50% of all businesses fail before three years of their inception. A study conducted by the University of Berkeley found that 50% of small businesses don’t make it past their third year. When you factor in the impact COVID-19 had on small and mid size businesses and the lack of governmental support and financial resources, the number could be even higher.
If you are lucky, your business will fail due to a lack of consumer interest and you will close your doors and move on to something else. However, there is also a chance that your business will fail due to a catastrophic event like a devastating cyberattack such as a DDoS attack.
The word ‘disaster‘ might sound like it’s something that happens only to big corporations or governments, but that is not true. Small or medium-sized businesses can fall victim to disasters as well. What’s even more interesting is that they don’t occur due to nature but mostly due to events which can easily be prevented.
Every business needs a disaster recovery plan. No matter how big or small your business is, disaster recovery is a must. Having a disaster recovery plan in place can mean the difference between a small hiccup and a complete business shut down.
In this article, AntiDos will teach you what a disaster recovery plan is, why you should create it and how you can create a disaster recovery plan for your business.
What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?
A disaster recovery plan is a document that highlights how an organization can resume operations after becoming a target of an unplanned event. It is basically a structured approach that enables businesses to recover from a setback and resume day to day operations.
Why Should You Create a Disaster Recovery Plan?
There are many reasons why you must create a disaster recovery plan for your business. Some of them are as follows:
- Disaster recovery plan can significantly reduce the time required for restoration and recovery
- Minimizes the losses and costs incurred due to disaster
- Offer protection against critical process disruption and ensures business continuity
- Prevents reputation damage
- Protect your business operation from failure
How To Create a Disaster Recovery Plan?
Here is a step by step process you can follow to create a disaster recovery plan.
1. Maintain an inventory of IT assets
The first step to create a disaster recovery plan is to create an inventory of all your IT assets. Once you have created a list of all your IT assets, identify who has access to those access and for what purposes. This will help you to hold users accountable for their actions later down the line. You don’t want to be ignoring devices as they can become the prime target for cybercriminals. They use these devices as a ladder to move laterally through your network. You need to have complete visibility and control over your entire IT infrastructure.
2. Arrange them based on their vulnerability
Now that you have a list of all your IT assets, it is time to sort them based on their criticality and vulnerability to cybersecurity threats. Focus more on protecting IT assets which are more likely to be targeted by cybersecurity attacks. That does not mean that you should completely ignore less vulnerable IT assets. Your disaster recovery plan should put more emphasis on securing and restoring critical business functions to keep your business operating even if it comes under a cybersecurity attack.
3. Evaluate Potential Risks
Identify risks that could harm your most critical assets and disrupt your key business functions. Your first priority should be to protect these functional units from disruption. Even if they still got disrupted by an incident, your next objective should be to minimize the damage and contain the threat so it does not affect other business units in your organization, bringing the entire system down to its knees. If you know what might get targeted and in what ways, it will help you act quickly and mitigate the risk.
4. Allocate a Budget
Once you have laid a solid foundation, the next step would be to assign a budget for disaster recovery. Make sure you strike the right balance so you don’t end up underestimating the financial resource requirements for disaster recovery. Always keep a buffer that gives your disaster recovery team some breathing space. This can come in handy when an unexpected incident negatively impacts your business.
5. Choose a Disaster Recovery Setup
There are three major types of disaster recovery sites.
- Hot site
- Warm site
- Cold site
It is important to understand the pros and cons of each before choosing a right disaster recovery setup for your business. Additionally, you should also keep an eye on where your backups are stored so they can easily be recovered when you need them.
6. Test, Test, Test
Let’s say, you have already followed all the steps until this point, now it is the time to put your disaster recovery plan to the test. This will give you a clear picture about how effective your disaster recovery plan actually is. Additionally, it will also tell you about the strengths and weaknesses of your disaster recovery plan. What’s more, it can also highlight areas that need improvements. If your disaster recovery plan has flaws, you need to go back to the drawing board and fix issues before moving to the next phase.
Last but certainly not the least is to review your disaster recovery plan. The pace at which the threat landscape is changing forces your business to adapt accordingly. This means that you need to rethink your disaster recovery plan twice or thrice a year. Make necessary adjustments to keep your disaster recovery plan relevant so it does not get outdated. An outdated disaster recovery plan won’t be enough to protect your business from emerging threats. That is what you don’t want as a business.
How do you create a disaster recovery plan for your business? Share it with us in the comments section below.