How to make a failsafe business continuity and disaster recovery plan

How to make a failsafe business continuity and disaster recovery plan

A Business Continuity (BC) plan guarantees uninterrupted product and service delivery in case of a disaster. Meanwhile, a disaster recovery (DR) plan ensures immediate recoverability of your company data and network functions after a disaster. Businesses need to implement both to ensure their survival should a catastrophe strike. Here's a breakdown of how a BCDR plan might work for your business.

Business Continuity (BC)

In the late 90s, the Millennium bug brought fear and hysteria to governments and private businesses worldwide. They believed computers would shut down on January 1, 2000 because programs designed in the 1960s only featured a two-digit code for the year, omitting the number “19.” Experts were concerned that software would recognize “2000” as 1900, which forced organizations to spend millions of dollars preparing for it.
But when that dreaded day came, everything functioned normally. Businesses wasted millions for nothing, but the silver lining was that it led to the development of BC planning.
BC plans outline the ways businesses can maintain all of their crucial business functions after a disaster like a Y2K bug strikes. It consists of a detailed process to ensure service maintenance, stability, and recoverability so organizations can continue to function and provide products and services to clients.

Disaster Recovery (DR)

DR is actually the part of your BC plan that focuses on restoring data and software applications after a disaster. It includes things like data recovery and damage assessment and built-in retention policies for compliance.

It should be a written document that details your restoration plan for your computers, telecommunications equipment, and internet service. Key personnel like managers, team leaders, and in-house technicians should know this document well.

Implementing a BCDR plan

Implementing both a BC and DR plan together ensures the highest level of availability of your IT systems and critical business functions no matter what kind of catastrophe hits your business.

The most successful BCDR plans include the following:

    ✓ Preparation for the different kinds of disasters that could strike in your geographical area.
    ✓ A list of who is in charge of what, starting with upper management’s responsibilities.
    ✓ Employee cross-training to understand individual responsibilities in case anyone is unavailable.
    ✓ A communication procedure detailing how to communicate during network downtime.
    ✓ Off-site locations for managers and staff to work.
    ✓ Partnerships with emergency responders and local services such as Search and Rescue, National Guard, Police, and Fire Protection.
    ✓ Employee training on basic first aid.
    ✓ Daily data-backups with systems testing and recovery training for employees.
    ✓ Real-life simulations to test your BCDR plan.

Lastly, remember that your business processes, employees, and industry requirements are always changing, so make sure to routinely test your processes and systems to eliminate weaknesses in your BCDR plan.

If you’re unsure where to begin, PC Lan Techs’ specialists can help. We’ll discuss your industry’s distinct needs and issues, conduct business impact analysis (BIA) and risk analysis, and set up training to prepare you for the worst. To know more, just drop by our office in West Palm Beach or dial 866-PC-TECHS. We’ll even give you a free security assessment if you call today!

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