Disasters are uncontrollable and can strike anytime. While you might not have control over catastrophic events, you do have control over how you prepare for them.
Having a recovery plan is one way to minimize potential damage and quickly get operations back up and running. Follow these steps to build your disaster recovery plan:
Identify crucial assets
All disaster recovery plans begin with a complete inventory of all your assets. This will help you identify what needs to be saved. Assets include employee and customer data, access points, servers, applications, storage devices, and network appliances. Then indicate where each asset is located, who has access to it, and which network it’s connected to.
Assets also include furniture and office equipment. List down each employee and figure out which supplies they need to work. Remember, during a disaster, time, space, and budget will be tight. Make sure you’re keeping only the necessary items.
List potential disasters
Disasters can take different shapes and sizes. From cyberthreats to economic fluctuations, identify what kind of emergency could affect your business. The results will most likely be based on your industry, your location, and the size of your business. List down at least five likely threats and rank them according to likelihood. Afterward, create a table that shows the impact of each disaster on each asset. For example, how can inflation in the second quarter affect sales? Or how can a typhoon affect supply and demand?
The goal is not to instill paranoia within the team, but to figure out the best way to bounce back in case of emergencies. Determining possible scenarios will help you come up with the right solutions and reduce damage.
Establish a data backup system
These days, data loss can be a company’s worst nightmare.
Keep reliable office backup files of all of your customer data, employee records, and financial reports critical to your business. Store copies in multiple locations and encrypt them if you can. A cloud backup software offers a quick yet low-cost way to restore your files and keep your folders protected.
Communicate your plan
Disaster recovery is a collective effort. All team members and departments must have complete access to the company disaster recovery plan. Make it a point to integrate plans during employee training or town halls. Implement backup protocols and systems to ensure the entire staff is on the same page.
Test your plan
Lastly, conduct a trial run and assess how your team follows and responds to the outline. This will also help you identify areas that need improvement.
Your staff will have the opportunity to go through each action plan and even voice out their feedback. Hopefully, by the time an actual disaster strikes, your team has practiced enough to stay calm and ensure everything goes smoothly.
Disaster recovery plans are never finished. As your business grows and new problems occur, you might have to revisit your plan and ensure it’s updated.
No business is safe from disasters. Whether it’s a pandemic, cyberattack, or natural disaster, unforeseen catastrophes can bring daily operations to a halt and even tarnish the company’s reputation. Regardless of size or industry, companies should always prepare for the worst.