Because of some critical issues and the importance of data that the majority of companies have, they invest towards the implementation of techniques and procedures which ensure business continuity and recovery.
Loss of data, information, and applications caused by the occurrence of unforeseen events such as a fire, flooding, theft, virus attack, hardware failure, human error could lead to severe disruptions in organization’s operations, productivity or quality of services. Disasters vary in type and level, they are by nature inevitable but mostly unpredictable. It is in a company’s best interest to define a disaster recovery plan, in order to return to its normal state in case a disaster happens. For the organizations, a disaster is an unexpected disruption which affects a part or all its business operations, which may have a direct impact on the company’s revenue.
Additionally, a disaster can have several negative impacts in cause-and-effect scenarios in every business. One of the most important and greatest challenges for business leaders is making sure that their company has already defined the necessary measures to prevent and/or prepare for any possible disaster and safeguard the business. For instance, when an unforeseen event takes place and brings a process to the end, an organization needs to have a rapid recovery plan in order to continue to provide services or products to their customers. In the event of a catastrophe, it is necessary to have a strategic recovery plan in place, which can address various disruptions from data security breaches to natural disasters. The consequences of a disaster vary, ranging from small interruptions to entire business shutdowns which can take days or months to recover and even cause fatal damage to the business.
The importance of a disaster recovery plan
A disaster recovery plan incorporates the protection measures taken to reduce the impacts of a disaster so that an organization will be able to preserve or swiftly restart their IT systems. In addition, a disaster recovery plan (DRP), entails an analysis of critical business functions and regular needs and also has an important focus on disaster prevention. Disaster recovery refers to the process of preparing for recovery or continuity of critical technology infrastructure of an organization after a natural or manmade disaster occurs. It is about safeguarding an organization from the negative impacts that events such as natural disasters (earthquakes, fire, storms, etc.) and manmade disasters (terrorism, email virus, infrastructure failure, etc.) generate.
In IT, disaster recovery steps can involve different scenarios such as: restoring servers with backups and re-creating private branch exchanges to meet the business requirements. The disaster recovery plan is a comprehensive plan which provides a roadmap to be followed that allows an organization to recover the affected business functions. The disaster recovery plan is a significant process which can prevent harsh data loss that might result in a serious financial impact, loss of client confidence and harm the reputation of the organization. Thus, being prepared to overcome these disruptive events with minimal operational disruptions and difficulties, recover rapidly is very essential. For that reason, putting into action a recovery plan will make sure that the consequences of a disaster are contained and the organization will recover as quickly as possible.
Nevertheless, we cannot avoid disasters; however, there must be a disaster recovery plan in place, in order to be prepared in the event of a disaster and be able to get back to normal quickly without experiencing damages to vital business functions. On that note, a good disaster recovery plan within an organization can minimize the losses, however; choosing not to have a disaster recovery plan in place can put the organization at risk of significant financial costs, losing its reputation and jeopardizing their customers and stakeholders trust.
The measures that an organization can take to assure that its critical business functions are protected in the event of a disaster:
- Protective measures: the purpose is preventing a disaster from happening. For instance, security controls may help decrease the chances of a terrorist attack and in cases of power disruptions on sensitive equipment, power supply units may help.
- Detective measures: the purpose is noticing some of the disruptive events through the use of observation cameras, fire sensors, and antivirus software etc.
- Corrective measures: the purpose is the re-establishment of the business procedures, systems, and data recovery after disaster hits.
Disaster recovery is suitable for all types of business and industries, regardless of their size. According to London Chamber Commerce and Industry, 90% of businesses that lose data from a disaster are forced to shut down within 2 years of the disaster.
What are the benefits of a Disaster Recovery Plan
Bear in mind that, you cannot foresee all crises regardless if they are natural or man-made or how they will affect your organization. Therefore, the benefits of developing a disaster recovery plan are clear, when implementing a detailed plan the organization could mitigate threats and ensure its critical data and records are secured through proper measures.
The benefits of having an effective disaster recovery plan within your organization include:
- Helps an organization to be prepared in the event of a disaster.
- Secures the records and hardware.
- Helps to recover the critical data of your organization rapidly and easily.
- Provides guidelines about the actions that the organization should take after a disruptive event occurs and ensures that the organization continues functioning after the disaster.
- Established task redundancy, so that, at least two people can perform any of the tasks, keeping the company protected in case of an emergency.
- Protects the reputation, and increases the confidence of investors.
- Insurance companies will view your business as more promising when an actual disaster recovery plan is in place.
To ensure that the IT functions can be restored as quickly as possible in a given situation, there must be defined a clear plan in case of a catastrophe. In such cases, it comes down to disaster recovery as a plan that aims to recover data and restore all vital business processes within the required time, and which fills all the gaps in emergency cases.
Any organization wanting to establish, implement, maintain and manage an ongoing Disaster Recovery Plan can refer to PECB training. We are highly committed to Disaster Recovery Planning and continually adding value to this portfolio by developing training and offering certification services.
For further information, please visit Disaster Recovery Training Courses.
Artan Mustafa is the Course Development Manager for IT Security at PECB. He is in charge of developing and maintaining training courses related to IT Security. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact him: firstname.lastname@example.org.