In this edition, we’re looking at your Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plan. Being able to quickly access your data when something has gone wrong is crucial to your business’s ability to carry on functioning. Furthermore, data loss can be expensive, interrupting current projects and stopping you from starting new ones as well as potential recovery costs. In our recent communications we have focused primarily on the threats from cyber security issues, however Covid-19 has been a timely lesson in understanding the myriad of factors that can have an overnight impact on your business.
What is a Business Continuity Plan?
It’s a document outlining how your business will carry on operating when impacted by unplanned disruptions. A comprehensive plan would incorporate fall-backs for your business processes, your people, office locations and interactions with business partners. IT is of course a key part of this given its central importance to business operations these days.
What about Disaster Recovery?
This relates to the tools and policies you have put in place to allow you to recover data and/or continue your technology operations in the event of a “disaster”. It’s easy to see the importance of having your data backed up according to the “3-2-1 Rule”, however another aspect of this would be the devices (servers, laptops, desktops, etc) needed to access that key information.
What do you need to consider?
Putting an IT BCDR plan in place before anything goes wrong means that if the worst does happen, you have a defined process to fall back on and can thus avoid a panicked – and potentially costly – response:
- Perform an audit of your equipment and processes
- Understand the key links in your infrastructure
- Ensure your analysis is end to end – include your suppliers, business partners and customers
- Assign priorities to each component
- Create a contingency plan for each part
- Write everything down in a document that can be accessed remotely
- Make sure this is a dynamic process – your IT infrastructure is bound to evolve over time so make sure to schedule regular reviews
- Once you have implemented your BCDR plan, schedule regular testing to ensure that your plan works