With the Houston area still coming to grips with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Irma making landfall in Florida, disaster recovery planning is a timely topic for companies across the country. This is also an important topic here in the Midwest, where tornados and catastrophic floods along our rivers are prone to happen.
Natural disasters can be absolutely devastating to a business, and those lucky enough to survive often face a long road towards rebuilding physical and digital infrastructure.
No matter where your business is located, there is always some level of environmental risk beyond your control that could impact operations.
Because of this, every company should have a rock-solid disaster recovery plan in place to help your business weather the storm.
Below are five disaster recovery best practices every business should be mindful of:
Storing Data Out of Town
Natural disasters are often widespread. Hurricane Harvey had winds like a tornado, except it was 80 miles wide and dumped at least 20 inches of rain over nearly 30,000 square miles. Because a disaster typically effects an expanded area, it is important to back critical data up in the cloud as far away from home base as possible.
An onsite backup does little to minimize downtime, while your backup down the street doesn’t do much either if that facility is also impacted by the same disaster.
Cloud backups are the most popular method of data storage right now, because it can host all a company’s data and applications. The cloud is also scalable to address future growth.
Virtualization through the cloud is an excellent strategy for disaster recovery. If all your applications, resources and operating systems are stored on a local machine, and that machine gets destroyed, you’re unable to work the next day. By virtualizing all your workstations, employees can get back at it from home right away. Virtual machines are the most sure-fire way to restore normal business operations quickly and efficiently.
Business Continuity Management
BCM is the process of identifying threats that impact your business and what problems could potentially arise from those threats. This goes beyond data storage. You should plan for departure of key team members, supply chain breakdowns, critical malware infections and catastrophic system failures as well.
Data loss can occur because of a cyber-attack and it’s best to be prepared. 60% of companies that experience massive data loss end up shutting down within six months. Understand the regulations that impact your business (HIPAA, etc.) and follow compliance practices to a T. Always make sure data is protected by multi-factor authentication and is encrypted.
It’s critical for your team to have multiple means of communication in the wake of a disaster. What if your physical email server goes offline? What if USPS can’t get to your office because the streets are flooded?
Be prepared by having a written policy on how communication should be conducted during emergencies. You could choose to have team members collaborate via social media or a messaging platform like Slack, and if phone service is dead, texting should still work.
Is Your Company Up-to-date on Disaster Recovery Best Practices? Contact ThrottleNet to Find Out
More than 40% of businesses never reopen after a disaster. Don’t let your business be one of them by having an actionable disaster recovery plan in place.
ThrottleNet is a full-service IT outsourcing company in St. Louis offering a variety of consulting services and cloud solutions including email, phone, storage and virtualization designed to protect and streamline your business. Contact us today to learn more about our services and get started.