We’ve all heard the stories of businesses collapsing after hit by an unforeseen event. The primary cause behind this fall is usually the longer cut off from the regular business operations. Interestingly, the ill-effects of a disaster or security incident can completely be avoided with a strategic cyber disaster recovery / business continuity plan (BCP).
Most of the businesses understand the consequences of lengthy downtime; still, 68 percent of small business owners do not have a documented cyber disaster recovery plan. The unpreparedness of organizations against natural or man-made disasters met with several negative impacts, including loss of customer trust, drop in overall revenue, disrupted business productivity, compromised data, and in most cases, business failure.
Experts believe that business leaders have a few misconceptions about the cyber disaster recovery and business continuity plan. A few of them say that DR plans are not meant for corporations scattered over multiple locations, or the executives should think on their feet during an event occurrence. Companies must stay ready for all kinds of known and unknown events.
Before we dive into the five significant elements of a DR plan, watch this amazing video by Tim Foley, Director of Information Security for the Dataprise CYBER division, explaining how to recover from unfortunate events:
5 Elements of cyber disaster recovery
- Detailed Inventory
Every good disaster plan starts by listing out what tools you have, where they are stored, and how they are configured. Assess the physical space of server rooms, data centers, network operation centers, and others to check if they can accommodate IT equipment.
Index any hardware or software in use, also include their serial numbers, contact information, and other useful technical details. With that, create a list of login credentials to access different cloud-based programs and data backups.
- Communication Plan
Before creating an efficient communication plan, everyone should be clear about their responsibilities after and during the occurrence of an unanticipated event. Once the plan covered it all, strategize a way to communicate with employees, vendors, and end-users.
During a disaster, it’s possible that employees can’t rely on regular modes of communication. In such a case, outline the entire process with backup plans when cell coverage and email communication go down. As a part of the process, keep customers informed through an in-use online portal or dedicated web page.
IT disaster recovery requires collaborative team efforts, so ensure that no involved professional is left in the dark.
- Outsourced Services
The third-party service providers and suppliers are expected to sign a comprehensive Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Their assistance in this crucial time is very much required. The service providers should diligently work alongside the affected organization so that its regular business operations can get back to normal.
- Cyber disaster recovery(DR) Protocol for Employees
Cyber disaster recovery plans should also be inclusive of a protocol dedicated to employee safety and security during a disaster. Assign specific roles to all the involved professionals based on different disasters so that they understand the DR protocol before the event occurs and will be able to act during the event immediately. While assigning roles, consider factors like employee location and priorities. When asking employees for a helping hand, ensure that they are not dealing with the same disaster at home. In such cases, assign the role to a remote employee.
- Timely Reviews and Testingwith “Fire Drills”
To check the effectiveness of a DR plan, the organizations must put it to test. As recommended, a DR plan should be tested at least twice a year. While testing the documented cyber disaster recovery plan, ensure to simulate realistic emergency environments. This will help in strengthening the business continuity and disaster recovery plan.
A business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan should be considered as a vital part of data management. Even when the organization decides to expand or upgrade its data centers, the best practice would be to align the disaster planning. To make this happen, organizations need dedicated skills to draft and implement a cyber disaster recovery plan. Join the EC-Council Disaster Recovery Professional (E|DRP) program that helps in building a strong understanding of business continuity and cyber disaster recovery principles. It teaches professionals to conduct business impact analysis, risk assessment, and various other significant skills.