7 Disaster recovery scenarios your business should be testing for

7 Disaster recovery scenarios your business should be testing for

Because prolonged downtime can be a death sentence for your company, the resilience and continuity of your operations are critical to your business’s success. And while having a robust disaster recovery plan is essential, you must also test this plan against common disaster scenarios to ensure readiness in case of an actual disaster. This way, your business can quickly recover from unforeseen events with minimal impact.

Here are seven disaster recovery scenarios your business should be testing for and why each one is crucial.

Data center outage

Data centers are the backbone of your business’s IT infrastructure, but they can go down due to power failures, hardware malfunctions, or environmental factors such as fire or flooding. An outage can bring your operations to a halt, leading to significant data loss and downtime. Testing for data center outages ensures that your business can swiftly switch to backup systems and maintain operational continuity. It also helps to remind your workforce that data centers are not invincible, and their operation shouldn't be taken for granted.


Cyberattacks such as ransomware, phishing, and identity spoofing are becoming increasingly sophisticated and pose significant threats, especially to small businesses. Cyberattacks can compromise sensitive data, disrupt operations, and damage your reputation. Testing your disaster recovery plan against the latest cyberattacks and keeping it up to date allows you to quickly detect, contain, and recover from such incidents, minimizing damage and expediting recovery.

Natural disasters

Earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods can cause widespread damage and disrupt business operations. Testing for these and other natural disasters lets your business maintain continuity despite such unpredictable events. Moreover, testing helps you prepare threat-based solutions for safeguarding your infrastructure, protecting data, and ensuring that your business can continue to operate while your competition recovers.

Hardware failure

Hardware failures, such as server crashes or storage device malfunctions, are all too common and disrupt access to critical data and applications. The downtime costs you money and rushing a replacement can also get expensive. When you test for hardware failure scenarios, you're able to identify your weak links and plan backups or redundancies to ensure one failure doesn't bring everything down, and recovery can commence immediately.

Software/Application failure

Software or application failures can result from bugs, configuration errors, or incompatibilities, all of which can lead to application downtime, data corruption, and zero work done. Testing for software failure scenarios empowers your business to quickly resolve issues and restore normal operations even without key apps. Testing also emphasizes the need for regular software updates, robust testing procedures, and effective rollback strategies to minimize the impact of application failures.

Network outage

Network outages can be caused by issues such as ISP failures, misconfigurations, or even cyberattacks. And because network connectivity is the lifeblood of all modern business operations, testing for network outage scenarios is a must. This enables your business to assess whether you can quickly reestablish connectivity and communications in case of an outage. With the results of these tests, you can better set up and manage solutions to this risk, such as multiple ISP connections, failover mechanisms, and robust remote access solutions that ensure business continuity.

Human error

Humans can commit errors, including accidentally deleting data, misconfiguring security settings, or inadvertently aiding a cyberattack, and these continue to be a common cause of data loss and operation disruption. Testing for human error scenarios can highlight where your employees’ knowledge is lacking and the common mistakes they may commit. This data will help you plan employee training, set clear policies, and implement error prevention measures to minimize the impact of the mistakes all humans make.

Not sure where to start? Ask the experts

You're likely not a cybersecurity professional, so you may not have a complete picture of all the threats facing your business, but that's okay. Fortunately, you can enlist the help of an experienced and knowledgeable IT services provider like XBASE Technologies. For over 35 years, we've been helping Toronto businesses prepare for and survive all manner of potentially business-ending disasters. Contact our disaster recovery team, and we'll show you how to defend against and recover from all the threats in your company's unique risk profile.