What is the Disaster Recovery Process?

February 21, 2023

Regardless of whether your disaster is born from human error or Mother Nature, it’s crucial to build a disaster recovery plan for any circumstance. Together, let’s discuss the steps needed to build a solid disaster recovery process.

Understanding the Disaster Recovery Process 

A disaster recovery plan is a business contingency plan that covers the restoration of vital IT operations after a disaster. Depending on the type of disaster, recovery can be simple or extremely taxing. Yet, the result is the same for every business: those that fail to restore their IT functions quickly could lose valuable data, affecting company profits and reputation among customers.  


Scenarios Requiring a Disaster Recovery Plan 

Disasters can impact your business in a variety of ways. Since the purpose of a disaster recovery plan is to prevent such losses from happening, the entire disaster recovery process must therefore consider many scenarios. Here are some examples of events that your disaster recovery plan should cover: 

  • Natural Disasters: Anything from tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, or a strong wind that could send a tree crashing down onto your business or necessary powerline.  
  • Application Crashes: Apps used daily for important tasks—such as chat lines, workflow trackers, or access portals to network data—are necessary to continue normal operations. Applications that crash or experience shutdowns can significantly delay project development.  
  • Communication Failures: If internet, phone lines, or email are unavailable, so is contact with colleagues and clients. A lack of stable communication will slow down instructions and product delivery to customers.  
  • Power Outages: Power outages bring all IT functions and operations to a halt. Depending on the power company and damages to the power source, outages could last from a couple days to weeks.  
  • Cyberattacks: Hackers are a disaster many business owners fear. Cyberattacks through malware or phishing emails can not only damage your network but also cost you significant amounts of important data necessary to continue production.  
  • Human Error: The most embarrassing disaster is one caused by company personnel. An employee may make a sudden mistake at any time; however, when those mistakes erase large sums of information or cause your IT department to crash, it becomes the entire company’s problem. 
  • Building Damages: Workers need a safe environment to remain productive during the workday. Buildings damaged by storms, electrical shortages, or hazardous materials make it impossible to continue normal operations. Additionally, building repairs take time, delaying your business’ ability to return to work.  


CSI Disaster Recovery Process for Human Error

A Disaster Recovery Process should cover every scenario, such as worker error damaging data or equipment.


How to Build a Disaster Recovery Plan 

To account for each scenario, you must first evaluate what goes into your disaster recovery process. Together, these building blocks will best secure your business’ recovery to normal activity. Your disaster recovery plan ought to include: 

  1. Critical Emergency Procedures and Operations: When a disaster occurs, you should have a comprehensive list of all the necessary assets employees need to continue their work. This typically involves taking inventory of essential IT equipment, network servers, workstations, applications, software, cloud services, data, mobile devices, etc. Once inventory is taken, your personnel can gather important equipment in a more timely and effective manner when the situation arises.  
  2. Create a Disaster Management Committee: Next, review which employees are essential to help coordinate procedures. Managers for each department should be gathered and given a full list of what responsibilities they should undertake during a disaster. For example, having a CIO on hand to train workers on what equipment should be secured can speed up your IT recovery.  
  3. Establish Recovery Strategies to Limit Damages: There’s no way to prevent damage during a disaster; however, the disaster recovery process will minimize it. For example, during an earthquake where equipment quickly falls and breaks, employees can put essential IT equipment under desks to limit the exposure to damage. Lastly, your business should establish what your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) will be to outline the maximum amount of downtime your business has before taking financial damage. 
  4. Assess Potential Threats: Understanding what other disasters the main disaster may cause can help you mitigate further delays towards recovery—an earthquake causing a tree to fall, for example. These sub-disasters could range anywhere from damaged internal Internet connections, hidden malware, or sudden shortages in equipment. Even failed plans can present a threat to your disaster recovery process. After assessing all flaws and threats to your recovery structure, be sure to routinely test these procedures, creating backup plans as necessary to solidify a full recovery. 


Create Your Disaster Recovery Process with Copy Systems, Inc. 

To make a truly effective disaster recovery plan, each step of the disaster recovery process should be strictly coordinated and updated to ensure your IT services are restored as quickly as possible. Looking to strategize a plan for your company? Visit Copy Systems, Inc. and review our Disaster Recovery page now.


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