Disaster Recovery Planning and Testing | Understanding Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery is sometimes something businesses don’t think about until the worst happens. Disaster recovery planning involves identifying risks and determining how to get systems back online as quickly as possible to reduce downtime, business costs and damage to brand reputation.

An increasing challenge for IT is infrastructure outside the business. For instance, businesses often have:
Cloud services
Virtualization in remote data centers
Mobile devices

In some cases, disasters occur that are outside the control of IT administrators. However, there still must be a plan in place to account for outages resulting from a cloud provider going down in the event of a DDoS attack or cell towers suddenly shutting down, leaving mobile users without a way to connect to important data.

Disaster Recovery Planning

It’s impossible to completely eliminate downtime and outages. However, a consistently updated disaster recovery plan drastically reduces downtime. A few things to include in this plan are:
Data backups and recovery (along with backup validity)
Restoring servers
Recovering critical systems first
Scanning and removing unauthorized users in the event of a breach
App deployment along with updates
Restoring secondary services and apps
Setting up secure off-site backups, images, etc.
Fixing any exploited vulnerabilities (can’t come back online until the problem is fixed)

Disaster Recovery Plan Testing

Having a disaster recovery plan isn’t enough. While it may look great on paper, does it work? For instance, will your critical systems come back online if all servers aren’t online yet? Do your backups actually work? Is your data recovery timeline reasonable? Is your data recovery point appropriate? When systems come back online, are they secure or do vulnerabilities still exist?

All plan scenarios should be thoroughly tested to ensure the plan works. If something doesn’t work, now is the time to revise the plan. Once tested, train all employees to ensure they know the procedures.

The right tools and guidance are crucial with disaster recovery planning and testing. Contact our team to find out about available solutions and how we can help