Cybersecurity is a top concern for almost every modern company. A data breach is one of the most potentially devastating events a business can experience in today’s digital business environment. When disasters happen, private customer data, proprietary files, trade secrets, partner information, private email correspondence, and stored files are all at risk. No one wants to deal with business disasters, but they can and do happen. At Technocom, we know that one of the best things you can do to protect yourself and your company is to formulate a disaster recovery plan. Having a plan in place can help you get back to business after emergency strikes.

IT security planning is essentially the process of accounting for all of a company’s potential vulnerabilities, and protecting against them. Disaster recovery is a big part of this. The first goal of any disaster recovery plan should be to quickly and safely restore function to business-critical areas. Once operational ability returns, it’s vital to thoroughly explore the extent of the damage, identify the breach point, and safeguard against future attacks. We understand just how devastating an IT disaster can be for modern companies, so consider the following a short primer for disaster recovery in the modern IT world.

The First Steps in Disaster Recovery

Many modern company executives and leaders report that they have little faith in their organizations’ ability to recover after an IT disaster, and most of this worry stems from poor preparation. Far too many companies take a reactive approach to IT security and only address problems once they appear. Complacency is dangerous, especially when data is so tremendously valuable and a ripe target for some hackers. Unfortunately, many companies do not actively explore their IT vulnerabilities on a consistent basis and simply “stick with what works.”

Run Regular Risk Assessments

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for cybersecurity, and placing your defenses is not a one-and-done endeavor. IT security demands constant vigilance and the sense of urgency to stay abreast of the newest developments in the IT world.  Regular risk assessments are a fantastic way to stay ahead of the curve. During these tests, you will typically find where your IT structure demands the most attention.

Once you’ve thoroughly analyzed the results of a risk assessment you can take steps to mitigate the dangers to your company. Ideally, you want to determine a streamlined immediate plan of action if any vulnerability leads to a breach. Two of the measurements you want to determine during risk assessment are your Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO).

RPO is essentially how far back you must reach into your file archives to resume operations after a disaster. You should also use your RPO to benchmark your backup processes. Ideally, you should be able to restore functionality from a very recent restore point if you are diligent with your backups and they are safe from the breach. Your RTO is how long it takes to recover. Some companies lose millions of dollars for every minute critical operations are stopped, so it’s crucial to know what kind of RTO your organization can handle.

Prioritize Your IT Assets

Disaster recovery is all about getting back to business. If something disables your IT structure, such as a data breach or other disaster, the goal should be to resume business as usual as quickly as possible with minimal loss. Every business will have unique concerns when it comes to accomplishing this, and it’ll be up to you to prioritize your IT assets and invest accordingly.

Your IT provider should be able to tell you exactly what you need to get back up and running to resume business, so make sure you allocate resources accordingly. Your disaster recovery plan should aim to restore function to the most business-critical systems first, and then address secondary systems. If you have encountered disasters in the past, carefully assess what went wrong, how your company recovered, and how the recovery could have been better.

Disaster Recovery Testing

Every organization will need to create a company-specific disaster recovery plan, and it’s crucial to carefully test yours to make sure it’s viable in case you really need it. While it’s important to run these tests on a regular basis, too much testing can be stressful and irritating to your staff. Come up with a testing schedule that works for your company. It’s also important to note that organizations should test their disaster recovery plans any time the company’s system undergoes a significant change. When new tools or hardware enter your system, they can create hidden vulnerabilities you won’t find until you test.

Hopefully, you can develop a disaster recovery plan with a reliable RPO. Most cybersecurity experts recommend a “3,2,1” rule for data backups: three copies of your data in at least two locations, one of which is offsite. With cloud computing, it’s easier than ever to configure reliable data backups. Technocom can partner with your business to assess your companies’ vulnerabilities and develop sound recovery plans that fits your exact needs.