.
- Restore the system, the data, or both? Should time be spent recovering files and folders before system recovery?
- Identify critical systems and prioritize recovery tasks
- What date/time should you recover from?
- SELECT THE APPROPRIATE RECOVERY TYPE(S)
To get to your “road to recovery”, the appropriate recovery procedure must be followed. Think about which approach best will get you to your end goal.
- File restore
- Local virtualization
- Off-site virtualization
- VERIFY THE RECOVERY AND CONFIRM FUNCTIONALITY WITH USERS
Once a recovery is verified, confirm that it interacts positively with users.
- Test network connectivity
- Ensure all users can access resources and applications in the virtual environment
- RESTORE THE ORIGINAL SYSTEM(S), IF NEEDED
If the original system(s) needs to be restored, decide which restoration process will work best.
- Bare metal restore
- Virtual machine restores
- SELF-ASSESS AFTERWARDS
After it’s all said and done, take a step back and think about it: How well did your team do? What could you have done differently?
- What precipitated the failure?
- What ongoing issues need to be addressed?
- What can be done better in future Disaster Recovery scenarios?