Having a plan in place that accounts for various man-made and natural disasters is an absolute necessity – especially in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
Prior to the pandemic, businesses had to focus their planning efforts on natural disasters that could impact their company’s physical locations. All regions of the country experience various types of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, blizzards, wildfires, floods, power outages, and more.
Additionally, intentional man-made inflictions can do irreparable damage to organizations, such as cyber attacks, terrorist attacks, rioting, looting, and more.
And with the fallout of the pandemic persisting, shifts to work from home and remote access security requirements are still testing the fortitude of our IT workforces and companies.
Here’s What a Major Airline Had to Deal With When Their System Crashed
Back in the spring of 2017, British Airways faced a disaster when they suffered a significant infrastructure technology system collapse. For three days, they were unable to operate their networks and systems.
This disruption resulted in thousands of passengers stuck at airports around the world while the company worked to identify and fix the error to get the critical systems back online. The entire disaster cost $500 million and a very real hit to its reputation.
This all-too-real account is a perfect example of how unplanned outages can take place anytime, anywhere. Companies that have disaster recovery and continuity plans in place can lessen and mitigate these instances, saving extreme financial and reputational damages.
According to the US Bureau of Labor, 93% of companies that suffer significant data losses are out of business within five years.1 Also, approximately 20% of companies suffer some sort of natural or man-made disaster, and of those without a disaster recovery plan:
- 80% fail within one year.
- 43% will never reopen.
Organizations that have complex and globally dispersed IT infrastructures are especially vulnerable. All businesses, regardless of size, face these same types of risks, so proper planning and recovery efforts are paramount to ensure their survival.
This Is Where Disaster Recovery Comes In
The best way to create a comprehensive disaster recovery plan is by following a tried-and-true blueprint that incorporates a multi-pronged approach. Here are the details of the blueprint to follow, along with explanations of each step:
- Start with a business continuity plan that includes a strategic data backup, computer hard drive backup, and a complete hardware and system recovery solution.
Implementing these protections will:
- Calm fears over the impact of natural and man-made disasters.
- Negate reliance on easily forgotten manual backups.
- Manage risk due to potential liabilities.
- Restore business operations in no time.
- Safeguard and recover company data.
- Add a disaster recovery plan2 that includes:
- Risk assessment and business impact analysis – identifies potential threats and their likelihood to impact your business
- Recovery time and recovery point objectives – determine which solutions to deploy with hardware and what software configurations are needed to recover specific workloads
- Response strategy guidelines and detailed procedures – ensure your teams know what to do and where to start when a disaster strikes
- Disaster recovery sites – ensure a secure place to store all vital data, applications, and physical assets
- Incident response team – determines specific people in your organization responsible for handling different recovery activities
Disaster Recovery Plans Also Aid Organizations With Compliance Regulations
There are federal, state, and local ordinances and regulations in place that mandate disaster recovery plans for certain industries. If an emergency strikes and a company isn’t prepared for it, they could face fines and legal penalties.3
Complying with these regulations will protect organizations from liability and safeguard sensitive data and financial records of customers.
The Sarbanes-Oxley act of 2002 (SOX) protects the American public from fraudulent enterprise practices. While the goal of SOX is greater financial transparency for all companies, it also has implications for the IT departments of organizations of all sizes.
SOX mandates that companies must save all business records, including electronic records and messages, for 5 years. If they fail to comply, corporate leaders face imprisonment and the company can be fined.
Additionally, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) has guidelines for the maximum allowable downtime for IT systems based on how critical they are for the business. If it’s deemed to be a critical component, the recovery team must have it back online in a matter of minutes. Financial institutions must set their recovery time objectives to FFIEC guidelines to avoid federal prosecution.
Because of these legal parameters and consequences, choosing the right infrastructure protections and disaster recovery plans is paramount.
We Can Help With Your Disaster Recovery Plan Today
If your organization isn’t fully prepared for potential disasters, Xceptional can help you fortify your business. We offer backup and disaster recovery solutions that can help businesses survive these potentially devastating events and improve overall operational efficiency.
Contact us today to learn more and implement a multi-pronged approach to mitigating and surviving whatever the future brings.