What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

The phrase ‘disaster recovery’ is often used and people often don’t understand what it means and why you would need it. Imagine that a phishing email has got past your anti-spam solution and all the other forms of cyber security you have put in place to protect your business. The phishing email contains an executable file that if clicked on will install ransomware on your computer. Your files will be encrypted and your business will grind to a standstill.

What do you do in this situation? You don’t pay the ransom demand to get your files decrypted because you will just make the situation worse. You will be put on something that is often referred to as a ‘sucker list’ which means that you are seen as likely to pay up and will probably end up being attacked again. You need to get your files back to be able to achieve business continuity and resume your normal operations, and this is where your back up and disaster recovery plan will come into play.

Back up and disaster recovery is the ability to retrieve your files and data from a point in time before the disaster occurred. Despite all the precautions you may already have in place, your disaster recovery plan is your last line of defense if it all goes wrong. 63% of those hit by ransomware experience a severe period of downtime due to the loss of data. You don’t want to be part of that 63%.

What should be in your disaster recovery plan?

Your business is the result of years of hard work that you don’t want to lose, so you need to make sure that you have everything you need to create a good disaster recovery plan. In this blog, we have highlighted some of the fundamental aspects you need to be aware of.

Back Up

You need to consider what kind of back up you want to have: image or file level. The best and simplest way to explain how this works is when you buy a new iPhone. The first option is to just back up your photos and other files to iCloud and then download on to your new phone. The second option is to back up your whole phone and then when you get your new phone it downloads the back up and it is the same as how your phone was set up before, the same photos, settings and wallpapers. The first option is file level back up where you are just moving the files across to a new device. The second option is a bit like a photocopy where what you’re looking at is the same it’s just a different device.

It’s the same when you’re deciding on the back up options for your business, do you want to just back up the files or do you want it to be painless and not have to set everything up again?

You also need to think about how many back ups you want to take a day. Can you afford to lose a day’s work or only 15 minutes? It will make a difference to the cost of your back up solution but in the event of a disaster you may be glad you made the back up. You will need to weigh it up and the cost to the business.

Offsite Replication

You need to decide where the back ups are going to be stored. We would recommend that they are backed up offsite so that if you experienced a physical disaster like a fire or flood or if your network was infected you know that those back ups are still safe. You could also consider backing up to the Cloud as well.

Testing

If you don’t test your back ups how are you sure that they will work when you really need them? It’s important to test your back up and disaster recovery solution from time to time to make sure that you can rely on it. Going through this exercise is also important because you can make sure that you can meet recovery time objectives.

Recovery

You need to be 100% confident that you can recover your data in the event of a disaster so that you can resume your normal operations. If you’re not confident in your back up and disaster recovery then there is always the possibility that you could lose years of hard work from a cyber attack. If you’re concerned about your disaster recovery plan or just want to have a conversation about it then please do call 01675 469020 and we will be happy to help.