Starting and running a company can be a risky endeavor, especially when your company relies on technology and sensitive information to function. Since this is nearly every company that exists now, it is imperative that every company creates a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plan.
But, not so fast.
There are many factors that go into creating a successful BDR plan, which can make it difficult to get started. It’s also hard to be sure that you’re even on the right track.
Fortunately, there are a lot of organizations and resources out there that can help you set-up an effective BDR plan for your company. Heck, we’re one of them.
That’s why we’ve put together a handy BDR planning guide for you, right here.
First Up: What is a BDR Plan?
A backup and disaster recovery plan is a series of initiatives that your company must use to prepare for, mitigate, and recover from disasters that significantly interrupt business operations.
Essentially, your BDR plan is what your company does to keep going, following a disaster. The plan must be created well before the disaster so that you can proactively have an idea of what to do. In short, it helps you to put all of your systems in place that you need to keep your business alive.
Next Up: What Goes Into a BDR Plan?
A BDR plan can focus on different aspects of your company’s operations, but the most significant part of the BDR plan deals with the recovery and contingencies related to technological systems, information management, and data protection.
Modern businesses rely on their data as a recovery point. Without an IT system in place, your company could lose all of its data. It can lose its ability to operate effectively. Or, might never even recover at all.
Your BDR plan should identify the most critical components of your technology. You should document what devices and services are the most critical for business, and put them on a prioritized list.
However, it doesn’t all have to be about technology.
BDR plans also highlight the key players in recovery, as well as their roles. Your BDR plan must also cover where the recovered data should come from, and where it should restore to.
Follow Up: Why is BDR Planning All That Essential?
Simply put, a disaster can close your business if it is not sufficiently prepared.
When we talk about “disasters”, we’re not just talking about those of Earth-shattering, Godzilla-like proportions (though those are important too). We’re talking about:
- Cybercrime attacks
- Power outages
- Internal data sabotage
Unfortunately, there are many more types out there. BDR planning helps you prepare your company for these events and makes it possible for you to recover quickly without major losses.
Key Plan Components
For a BDR plan to be successful it must have several key components. Having all of these components in place is the key to making sure that your plan will work.
A Written Plan
Every BDR plan must begin with a written plan of action. Some companies develop their BDR practices as they need them, which can lead to problems down the road. In many of these cases, their plans are cobbled together from components that they added to their operations one piece at a time when they ran into a problem.
The result? An ineffective plan, or one that outright fails when it is faced with outliers.
To avoid these problems, start by making a BDR plan that outlines your current BDR practices and systems from start to finish. It’s okay if the plan is nonexistent – you’re far from alone there.
Keep your BDR clean, with only the necessities written. Establish the key players, note the most important systems, and include everyone’s contact information. These three things are the core starts of writing your own BDR plan.
Data Backup Systems
Data backups are ammunition for your the BDR plan.
They’re one of the most difficult components to set up, but they’re critical for creating redundancy in your systems. When a system fails, having redundancy can help you recover lost data quickly.
In short, you need data backups to keep things running. You’ll need to set up a data backup system well ahead of time so that it can capture all of your files before disaster strikes. Once you have a data backup system in place, you can start to strategize where the data will restore to when you regain system control.
When dealing with data backups, be sure to remember the following:
- Keep them secure. The last thing you want to do is to securely store infected information, or risk a cybercriminal accessing the data after you’ve worked hard to restore it.
- Keep testing them. Data backups are no good to you if they don’t work. Be sure to thoroughly test them; that includes checking files at random to ensure integrity and functionality.
- Keep multiple kinds. Cloud backups, local backups, hybrids – there are plenty of different types of backups. Choose ones that fit your recovery time objective needs, and that fits your budget.
Related: 3 IT Solutions To Ward Off Hackers
The final piece that every BDR plan needs is a way to assign and track accountability for specific tasks. Having a recovery system in place is a good start, but someone must be responsible for each of the steps in the recovery process. Key personnel such as IT Directors and technical support teams should be assigned to specific recovery tasks and having a written copy of the assignments will make sure that everyone knows what they need to do.
Your BDR Planning Xperts
If you own or operate a business, then you cannot afford to stay in business without a BDR plan. While it can seem overwhelming to set one up, there are experts available that can help you.
And by that, we mean us.
Reach out to us with any questions on BDR planning. We’ve helped many businesses create and implement their plans, and we’d love to help you with yours.