Disaster recovery is the area of IT security that involves the understanding and planning of what’s necessary to ensure the protection of digital information, systems, applications, and networks. These protected components include servers, desktops, laptops, wireless devices, data, and connectivity. Essentially, disaster recovery keeps digital components and information from being affected by negative IT events. These negative events include anything that puts an organization’s digital and physical property, and day-to-day operations at risk.
Specific negative IT events can include:
- Equipment Failure
- Human Error
- Failures due to Updates and Patches
- Cyber Attacks
- Power Outages or Surges
- Hurricanes, Earthquakes, or other Natural Disasters
A Comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan
Any time digital information is stored on a computer, server, or other device it’s essential to have an IT disaster recovery plan integrated into your business continuity plan. Your company’s disaster preparedness should include documents, policies, procedures, and actions that place strict limits on the acceptable level of disruption to business operations in the event of a disaster.
IT systems require four components to function properly: software, hardware, data, and connectivity. When one of these components fails or is compromised the system may not run correctly. With cloud-based systems one of more of these components may or may not be directly affected by a negative IT event, but still need to be considered. A recovery strategy needs to account for all of these components, and to anticipate the fallout resulting from the loss of one or more component in order to develop an effective solution.
Regardless of the type of disaster, your company’s disaster recovery plan should be comprised of actions and a sequence of events intended to minimize the negative effects of a disaster. While every type of disaster cannot be predicted it’s important to be prepared for different types of negative events in order to speed up the recovery process. Being prepared will allow your organization to either maintain or quickly resume operations that are critical to your customers and your internal operations.
Some disaster recovery steps may include:
- Using backups to restore servers or mainframes
- Re-establishing private branch exchanges
- Provisioning networks (ie. LAN) to quickly meet primary business and customer needs
An organization’s priorities for recovery should be commensurate with their urgent and necessary business processes and functions. Recovery should be focused on time-sensitive business operations, customer facing services and data, or any other process or function that is essential to your type of business. Recovery priorities are different for each type of business and company, so it’s important to consult a professional IT disaster recovery expert.
An Internal Recovery Strategy
Depending on the size of your organization you may have access to a separate facility that deals with offsite backup functions. Offsite equipment can be configured to mirror onsite operations through similar hardware and software in the event of an emergency. With an offsite backup or mirrored offsite data, restoration can take place in another location to ensure necessary processes and other functions aren’t interrupted.
A Vendor Recovery Strategy
A third party IT vendor can provide a “hot site” in order to facilitate IT disaster recovery as part of an organization’s disaster preparedness plan. These vendor sites are designed specifically to function as disaster-ready data centers that have common hardware and software. They also have ability to customize hardware and software products to a specific organization’s needs.
Your Disaster Recovery Plan
As technology advances so do the ways in which technology can be negatively impacted. While security measures are constantly being upgraded and increased there is always the chance of the unexpected taking place. At Palm Tech we believe that all businesses should have a properly developed and ready IT disaster recovery plan as part of their business continuity plan.
These are some basic elements that should be part of any IT disaster planning:
- Create an inventory of hardware, software, applications, systems, data, and any other pertinent IT-related components.
- Create a strategy that continually maintains and ensures backups of all critical and potentially non-critical information.
- Identify all critical hardware and software, and what’s required to get them up and running following a disaster.
- Use standardized hardware so replication and reimaging efforts are easier.
- Ensure that software programs are readily and easily available for installation on temporary or replacement equipment.
- Proactively develop priorities for all hardware configuration and software restoration.
- Have clear documentation surrounding your IT disaster recovery plan and business continuity plan.
- Ensure periodical testing of both disaster recovery and business continuity plans so modifications can be made as different IT components are upgraded and changed.
Palm Tech Disaster Recovery Services
Whether you’re a large corporation or a small business, disaster recovery should be an important part of your company protocol, and an essential element of your business continuity plan. At Palm Tech we understand the needs of organizations of all sizes. With our highly responsive, fast, and professional service you can count on us when it comes to helping develop your disaster recovery plan. We’ll also be ready to assist you if your organization experiences a negative IT event. Call us today for more information about our IT disaster recovery services.