Businesses have a lot to lose from a potential security breach of sensitive customer information, or an unexpected fault in their IT system. Disasters like that can cost a company a lot, as every time there is a data breach a company has to pay for PR to manage their reputation, for lost productivity and revenue, technical support, and any compliance fines that result from the breach. Studies have shown that businesses are the target of hackers an average of 16,800 times a year, and that many of these attacks are at least slightly successful. Not just that, but loss of data and hard drive crashes cost time and money to fix- an estimated 140,000 hard drives in the U.S. crash every week.
The best thing a company can do to minimize the damage from an event like this is to create disaster plans. IT disaster recovery plans provide step by step instructions for resuming normal system operations in case of a security system disruption. It identifies the most critical IT systems and networks, prioritizing them and outlining the steps needed to recover them. A complete disaster recovery plan will also include contacts for suppliers and sources for help in recovery.
According to the National Institute for Standards and Technology, here is a loose outline for the structure of an ideal IT disaster recovery plan :
- Develop a planning policy statement that shows the authority and intent of the disaster plan.
- Organize a business impact analysis to identify the systems that are critical.
- Ascertain what preventative measures may decrease the effects of a disruption.
- Create your strategies for recovery.
- Make a contingency plan. This is where you will lay out the exact steps and procedures for restoring the system.
- Test the plan. You don’t want to be finding gaps in knowledge or planning after the disaster has already happened.
- Maintain the plan. Constantly update and evolve it as your technology is updated.
If your business does not have a plan like this in place, it is very important that it does so. Most IT business services will provide this as part of their service.