With cyberattacks and natural disasters posing a serious threat to their operations, more small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are now relying on managed IT services providers (MSPs) like Integrated Technology Services to provide disaster recovery plans (DRPs) for service continuity.
Despite having DRPs, a lot of businesses still fail at disaster recovery, such as the Dorchester School District, which paid ransomware hackers $2,900 in bitcoin in 2017. The following practices led the school district, as well as organizations across all sectors, to fail at disaster recovery.
#1 Businesses focus only on IT Systems to develop a DRP
Evaluating your IT systems for vulnerabilities is the obvious first step in making a DRP, but it shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all. Instead, it should be part of a much larger business continuity plan, which begins with a business impact analysis (BIA). Businesses must require managers to identify the possible impacts of interruptions on business processes, including delayed sales income, contractual penalties, lack of invoicing, and loss of brand reputation.
These data must be reported to determine which impact will potentially affect the business financially, the price of recovery strategy options, and the sequence of restoration for the business, giving priority to the one with the biggest financial and operational implication. Only then can you proceed with your IT-DRP, which must be in line with the priorities you set in your BIA.
#2 Businesses don’t use DR services when there’s already a backup for their data
Having internal backup isn’t enough to ensure business continuity in case of a disaster. It’s something that’s nice to have, but with the length of recovery time and questionable recency of internal backups, these files aren’t really useful.
For effective data recovery, you should have both internal and external (preferably in the cloud) backups so you always have the most recent version of your documents and you can access them anywhere, anytime. Having your data in the cloud will also cut the cost of storage because you won’t need to buy the hardware for this purpose.
#3 Businesses only use DRPs to address natural disasters
When you see the word “disaster,” do you immediately think of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and flash floods? These natural calamities lead to operational disruptions, for sure, but man-made disasters like cyberattacks, power outages, hardware and software failures, and even human error also disrupt business, and they occur far more frequently than their natural counterparts.
When creating a DRP, you should work with your MSP and factor in human-induced disruptions, perhaps giving them greater weight and higher priority.
#4 Businesses rely solely on MSPs to handle disaster recovery
Instead of depending strictly on MSPs, your company should also train employees in disaster recovery procedures so they’ll know what to do when catastrophe strikes. The whole point of having a DRP is to resume operations as quickly as possible, and that can only be done if your staff is prepared.
With proper guidelines and sufficient training hours, your staff can meet your recovery point objective (RPO), the length of time before too much data is lost, and recovery time objective (RTO), the length of time you need to get your systems back up and running after an emergency.
#5 Businesses don’t update their DRP
Cybercriminals develop new strains of malware all the time, and these can affect your business at any time. Add to these the network problems that your company may experience from time to time.. Your MSP, while helpful, cannot do all the work for you. The least you can do is take note of possible interruptions that your business can face and update your DRP to address it.
If you want to learn more about disaster recovery planning, contact Integrated Technology Services. We provide cloud solutions and DRPs to SMBs in the Charleston, Goose Creek, and Mount Pleasant area. We take pride in having zero data breach and data loss for all our CompleteCloud customers in our 16 years of operation. Call us today!