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February 6, 2023 | By christa

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Strategies for Maintaining Operations in Times of Crisis

Managing challenges within our communities today is no easy task. The myriad of threats, both physical and digital, make it almost impossible to dodge every disaster. After all, it can be challenging to avoid system irregularities when mother nature calls or when a cybercriminal tricks one of your employees into exploiting information.

Whatever the disaster, it’s essential to have a proper Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plan in place for adequate protection.

What is BCDR?

Business Continuity (BC) and Disaster Recovery (DR) are two separate practices that go hand in hand.

Business continuity is all about establishing plans and procedures to ensure an organization is prepared in case an adverse event happens. Said plans will minimize the impact of a natural disaster or cyber attack and help an organization remain functional with little disruption to its workflow.

With disaster recovery comes the specific steps to execute business continuity plans following an incident. DR is geared toward managing technological infrastructure during a crisis while BC is all about surviving long-term impacts and navigating success post-disaster.

The Importance of BCDR

Having an effective BCDR plan can be the difference between surviving an adverse event or having to stop workflows completely, whether it be on a temporary or permanent basis. As previously mentioned, the goal of BCDR is to minimize the impact of a disaster including those related to:

  • Lost data
  • Reputational harm
  • Monetary loss
  • Emergencies

While business continuity and disaster recovery are separate terms, they have been combined to encourage ongoing collaboration between organizations and technology executives for response planning efforts. Formulating a team of people who know an organization’s goals (leadership) alongside experts to give proper technology advice and suggestions (technology executives) is the optimal path for BCDR efforts.

Elements of an Effective Disaster Recovery Plan

  1. Disaster recovery team: Your disaster recovery team should be composed of specialists who are prepared to develop, document, and execute the disaster recovery plan. This should include executive management personnel, a crisis management coordinator, a business continuity expert, and technology expert(s), which can be found internally or hired through an external IT support service.
  2. Risk assessment: This involves identifying any current or potential risks present within the organization. It’s a good idea to map out different scenarios and come up with steps to address each one.
  3. Define RTO and RPO: These are recovery objectives, which map out how long your assets can be inactive prior to recovery and how much data you’re comfortable losing. Of course, you always want to minimize any data loss.
  4. Select a recovery setup: At this point, you should have enough understanding to build a disaster recovery setup, such as a DR site. If you choose to have a DR site, you’ll want to define where the site will be located, if it will be cloud-based, self-hosted, who will maintain it, etc.
  5. Budgeting: Consider your resources and how much upper management will want to spend on a DR plan. Even if funds are tight, some sort of response plan is better than nothing. On the technological front, your IT support service or expert(s) should be able to help you establish, manage, and minimize costs.
  6. Test and review: The final step is to make sure your plan is ready to go. Make sure each person on your recovery team understands their roles and responsibilities and that all of your employees know who to reach out to if disaster strikes.

It’s always a good idea to review your plan every 6 months to 1 year to ensure relevancy with any new threats. Don’t wait for a disaster to strike before thinking about business continuity and disaster recovery. Contact us today to learn how our solutions can keep your operations running smoothly, no matter what challenges arise.

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