As more and more organizations begin using cloud-based tools, mobile devices, and an anytime/anywhere approach to work, the likelihood of falling victim to an incident that impacts your technology, and as a result your business operations surges. This is where Disaster Recovery planning, policy and tools come in. In order to create a plan that will help you successfully mitigate and manage disasters, you need to justify the investments of money and energy that will go into it.
So, here are some of the key reasons why you need a Disaster Recovery Plan.
Cybersecurity is probably the main reason most people start thinking about adopting a Disaster Recovery Plan for their business. Sadly, cybersecurity risks are becoming broader and more significant as threats become multi-faceted and organizations are more strongly tied to their technology to keep the business running. And with the pandemic forcing many businesses to find alternate ways of working, companies are even more dependent on technology for day-to-day tasks .
Cyber-criminals know this, and many of their attacks aren’t just focused on effectively compromising you, but also are counting on the fact that you urgently need access to your technology simply to get things done, making you more motivated to pay them off.
Your Disaster Recovery Plan should keep in mind the consequences of a cyber-attack. Make sure that you have alternative solutions or quick recovery options available in case your core technology solutions are compromised. The truth is that even a robust security solution still carries risk of breach, so you have to expect the worst and plan around that.
The Human Element
Many of the incidents that require Disaster Recovery Plans to be activated have a point where they could have been avoided. Nowadays, cybercriminals frequently target the individual, not the technology. They prey on the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of your users, counting on them to click on an infected link in an email or provide sensitive information to a hacker posing as a known entity. This is why I urge my clients to engage their staff in Security Awareness Training and Phishing Testing, as no amount of technology can completely block cyber-risk where humans are part of the vulnerabilities.
But even if your staff has a strong awareness of cyber-threats, there is still a good chance you could find yourself in a situation where your systems are locked down by ransomware or some other cyber-attack, including Insider Threats that could take advantage of your trust. You should expect the best out of your cybersecurity program but assume the worst could happen.
The systems that most of us use on a day-to-day basis are very reliable. It seems out of the ordinary for Internet connectivity or a website to fail, but it does happen, especially if a system has a sudden unexpected workload or a piece of hardware just stops working. As is the case with security, even good planning and decision making doesn’t cover all risks.
Just like with security, you have to assume the worst. Most small businesses are utilizing some combination of in-house and Cloud based applications, as well as Software as a Service (SaaS) in order to operate. Some Disaster Recovery solutions can create alternative connectivity or redundancy to what you already use, but you should also consider the possibility that you may have to work without this technology entirely if a much broader incident were to occurs. Think of what kind of alternative workflows you may need to have in place to keep operating in the unlikely but possible event that your technology completely fails.
Minimizing Expenses and Consequences During an Incident
This is probably the most important reason you should have a Disaster Recovery plan in place. It seems inevitable that at some point, you will be involved in a serious incident requiring you to respond to a disaster. It’s completely possible that you can get through a disaster without a well-designed and maintained plan, but it will be much more difficult.
The early stage of incident management is when some of the biggest successes and failures occur. Your goals should be to minimize downtime, cost, and any other disruptions. When situations get worse because you aren’t following a protocol designed to anticipate and mitigate the consequences of an incident, there will be tangible costs the organization will pay.
These are just a few of the reasons why establishing and maintaining a Disaster Recovery Plan is critical in today’s business environment. When you create or adjust your plan, keep these factors in mind. Your organization’s plan will be unique to your needs and situation. Understanding the justification for your Disaster Recovery Plan will help shape what you put into it.
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