Importance of a Disaster Recovery Plan

disaster recovery

Did you know that the global cost of data loss is around $3.6 million yearly? This amounts to around $141 per data record that is compromised. Since 58 records are stolen around the world in a single second, this can be detrimental to affected businesses.

Luckily, having a solid disaster recovery plan can mitigate the harms associated with data breaches.

But what is disaster recovery? What does it entail? Why is it important?

Here, we’re going to talk about why disaster-related IT services are critical for Los Angeles businesses. Read on to ensure that your enterprise stays safe even after being compromised.

What Is Disaster Recovery?

Disaster recovery is part of any company’s business continuity plan. Its purpose is to set plans for the business if a data breach is ever to take place.

Plans do this by outlining what should take place when LA IT support teams find blips in your normal business data trends.

Disaster mitigation and prevention are what IT teams do to prevent potential problems before the actual disaster occurs. However,  disaster recovery pertains to what happens after a breach has taken place.

Disasters are inevitable no matter how good you are at minimizing risks. That’s why a disaster recovery plan is an essential business document. It outlines what each department, team member, and IT worker must do if data is lost.

These documents should be comprehensive, concrete, measurable, and easy to understand. They also must be available to team members at all times. Disaster, after all, can strike at any time.

They also must be available even if other data and documents are lost. As a result, they usually are stored in a third-party server.

Additionally, it’s critical that your team run a simulated disaster recovery test. Similar to how fire drills prepare teams for dangerous fires, disaster recovery drills ensure that everyone knows what they are to do when data is lost or stolen.

Use bullet points, short sentences, and easy-to-read graphics to maximize the impact of your plan. It needs to be easy to interpret in the event of an emergency.

What Should Be Included In a Disaster Recovery Plan?

There are multiple types of disasters that could cause businesses to lose data. This means that recovery plans need to be extremely comprehensive.

You need to think through different disaster scenarios. The most common are cyberattacks, floods, fires, employee errors, and hardware malfunction. Plans need to be in place for each of these systems.

Some questions to ask yourself include:

  • What are the necessary actions to take after a breach?
  • What are the steps that you need to take to carry out your plan?
  • What order will these steps take place in?
  • Which individuals/departments need to carry out various actions?
  • How must people work together to mitigate disaster?
  • What software can you use to backup data?
  • Where is the backup data stored and how can you access this location?
  • Who must contact IT support (and what should they say?)
  • What happens if a key player in disaster recovery is not present?
  • How will you deal with customers/clients after a data breach?
  • How will you deal with other employees after a data breach?
  • How can you mitigate reputation-related damages after the disaster?

Software Breaches

The first and most important part of a disaster recovery plan is cybercrime prevention and troubleshooting measures. Cybercrime has increased 300% throughout 2020 and 2021.

You need to have plans in place for when hackers get onto your network. These plans may include who is responsible for stopping the data breach, the security software that you need to run in order to do so, and the techniques required to restore data.

Employee errors can also cause data loss. For example, someone may click on an email or popup that installs malware on the network. You’ll need similar disaster recovery plans to those that you have for cybercrime.

Software restoration is the key focus.

Hardware Destruction

Other issues like natural disasters and hardware failure will require you to take information from another location and install it onto new hardware. Cloud storage plays a key role in this.

A water-damaged physical server will need to be replaced, and the only way to regain data is cloud backup. Whether this is from the public, private, or hybrid cloud doesn’t matter. You simply need a backup and a disaster recovery plan to help you restore lost information.

Hardware restoration- and linking existing data to new hardware- is the key focus.

Why Are These Systems Important?

Disasters can happen extremely suddenly. They can eliminate your entire corporate network or database within minutes.

Because of this, there’s no time for hesitation when a breach happens. Employees need to act.

Having a disaster recovery plan ensures that mitigating the harms associated with disaster is much easier. It makes your organization operate like a well-oiled machine.

By providing everyone with the knowledge on these documents and doing drills, you make the process second nature.

Preventing Bad Last-Minute Decisions

Panic disengages the region of the brain responsible for flexible decision-making. Studies show that people who are in anxiety-inducing stressful situations are more likely to make bad decisions.

Because IT disasters are exceedingly stressful, it’s likely that those without solid disaster recovery plans will make poor last-minute decisions.

Having a well-thought-out plan that employees constantly analyze will stop last-second decisions from happening at all. Everyone will be trained to follow the protocols outlined in the document. With the right training, they should be able to follow the plan in their sleep.

Sometimes- albeit rarely- unique disasters will pop up that are not completely outlined in the documents. Employee familiarity with these plans will make them more likely to make better choices even while in panic mode. They can draw on the knowledge from their disaster recovery training.

Decreasing Recovery Time

Having a well-oiled machine for disaster recovery also decreases the time needed for it to happen. This stops excessive downtime and the costs associated with it.

Additionally, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) found that 40-60% of businesses never reopen after a disaster. This is because they’re unable to restore the information that they need. Remaining open isn’t feasible since they can’t afford to restore the information.

When you decrease the time that it takes to recover, you have less downtime. You also are less likely to have trouble restoring information that could lead to a shutdown. The longer your data is gone, after all, the more difficult it will be to restore.

Decreasing recovery time is also a priority because businesses can’t afford to exist without making a profit. If you need to close your doors for a week, you may no longer be financially viable. You’ll struggle to reopen.

Disaster recovery plans can quite literally save your business.

Higher Level Security

IT consulting Los Angeles services offer many security features that your business can benefit from. Security services include:

  • Dark web scanning
  • Training against phishing emails
  • IP access control
  • IP surveillance platforms
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Overall network security training
  • Windows Defender/Active directory hardening
  • Antivirus/antimalware software

When you get disaster recovery services, you give these features the chance to do their job. Any other software will alert your IT team when a breach is about to take place (or has taken place already).

Many threats can be caught and remediated by previously installed software. Some of them will require human intervention. However, it’s unrealistic to expect that humans from your office will immediately respond to threats at any time of day or night.

Disaster recovery makes it easier to control threats that have gotten through your security features. Even if the worst happens, IT teams will know exactly what to do post-data loss. This is an essential step towards restoring data and preventing the problems associated with it.

Preventing Legal Issues

Data loss is exceedingly costly for many reasons. You need to recover the data, spend time worrying about breaches, and recreate lost spreadsheets and documents. This wastes a lot of time and financial resources, but it isn’t the only way that your business can suffer.

If you lose employee or client data, your organization might be susceptible to lawsuits. Identity theft and selling information on the dark web is fairly common after data is stolen. This applies especially to personal and financial data.

Identity theft can cost a person a lot of money. It can also greatly damage their credit and reputation after stealing money from their bank accounts.

If your business is the cause of these harms, victims may be well within their right to sue. They may demand a lot of money to mitigate severe harm. Even with a good lawyer, your business will suffer many legal fees even if you win the case.

Disaster recovery plans restore client data and ensure that it stays out of the wrong hands. It also keeps your employees safe and protected.

Better Employee Satisfaction

Keeping your employees safe is critical, especially for businesses that need skilled laborers. Unsatisfied employees are more likely to quit. You would need to invest in training new workers, paying hiring teams, and onboarding.

Additionally, employees who feel safe feel valued. Employees who feel valued will feel more satisfied in their jobs. Workplace satisfaction is linked heavily to productivity, so you’ll make more money when you keep your employees secure.

Higher Customer Retention

Your employees aren’t the only ones that disaster recovery protects. These systems also keep your client’s information secure.

Customers are more likely to trust businesses that have measures in place to keep their information secure. If you inform them that you have disaster recovery plans in place as well as other security measures, they’ll see that you value their safety. This will set you apart from your competitors and make them more likely to work with you.

On the flip side, not having disaster recovery could lead you to lose client data. When this happens, your reputation won’t just be damaged. It will be destroyed.

If you want to remain a leader in your industry, you need a system in place to deal with and mitigate threats to your systems and data. This will keep customers satisfied and stop you from facing harsh accusations that lead to loss of business.

Assessing and Reassessing Your Plan

Because businesses and the technology associated with them are always changing, it’s important that you constantly update your plan. You need to account for new software and changes within your staff.

Do a monthly audit of your disaster recovery plan. Make sure that all the information in it is up-to-date.

Make sure that you go through alterations with your employees whenever a change takes place. You want to make sure that they’re ready for a disaster if it occurs in the present rather than if it did with outdated technology.

Make sure that you talk to LA IT experts when there’s a change in your specific industry. Professionals can help you to implement a plan that makes sense for your business.

Implement a Disaster Recovery Plan Today

Now you know why disaster recovery plans are essential for any business. That means it’s time to begin implementing an effective one.

Schedule a consultation with our IT support Los Angeles providers to discuss your enterprise’s specific needs.

We’re committed to ensuring that your organization is ready to combat any digital threats that could cost your business untold time and money. Because we’ll work to ensure that all of your information is stored securely and backed up to an unbreachable server, we look forward to getting in touch.

About Chad Lauterbach

CEO at Be Structured Technology Group, Inc. a Los Angeles based provider of Managed IT Services for small business. I desire to help small businesses better utilize technology by assisting in high level planning to make sure that new systems will benefit them both operationally and financially. I am careful to implement and support systems using industry best practices.