The NOAA predicts an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, fire season in the West is now endless, and unprecedented floods have hit virtually every region of the country. As if those disasters aren’t enough, according to the 2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, ransomware breaches increased 13% last year—more than the previous 5 years combined. And there were 2.8 billion malware attacks in just the first half of 2022.
These threats should put disaster recovery at the top of every IT pro’s list of priorities. And ensuring your company can recover from whatever humans, technology, or nature throws your way requires a well-considered disaster recovery plan.
Your IT team probably already has its hands full, ensuring your systems are secure and your operations keep running smoothly. Putting together—or updating—a comprehensive, foolproof disaster recovery plan adds another time-consuming IT burden that often falls through the cracks. That’s just one reason it’s worth looking to professional IT services to help with your disaster recovery plan.
TIC says the average hourly cost of downtime now exceeds $300,000 for most small, mid-size, and large enterprises. That high cost means professional IT services can deliver a substantial return on investment when disaster strikes.
Disaster Recovery Planning Experts
When you bring on an experienced IT services partner to help with your disaster recovery plan, you gain expertise and experience that isn’t typically found on in-house teams. That means you can avoid blind spots, establish best practices, and stay abreast of ever-evolving technologies.
It’s also worth considering investing in business continuity planning services that help establish your crisis response, address provisions for safeguarding your data and network, and define the steps you need to get back up and running fast.
Methodical Plan Development
The first step in disaster recovery planning is an assessment of your existing processes and solutions. This is best accomplished by hiring an IT services partner so you can be confident you’ll get an objective perspective. The result identifies gaps, issues, and inefficient processes.
You’ll also want to identify stakeholders who should be included in the planning process, including technical team members whose insights could be invaluable in driving the requirements and resources. Often, that is best accomplished by outside professionals who can ensure all voices are heard. External IT pros can also help set disaster recovery plan development milestones and confirm tasks are completed as scheduled.
Prevention is Part of Planning
While your plan will focus on recovery, it’s better to avoid a disaster in the first place. Outside IT pros are typically on top of the latest and greatest cybersecurity and data protection technologies. They can help you understand your options, set priorities, and put proper security solutions in place.
These companies also offer services that substantially ramp up your data defenses. Endpoint protection as a service (EPaaS) is one example. EPaaS uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to monitor your endpoints for threats. It provides you with malware and virus protection and reliable security intelligence in real-time for fast response times and continuous threat monitoring. Since 82% of breaches involved the human element, cybersecurity awareness training is another worthwhile investment your IT services partner can provide.
Key Plan Components
As noted, disasters can come in just about any form. That’s why your plan needs to identify and address any potential disasters that could come your way—from a failed server to a hurricane that takes out the infrastructure throughout your region. Professional IT services bring experience in actual disaster recovery events. That can be invaluable during a crisis.
These services help you establish your recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO), two crucial disaster recovery metrics. RTO is your goal for the maximum amount of time it should take to restore normal operations following a disaster or data loss. RPO is the maximum amount of data your organization can tolerate losing. Your RTO determines the solutions you’ll need to ensure timely recovery, while your RPO drives backup frequency and associated technology choices, with the gap between backups the limiting factor in how much data is lost.
Your IT services partner can also help you document vital processes, methods, and solutions to ensure efficient deployment and ongoing maintenance.
Evaluate Backup and Disaster Recovery Services
The most essential part of your plan is how you will back up your data and how it will be recovered if disaster strikes. Your IT services partner works with these technologies and solutions daily and can be a fountain of helpful advice as you look at your options.
While backup and disaster recovery are crucial, IT teams are still typically overwhelmed and forced to focus on day-to-day operations and innovation. Your IT services partner can take that burden off your IT team with disaster recovery services.
Look for a scalable and flexible disaster recovery service that ensures your data is continually replicated from physical and virtual environments to a secure off-site data center or cloud infrastructure. This leads us to cloud backup and recovery, a solution that offers you convenient off-site storage for your backups without the cost and complexities of building and maintaining an off-site infrastructure.
Keep Everything Current
While having a plan is essential, it may be useless when disaster strikes if you don’t test it before you need it. An IT services partner can help you with regular backup and disaster recovery testing, make sure your systems are always up-to-date, and keep you abreast of new threats and technologies. Regardless of how you proceed, ensure your backup and disaster recovery plan is rock solid and will meet expectations when needed.
To learn more about avoiding major disaster recovery pitfalls and securing your disaster recovery plan, check out this blog from our CEO.
As always, feel free to contact us anytime – we’re always happy to help.