Disaster or Inconvenience?
I remember on more than one occasion hearing horror stories from business owners. “That computer had all of our financial data on it,” or “That power failure cost us a lot,” or “I don’t know how they did it but they locked us out of all of our data.”
These common scenarios are the typical results of not having a Disaster Recovery plan. Disaster recovery plans are not just about data recovery, but also include business continuity, Security and other basic protections for your business.
Creating a Disaster Recovery plan may sound like something that is not very important, or the effort involved seems daunting. How about taking the eating the elephant approach, and taking one bite at a time?
Here is a simple approach where you can start to create a Disaster Recovery Plan:
- Identity your valuable assets, including data: This should be a simple audit of anything that is hard to replace in your business, including data, equipment or key employees. Create a list and include a rating on the value from $ to $$$$.
- Identify your vulnerabilities: Where are issues most likely to occur, are key employees being recruited, is your valuable data stored on the receptionist computer with no backup? Are import pieces of equipment hard to replace due to lead times, or are they not adequately insured? Rank these using a similar scale to your cost evaluation.
Once you have the two lists above, see which vulnerabilities line up with key assets and start to build out a ranked list. You should then identify the high risk-high value items and create a plan to protect those assets.
As an IT professional for over 20 years, I have found that data integrity issues are usually very high value and vulnerable. These are also easy to create recovery plans for, starting with cloud services that are readily available. Simple backup plans or complete data migrations to the cloud can keep your disaster to just an inconvenience as you restore your data or access it from another place.
I have saved a few businesses from possibly folding because their data was protected, and it started with simple planning.