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Your business relies on technology, but what happens when something disrupts your processes? It creates loss that can work as a ripple effect throughout all your departments. A disaster recovery (DR) plan is essential to mitigate losses and protect your business continuity. IT disaster recovery services can offer a detailed consultation and develop a DR plan that fits your business model and technology needs.

Your disaster recovery plan will take into account all of the possible known risks and develop strategies that minimize loss. This protects your business continuity and allows you to continue to serve your customer base through difficulties. Natural disasters, power outages, and even human error are considered in your strategy, as well as malicious attacks.

IT Disaster recovery plans are essential to ensure business continuity. The more prepared that your organisation is to mitigate damages, the less downtime and loss you’ll experience. This post will discuss what a disaster recovery plan is when you need a plan in place, and what your disaster recovery plan should include.

What is an IT Disaster Recovery plan?

An IT disaster recovery plan is first a documented plan of implementation. This is well-thought-out with considerations for all of the possible areas of the business that might be impacted in every scenario. The purpose of a disaster recovery plan is to give the organisation and employees step-by-step best practices to mitigate damages, before, during, and after the event.

In any disaster scenario, anxiety can be exceptionally high. Because these are also not daily occurrences, most people are not readily trained to respond in the best manner possible. This means that mistakes can be made that will negatively impact recovery time without a plan in place.

The disaster recovery plan is designed to protect the infrastructure and data. It is a written plan that lays out comprehensive instructions for actions that need to be taken proactively, such as your regularly scheduled backups. It will also include actions that need to be taken during an event. All types of events should be documented in the disaster recovery plan, including natural disasters, malicious attacks, and human error.

It's important to update your disaster recovery plan regularly. This will allow you to reassess possible new threats and add any changes to your infrastructure and technology into the existing plan.

The focus of your disaster recovery plan is to restore your data and system to proper working order and recover all data. The goal is to recover functionality as quickly as possible and to eradicate any threat.

What is business continuity?

A business continuity plan is often part of your disaster recovery plan, but they’re not the same thing. The disaster recovery plan has the specific goal of restoring your system and data and mitigating losses. The business continuity plan has the main goal of maintaining business function during a disaster.

The best IT disaster recovery plans will include and work in conjunction with your business continuity plan. This plan will detail every aspect of your business processes to determine how they might be impacted in the event of a disaster. The plan then details the steps to take to recover functionality during the event.

When should an organisation need IT Disaster Recovery services?

As you’re aligning your IT with cost-saving priorities, disaster recovery should be maintained. A comprehensive and regularly updated plan will protect your business and data in multiple ways. The plan needs to be in place as a proactive solution, which will help your team quickly and effectively get your business back to full functionality in any event.

While the process of implementing a plan should be proactive, here are some scenarios where the recovery service is deployed.

Situation #1 – Technology based disruptions

This covers a wide array of possible difficulties that can cause software, hardware, or infrastructure failures. Some scenarios that fall under technology-based disruptions include malware, ransomware, and DDoS attacks. But malicious-based attacks are only a portion of what might disrupt your technology.

You also need to consider power outages, server failures, hardware and software failures, and third-party provider failures.

Situation #2 – Location based disasters

Consider the location where your data is stored and, in some cases, your office’s physical location. Fires and floods at a physical location can pose a serious problem to businesses when the data is only stored on-premise. This is one of the benefits of cloud computing as it secures your ability to work from anywhere.

But location-based disasters can still disrupt workflow and might compromise security. For instance, not all malicious attempts to steal data occur through phishing or hacking attempts.

Situation #3 – Natural disasters

Natural disasters might include tornados, hurricanes, and even pandemics. These larger world issues can impact the way you communicate and the ability of staff to be on location. In natural disaster scenarios, you need to consider the locations of your data and the ability to maintain your processes.

How are organisations utilising a Disaster Recovery (DR) plan?

IT Disaster recovery plans have evolved over the last several years. Many organisations today must develop plans that address more complex infrastructure and business operations that may include hybrid-IT environments and many different factors.

Many organisations find that Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is the most efficient way to address the planning and implementation of their plan. This is a specialized service that assesses your unique business completely to highlight all areas that can be impacted during any type of event. The team develops comprehensive recovery plans for all scenarios, as well as develops the best processes to proactively protect your infrastructure and data from interferences.

Types of IT Disaster Recovery plans

One of the reasons that working with IT managed services is advantageous is because they can help you choose the best option in your disaster recovery plan. The type of plan that you use needs to consider all aspects of your hardware, software, infrastructure, data, and business continuity.

Here are some types of disaster recovery to consider:

Data Backup and Recovery

Data backup is essential, and your provider or IT department should be using best practices to make sure that data is backed up and accessible. The best practice currently is a 3-2-1 backup system. This means that there are three copies of your data, using two different backup types and making certain that one copy of the data is off-premise and offline, so it’s accessible no matter what type of emergency you have.

Data- Backup and recovery is crucial in the event of a ransomware attack so that your data is still available and uncorrupted if outside parties gain control of your network or system. While this is essential for your data, the backup process does not help you get back up and running if there’s an infrastructure or hardware issue.

Hot and Cold Site Disaster Recovery

Alternate sites can be set up so that your infrastructure can be run from the alternate location in the event of a disaster. A “Hot Site” means that all the equipment is ready at a moment’s notice so that the business will experience very limited downtime. This is an expensive solution but can be necessary for businesses that offer critical services where downtime is not an option.

Cold disaster sites are more cost-effective, and they have servers on-premise. But these sites are not ready to launch immediately.

Data Centre Recovery Plans

If your organisation uses a data centre, that business will offer data recovery plans. It’s optimal to understand what those plans entail and how your vendor is providing protection for your data. You should be aware that data centre recovery plans need to concentrate on the recovery of the whole centre, which means your business is not the top priority in their recovery process.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

With a DRaaS partner, all of your needs are taken care of as far as data and recovery. Your provider will assess your infrastructure, create a detailed plan that includes backup and best practices in any disaster scenario, and monitor your systems to maintain them. They can counsel you on any upcoming needs or recommendations and update you as to any threats. Your DRaaS takes over the entire process of maintaining your equipment and infrastructure to protect you from natural disasters, cyber-attacks, and human error and mitigating any damages if an event occurs.

What should an effective IT Disaster Recovery plan include?

An effective Disaster Recovery plan needs to consider all of the objectives. Your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) will be the time it takes to fully recover. You’ll arrive at the exact data point by assessing all of the systems that might be impacted by any type of disruption and how long it will take to mitigate damage and bring the system back to full functionality. You’ll also have a Recovery Point Objective, which refers to the time frame of the files or the point in time that you need to recover to.

Your plan should include a risk assessment so that you can determine where risks exist in your current system and a process or plan to mitigate those risks where possible. You need to develop an inventory of all of your hardware, software, infrastructure, devices, and the personnel who have access and their authority. The plan needs to maintain compliance, stipulate notification procedures (for employees and customers), and outline the response procedures and personnel involved.

Benefits of investing in an IT Disaster Recovery service

There are many benefits to investing in an IT disaster recovery service. Your provider acts as an extension of your business, but they also offer disaster recovery expertise that is not typically available within the IT department of an organisation. These professionals work with disaster mitigation and recovery as a specialty, which means they’re better qualified to recover your systems efficiently.

Benefits for the organisation

For the organisation, the IT Disaster Recovery Service takes care of all aspects of your recovery, from planning through any possible event. This means that the internal teams can concentrate on their own workflows and be updated on any responsibilities in terms of what they need to do to prevent occurrences, and how to react/who to contact in any event.

The recovery team is always available, so staff has support if any issues should arise. Your team can help educate employees on data security misconceptions and ensure that employees understand best practices to diminish errors. With added support in place, employees can obtain training to understand the dangers of current phishing and social engineering attempts and learn more about ways to reduce breaches or data loss due to human error.

Benefits for an IT Director/Manager

For the IT Director, an IT Disaster Recovery Service provides the most robust protection for data and business continuity. They can develop a full plan and continually monitor your own organisation and infrastructure, as well as stay up to date on the latest threats in the industry. This is a more cost-effective solution than hiring staff in-house and they can often mitigate any issues in the shortest amount of time while limiting damage.

Using IT Disaster Recovery services with Canon Business Services

Canon Business Services offers expert services to implement disaster recovery plans and toolkits that are aligned with your business processes. Our expertise includes, private cloud, hybrid cloud and multi-cloud data centre security, and we can take the lead to make sure that your business continuity is prioritized. We offer full-scale services from backup and disaster recovery to proactive solutions to mitigate risks and maintain full compliance with all regulatory bodies.

Contact us today to discuss your backup and recovery needs.

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