Disaster recovery checklist: 5 components in every successful plan

Disaster recovery checklist: 5 components in every successful plan

The technology solutions that Toronto businesses use have become more stable, but the quantity they rely on has skyrocketed. Incorporating a new piece of hardware or software into your business processes is like adding another layer to a Jenga tower. Each piece works to support the structure, but also increases the likelihood of a crash.

You can prevent a tumbling down of your technology by hiring more technicians or partnering with a managed IT services provider, but there will always be a chance that disaster strikes. Whether a blizzard, power outage, or cyberattack hits your business, you must be prepared to rebuild as quickly as possible.

As one of the top 20 most promising disaster recovery solution providers in Toronto, we have lots of advice on how to create a checklist that minimizes IT downtime.

Identify potential disasters

Can you name the three most common natural disasters in your province? What about whether theft is more common than vandalism? Answers to questions like these play a big role when drafting a recovery plan, which you should tailor to address risks specific to your region and industry.

For example, heavy-duty backup power supplies will help you weather a windstorm, but they won’t help much during a flood. Addressing disasters individually and breaking down response procedures into manageable projects streamlines the recovery planning process.

List out IT assets

After creating a list of potential disasters, you need to inventory all your IT assets. You’ll copy that inventory into your checklist and create step-by-step recovery instructions specific to each disaster scenario.

Most technology solutions have several recovery options. With small business servers, you could set one up in the cloud that turns on as soon your in-office server goes down or simply configure it to disconnect from the network if malware is spreading. The most important thing is there is a plan for every IT asset that's specific to the situation.

Set up cloud backups

Many business owners assume that disaster recovery is as easy as making daily backups of company files. However, those are not set-it-and-forget-it solutions, so you need to ensure accessing cloud backups when office IT goes down is straightforward and recovering files happens quickly once the power comes back on.

You’ll need to group your files into categories (e.g. client documents, company financials, etc.) and create recovery point objectives for each category, which define in hours how much data you can afford to lose. Would your business survive if all your quotations proposals from the past 24 hours disappeared? What about the past week?

Create step-by-step procedures

Any person on your team could be a disaster recovery hero if they receive guidance. Your employees should know who to call and what information to provide the moment catastrophe strikes. For example, your receptionist’s computer might the first to be affected by ransomware, which is an especially time-sensitive disaster, so that person must have access to instructions that describe what to do.

Cloud solutions should ensure that the majority of your customers don’t experience an interruption of service, but there may be times when downtime is unavoidable. Each phase of your disaster recovery plan should outline whether or not customers need to be updated and who should handle that task.

Test your disaster recovery plan quarterly

The threats you face, as well as your assets, backups, and recovery procedures, will change often. You must test your plan at least every three months to avoid a situation where you try to restore a solution that has been moved or no longer exists.

Failing to update your checklist diminishes its value, so make sure someone is accountable for keeping it current. A managed IT services provider like XBASE Technologies can simulate a disaster to put your recovery strategies through the ringer and make recommendations for improvement.

Our team was named one of the best IT providers in Toronto because we tackle much more than disaster recovery. We provide everything you need to keep your IT running, all for a flat monthly fee. If you’d like more detailed information about what our service includes, download our free eBook today.

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