When most people think about disaster, they think about Flood, Fire, Tornado, and the like. However, in today’s technology climate, a potential “disaster” can lurk in the mundane, everyday tasks. It could be a simple as an employee accidentally deleting a critical file or unknowingly unleashing a virus on your network, to a power surge destroying a piece of hardware. No matter what the cause, every business will experience outages and downtime – they key is having a solution in place to ensure that you can continue operations with no (or minimal) impact to the bottom line.
To ensure that your systems, data and personnel are protected and your business can continue to operate in the event of an actual emergency or disaster, use the following guidelines to create a disaster plan that will help you quickly recover. This is the 3nd installment of the 8 steps to a Killer Disaster Recovery Plan. If you missed the first two installments, you can find them here:
Step 1 of 8 – Inventory all your hardware and software..
Step 2 of 8 – Define Your Tolerance for Downtime and Data Loss..
Step 3 of 8 – Determine & Document Who’s Responsible for What..
Step 4 of 8 – Create a Communication Plan..
Step 5. Let Employees Know Where to go in Case of Emergency.
“Many firms think that the DR plan is just for their technology systems, but they fail to realize that people (i.e., their employees) also need to have a plan in place,” says Ahsun Saleem, president, Simplegrid Technology. “Have an alternate site in mind if your primary office is not available. Ensure that your staff knows where to go, where to sit and how to access the systems from that site. Provide a map to the alternate site and make sure you have seating assignments there.”
In the event of a site disaster, your team will need an operational place to work, with the right equipment, space and communications. That might mean working from home and other alternative strategies should be considered in case a regional disaster causes power outages across large geographies. Be sure to note any compliance requirements and contract dedicated workspace where staff and data can remain private.
Step 6 of 8 – Make sure your service-level agreements (SLAs) include disasters/emergencies..
Step 7 of 8 – Include how to handle sensitive information.
Step 8 of 8 – Test your plan regularly.