It is easy to think that we will never be subject to a disaster or lose any data, but every day the future of companies are put at risk through the lack of an adequate disaster recovery plan. A fire or a flood is an extreme example of a disaster which could lead to data loss, right through to a hard disk drive failure.
Knowing how to react to disaster, such as acquiring new equipment and which company to send any storage media for data recovery are important aspects of disaster recovery planning. It is important that not only is the data recovered as fast as possible, but also that when that data is returned, you can immediately become operational again.
It is important that you know who is responsible for your disaster recovery plan. This plan should cover purchasing new equipment, temporary office space if required and communications, both phone and internet. Another important aspect is the key software applications, such as the accounts package, some of which may require newer versions and how these can be operational as soon as possible.
Data backups are too often overlooked, or after a period of time, the procedures may become lax due to them not being used. It is of the utmost importance that key data files are located and regularly backed up, which needs to be regularly reviewed. Of equal importance is having a procedure in place for ensuring that the backups have successfully completed. How often these backups are verified and media rotated are also important, along with sending media off-site, so that in the event of a disaster, such as a fire, it is not destroyed.
If you are using a cloud service provider, or any other third party company for data access, it is important to review their procedures, to ensure they are not a weak link.
Security and Protection
The security of data backups and company assets should be reviewed, to ensure that these cannot be tampered with. Data security extends to any third party data storage provider you use, to ensure that they are not putting your company at risk.
The protection of your computers and any servers is important. Such protection includes battery backups such as UPS, security software such as antivirus/malware and spyware. These must always be maintained ensuring UPS’s work correctly and all security software is updated.
Data Recovery Plan
Even if you have a complete disaster recovery plan, with all aspects operating correctly, it may still be necessary for data recovery to be required. Recently changed data may not have been backed up or the most recent data backup may have been destroyed in the disaster.
A number of companies using cloud servers to back up data have encountered the problem where it could take weeks to restore the data to their computers. With companies storing multiple terabytes of data cases such as these are quite common, making data recovery the only suitable solution to recovering the data in a timescale that will avoid the company going out of business.