If you want to make sure that your business is as protected as possible, then it is so important that you take the time to disaster-proof it. If you don’t, then you may find that one flood ends up being the downfall of your company and this is the last thing you need. Ideally, your disaster plan should include everything from off-site data backup to cloud storage, communication implementation, and more. The great thing about having a plan such as this is that it gives you the chance to develop a plan that will cover you for any unplanned incidents. This could include a power outage, but it can also include a power outage, a cyberattack, and even a natural disaster. IT departments also have a very large and important role to play when it comes to disaster-proofing business data.
What Types of Disasters Do you Have to Plan For?
First things first, you have to really know your enemy. The first step to developing a business recovery plan would be for you to identify the types of disasters that could befall your company. You can then take steps to try and make sure that you are covered properly.
Natural disasters can often appear in various forms. They can range from tornadoes to hurricanes to mudslides. Events like this have the ability to cause devastating effects on a company and they can even damage the infrastructure too. Supply chains can easily be cut off and this can make it incredibly difficult for a customer to reach you. The unfortunate reality is that this can pose a danger to your success as well as your customer trust. If you want to avoid this, then it is essential that you take the time to make sure that your company is structurally sound and that you conduct regular checks on your piping as well. Click here to learn more about that. By doing this, you can make sure that if a disaster does strike, you are less likely to experience monumental damages.
Believe it or not, man-made disasters happen in a very similar way to natural disasters. Normally, they revolve around human error. They can include gas leaks, industrial fires, and even wildfires sometimes. You also have to consider things like nuclear meltdowns, as well as transport accidents. Cybercrimes also happen to fall into this category, so be mindful of this if you can.
Hybrid disasters happen when man-made disasters cause natural disasters. One prime example of this would be floods or even flash floods. Communities that are built on floodplains are often left vulnerable as the result of the combined actions of both nature and man. Disasters like this can be devastating to your company.
How to Protect your Company
If you want to safeguard your company from all of the above, then you have to make sure that you develop a plan. This will help you to protect your hardware, software, data, and people. If you want to know what steps you should be taking, or if you want to find out if there is anything you can do to stop your company from going under as the result of one incident, then take a look below.
Test your Operations Plan
Consistent communication truly is key if you want to prepare for a disaster. If your employees, your customers, and even your partners are not able to reach you when there is an emergency, then this will make the situation way worse. It will also lead to a lot of uncertainty, confusion, and even a communication breakdown as well. If possible, you need to designate a point person, as it will be their job to lead the communications team. It is this person who is going to help guide the whole group through what has to be done. If the building isn’t safe to enter for any reason, plan out whether or not your team are going to be able to work from home. Do you have another off-site location that they can work from? Do you have an emergency kit? Can you locate an insurance policy that contains your internal business documents? If not, then now is the time for you to go through your information to ensure that things are not complicated by lack of preparation.
Keep Communication Open
Communication truly is key if you want to prevent a disaster. Sure, you may end up getting advanced warnings about certain weather events, whether they are blizzards or hurricanes, but you still need to protect yourself in the event of a cyberattack. If you can, you have to inform your customers, your stakeholders, and your partner so they know you are ready and available to answer any questions they may have. If your organization is having to work with reduced resources or even limited hours, then you have to try and let people know about this and update your emergency notice where possible.
Do a Risk Assessment
Nobody in the world wants to think that their entire infrastructure could be wiped clean in the event of a disaster. This is where a risk assessment comes into play. A risk assessment is the best way for you to stay ahead of the curve too. If you want to get started with your risk assessment, then you have to first identify your business process. You can then work to find out what parts of your company are going to be interrupted, what is time-sensitive and what will disrupt you the most. When you have this kind of information, you can then find out how you could conduct the best risk assessment.
Develop a Solid Process
The recovery process revolves around creating and then storing copies of data, so you can deploy them should you suffer from data loss. This is sometimes referred to as operational recovery. Ideally, your data should be restored to its original location or an alternative site, so you can use it in place of your lost or damaged data. Data can be lost for a huge number of reasons, whether it is down to software failure, data corruption, malicious attacks, or even simple things like accidental deletion. Storage will normally happen on a separate medium, such as a USB stick or even a disk storage system. You should also be making backups on a regular basis so you can minimize the amount of data that you lose in the event of a disaster.
It is so important that you review all of your insurance coverages on a regular basis. You also need to explore SLA, licensing, and more on a regular basis so you can make sure your coverage suits you properly. Insurance companies will always discuss your risks and they will make sure that you do not have any gaps in your policy too. Companies that are in flood zones should think about taking out flood insurance too. Buying additional coverage if you have off-site assets is also very important, as it could mean the difference between your company surviving a disaster and succumbing to it.
Protecting your Assets
Making preparations for your disaster recovery plan will involve you having to prepare and protect your physical assets. This could include your office equipment, your hardware as well as your various other vital devices. Sure, you can back up our data, but you cannot back up things like this. If you want to protect yourself here, then you need to move any devices to a higher floor level and you need to keep them away from large windows. Now would be the time for you to flood-proof your building if you know that you are in a flood zone, while consulting with an electrician to ensure that any wires you have are safe from water damage.
Train your Team
A solid plan is not of any use at all if you know that your team do not have the training to carry out the job. Once you lock in your disaster plan services, your processes, and your equipment, you then need to train your staff and you also need to carry out emergency drills. Redoubling your efforts by trying to train your team properly after every change will also help as it means that your procedures are always fresh in your team’s minds.
Modernize your IT
Think about it, right now, is your IT department working with outdated tools or poor methods of communication? If so, then you could well be leaving your team open to a potential disaster. If you want to avoid this, then you have to make sure that you do what you can to make things work in your favor by giving everything an overhaul. Ensure that you are keeping up with the times. If you can ensure that this is the case, then you will soon find that you are able to protect your company as much as possible and this can also save you from a lot of disasters in the future.