How to Set Up a Disaster Recovery Plan for Your Business

It is always a good idea to have a disaster recovery plan in place, whether you are a business or an individual. A disaster recovery plan can help you to reduce the damage that might be caused by unexpected events. These events could include floods, fires, and power outages. Setting up a disaster recovery plan could save you both time and money if you are ever faced with a major incident. This plan can also help you to prepare for the unexpected and help you to bounce back more quickly from adversity.

Create A Backup Of Your Data

One of the first things which you should do to set up a disaster recovery plan is to create a backup of your data. This could be either on a physical media, such as a hard drive or DVD, or on a remote storage location, such as the cloud or a server at a remote location. Depending on how important your data is, you might want to create a full backup or a partial one. A full backup will protect you from all risks, while a partial one will only cover you from certain risks. For instance, if you have a small business and you only have 5 employees, a full backup may not be necessary, as you might not lose much data even if there is a major incident. However, if you have a large business and you are running on a server with lots of important documents and databases, a full backup may be required.

The main reason why you should create a backup of your data is because it’s always better to be safe than sorry. A simple click of a button can save you from major disasters, so it’s best to be prepared. Having a backup will also speed up your recovery time, as you will be able to restore your data in a jiffy if needed. In most cases, you will be able to restore your data easily, so you shouldn’t worry about losing any important information.

Besides creating a backup of your data, you should also think about backing up your system settings and configurations. This includes the operating system, BIOS (Basic Input/Output System), and the hard drive parameters. Remember, if any of these components go missing or damaged, you could lose all of your data. Backing up these components prevents data loss, as you can always restore them to their original settings if needed.

Create A Back-Up Of All Of Your Important Documents

Another thing which you should do to set up a disaster recovery plan is to create a back-up of all of your important documents. This includes your business files (such as marketing materials, sales reports, etc.), personal files (such as photos, tax records, etc.), and any other documents or files which you think could be important in case of emergency. You can either create a physical copy or store them digitally in the cloud, depending on your preferred method of storage. You can store a digital copy of your important documents in various places, such as OneDrive, Google Drive, or a storage server located at a remote location.

Although this step may seem unnecessary, creating a back-up of all your important documents can be a time-consuming task. So instead of doing it once and possibly forgetting about it, you may want to set up a routine where you back up your documents regularly. This could be once a week, or once a month depending on how critical your information is. The main purpose of creating these documents is to have them available in case of emergency. As previously stated, a business can lose a lot of money when faced with unexpected expenses, especially if it’s not prepared for these expenses. On the other hand, having a backup of all your important documents could save you a lot of unnecessary stress and hopefully money.

Test Your Disaster Recovery Plan

Once you have established a good foundation and set of documentation for your business (see above), it’s time to put it into practice. One of the best ways to do this is to test your plan periodically by performing a disaster recovery. During a disaster recovery, you will start by restoring your data from the backup you created earlier (see above).

After you have successfully restored your data, it is time to modify your plan to fit the new environment. For instance, if your office was destroyed by fire but your backup is still intact, you may want to include an extra step where you remove all of the burned out material from the room before you set up the new office space. This will ensure that your data is secure and will prevent any accidents from occurring due to poor handling or storage.

In some cases, you may have to replace some of the hardware which you originally had in place. For instance, if your server went out of service and you have to get a new one, you may have to replace that as well. These are all crucial steps which you must take in order to ensure that your data is protected and that your business can continue to operate smoothly.

Once you have tested and modified your plan, it’s time to establish additional backups and to store additional copies of your data. This could include making regular backups, or storing information in the cloud as previously stated. Storing information in the cloud is a great way to protect your information, as you can access it from anywhere. You don’t need to store a physical copy of your data, as you can restore it to a fresh state whenever you need to. Another advantage of storing your data in the cloud is that if you have a major disaster, you can quickly recover your data without the need for additional backups or storage spaces.

Ensure that you store your backups and data in a secure location which is not accessible by anyone else. If your backups and data are stolen, you could suffer major financial losses and harm to your business. Always keep copies of your backups and data in case something happens to the original. This could include hard drives and other storage devices becoming corrupted or damaged, as well as systems going out of service.

Storing copies of your backups and data raises a good point which relates to securing these files from being accessed by unauthorised individuals or entities. For this reason, it is important that you take the time to physically lock your storage space which houses your backups and data. Furthermore, storing important documents and files in a safe is also a good idea. Simply because something is important doesn’t mean it has to be easily accessible by anyone who decides to look for it. In case you do lose your data or hardware, you can always contact an IT specialist to help you get things back on track.

Keep Regular Backups

One of the best things which you can do to set up a disaster recovery plan for your business is to keep regular backups. This can be either daily, weekly, or monthly depending on how important your information is. Always make sure that your backups are stored in a secure location, as discussed above. Backups guard you against data loss, so it’s always a good idea to have some kind of backup. However, backups can become a burden if you have to keep making them, especially if they are not stored in a secure location. Keep backups for a minimum of 3 months, or up to a maximum of 6 months. After this time, it’s best to either delete the backup or restore it (see above).

Keeping a backup for longer than 3 months can also be harmful. If you have a major disaster and your backup is intact, then it may be worth keeping it for longer. However, if you do lose any data in the backup, then it may be better to delete it and start over. This is because if you restore a backup which is more than 3 months old, you will most likely end up with obsolete or unreadable data. Besides, if you do store these backups for longer than 3 months, you will most likely end up with a larger one which takes up more space, and is harder to maintain due to the amount of data it contains.

Use The Right Hardware

If you are storing your backups and data on a physical media, such as a hard drive or DVD, it is important that you use the right hardware to do this. For instance, if you have a Mac which is running on a solid-state drive (SSD), then this is the perfect medium for your backups and other data, as they will perform much faster than a traditional hard drive. SSDs do not require frequent upgrading or reformatting, as they have no moving parts which can deteriorate over time.

Traditional hard drives, on the other hand, will need to be updated and reformatted periodically to ensure that your data is not lost due to ageing. Due to the nature of their components (i.e. magnets, heads, and platters), these devices can deteriorate over time, leading to data loss if backups are not made regularly.