When a natural disaster strikes, such as an earthquake or a Tsunami, often times we’re not able to prepare for the unexpected. We have no way of knowing about it in advance to take any precautionary measures. On the flip side, if there are news reports and alerts that a category 4 hurricanes is headed directly your way, you will have time to either evacuate town or batten down the hatches so your home can hopefully survive the storm. You may also have time to stock up on gas, water, food, batteries, candles and other supplies, in case you’re without power for a few days.
"Doing an upfront risk assessment will ensure you can properly prioritize your response when a disaster happens, and your teams will have accountability and know what steps to take to limit loss"
The same rules apply in the world of information technology. Yes, a disaster can happen at any time and while some may be more unexpected than others, there are several vital steps that you can take now to prepare your business to weather the storm. The first and most important step is creating a comprehensive disaster recovery and business continuity (DRBC) plan for your business. This is not a nice to have, it’s a must have, and it could mean the difference between your company surviving or failing miserably.
When a security or IT failure happens, whether it’s a data breach, a network outage, a natural disaster or some other issue, enterprises need to have all the right processes and procedures in place before hand to respond quickly. Business continuity planning will ensure that the business can keep running, while recovering from the disaster. Gartner did a study last year that estimated the cost of network downtime is roughly $336,000 per hour. Many companies, especially small businesses, cannot suffer this kind of monetary loss which is why being prepared in advance of a catastrophic event is the key.
To build out a DRBC plan for your business, you need to first identify all the points of failure and consider all worse case scenarios that would take your business down. Some of these scenarios include:
- What if your network gets breached and you discover you’ve been attacked by disruptive malware?
- What if a supply chain partner has a failure that will impact your business?
- What if your data center is wiped out by a tornado or experiences flooding?