Disaster recovery best practices for Southern California SMBs

February 4th, 2019
Disaster recovery best practices for Southern California SMBs

Natural disasters and cyberattacks are always lurking around the corner, waiting to jeopardize your business continuity. Without an effective disaster recovery plan (DRP) in place, you’re risking the safety of your software and data, which can be dangerous for your enterprise.

Fortunately, managed services providers (MSPs) like OC-IT specialize in creating DRPs for business of all sizes. Here are some best practices on disaster recovery we recommend to our clients.

#1 Identify your assets

Several applications, operating systems, software, and data are critical to your business operations. It’s imperative that you swiftly recover all of them in the event of a disaster, but it would cost you time and money. Instead of making those sacrifices, it’s better to focus on high-priority apps and data.

This is why you must perform a thorough inventory of your tech assets and determine which of them will have the biggest impact on recovery. Clear and focused priorities during a disaster will ensure you resume normal operations much faster.

#2 Use your cloud technology

As flexible and cost-efficient as cloud solutions are, one of the things they’re best at is disaster recovery. By putting your data in a safe virtual environment, retrievable from anywhere with an internet connection, you can speed up your recovery time. And if you contract with a local MSP, you’ll also have cloud tech experts to help you during your recovery process.

#3 Analyze all potential threats

Your DRP should cover the entire spectrum of threats. For example, if there's a new strain of ransomware that can lock you out of all of your network's PCs, has your plan been updated to account for this development? Or if a storm knocks your servers offline, what can you do to keep your downtime to a minimum?

As much as possible, anticipate what disruptors might be coming in the near future. Another benefit of partnering with an MSP is that you don’t need to constantly monitor the news for developments that would force you to revisit your DRP. The MSP will do that for you.

#4 Create a business impact analysis

With all the background research complete, you can finally consolidate everything you’ve learned into a business impact analysis (BIA). This way, you’ll have an idea of the potential impact of natural and digital catastrophes on your operations, and you can identify which areas of your business need to be recovered first.

#5 Make sure your internal systems are updated

DR plans are based on assumptions about the tools available at the time the plans are finalized. However, this information can change at any time due to developments within the technology industry.

A fatal mistake that companies often commit is failing to update their plans after internal network changes. Major software updates can throw a DRP out of whack, and if the recovery scheme is not modified to reflect the changes, this may cause instability.

#6 Devise a reliable plan and test it

It isn’t enough just to understand the importance of your systems and the threats they face. Everything will be futile if they’re not available when you need them. You must store these resources, or their backups, in a reliable location such as the cloud or a DRP system. A confusing, complicated, and hard-to-find plan is just as bad as not having a plan at all.

Upon its completion, you must also test it too, so you can ensure its successful execution. Your employees should be trained on what to do during disaster recovery, so they won’t panic in case of a catastrophe. Role-playing real-world scenarios will reduce the recovery time when real chaos occurs and reveal which parts of the plan work and which don’t. This reads to me like the plan will mature and develop on its own as long as testing and evaluation is done.

If you need an effective DR plan for your San Clemente, Laguna Niguel, and Oceanside business, OC-IT can help you devise it. We will protect your technology assets and lower your risk of data loss with up-to-date yet affordable solutions. Call us today!

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