Unlike large enterprises, SMBs often don’t realize (or don’t want to admit to themselves) that disruptive events, such as hardware failures, natural disasters, and cyber attacks, are unavoidable. In fact, they are inevitable.
We know that 54 percent of organizations have experienced a downtime event that lasted more than 8 hours in the past five years alone, causing them to lose a significant amount of money and inflicting lasting reputation damage.
What’s even more worrying is that only 2 percent of the affected organizations recovered from their latest incident in under an hour. Knowing that disasters can’t be reliably avoided, it’s in the best interest of your organization to improve its ability to recover from them, and our top 3 disaster recovery tips are a great starting point.
1. Create a Disaster Recovery Plan
The last thing you want is to experience a major disruptive event and suddenly realize that you don’t know what to do to recover from it. To prevent this from happening, you need to create a disaster recovery plan that details exactly what to do before, during, and after the disruptive event.
The plan must then be kept up to date to reflect your evolving IT environment and changing needs. Keep in mind that even the most well-thought-out disaster recovery plan must be tested in practice to verify that it really accomplishes the desired recovery objectives.
We recommend quarterly testing because it gives employees more opportunities to practice, honing their recovery skills for when they’ll really be needed.
2. Adopt a Good Backup Strategy
Without backups, there’s no recovery. However, not all backups are created equal. If you only back up your data locally and your entire office building gets flooded or damaged by a tornado, then you can forget about getting all of your data back, let alone meeting your recovery objectives.
If you’re existing backup strategy boils down to copying files from location A to location B, then you should familiarize yourself with the so-called 3-2-1 backup rule, which states that you should always:
- Have 3 copies of your data
- Store your copies in at least 2 types of storage media
- Store 1 of these copies in an offsite location
In practice, this can mean creating one local and one cloud copy of every important file. In addition to making it easier to recover from natural disasters and other large-scale events, having files stored in the cloud also simplifies their sharing and allows employees to access important data from anywhere.
3. Put Together a Critical Response Team
Your step-by-step disaster recovery plan won’t be of much use unless you clearly describe who is supposed to follow it by putting together a critical response team and assigning each of its members a specific role.
If you’re a small organization with a few employees, then responding to downtime-causing disasters and following time-sensitive disaster recovery procedures may seem like an insurmountable challenge to you.
The good news is that you don’t have to put together a critical response team on your own. Instead, you can partner with a provider of managed IT services, such as us at Spectrum Technology Solutions, and let experts protect your data even from the worst disasters imaginable.