September is Disaster Preparedness Month!
A Pro-active “Celebration” List
Although it won’t cause people to greet each other with “Happy Disaster Preparedness Month!” being ready in case of a disaster is crucial. Disaster doesn’t just mean a hurricane or blizzard, we define the term “disaster” as any sudden, unplanned event that causes damage, interruption or loss to your company’s operations, systems and data for a period of time that would be determined detrimental to your company’s growth or survival. Some common disasters are (but are not limited to):
- Hardware failure or software corruption
- Virus or hacker attacks
- Internet connectivity outage
- Natural disasters, such as a flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, etc.
- Limited or No access to your office building (crime scene, pest infestation, fire, etc.)
- Theft of physical devices (server, workstations, laptops, tablets, smart phones etc.) or company data
- Human error (erasing data accidentally or intentionally)
This list is the MOST LIKELY disasters to happen that would affect IT systems, causing outages and data loss.
Additional Potential Events to Prepare For:
- Power outage (extended period of time)
- Internet outage (extended period of time)
- Natural disaster, office destroyed and employees required to work from a remote locations
- Natural disaster, office affected but not destroyed
- Office building or unit inaccessible for a period of time, but not destroyed
Questions you need to ask each department of your company:
- What’s the single MOST IMPORTANT function in this business category that, if it stopped working, would severely cripple your business?
- What other functions are critical in this business category, listed in order of importance?
- What data is critical to this area of your business? Please list from MOST important to least important.
- Where is this data hosted right now? Is it being backed up? If so, how?
- What software is critical to this area of your business? Please list from MOST important to least important.
- Are there any custom software or applications you use that are important to the functions of this department? Is the code being backed up? If so, where? Is there written documentation of what the code is and how to use it? Do you have access to the necessary license and activation information?
- What servers, workstations, laptops, smartphones or other physical devices contain critical data or are used to perform key functions
Once All Functions, Data, Software And Hardware Needs Are Determined, Rate Each In Order Of Importance:
- Determine the RPO (recovery point objective) and RTO (recovery time objective) for each.
- What is currently in place to ensure the continuity of each system, process, data, etc.?
- What is currently in place to ensure the recovery of the data and systems?
- Are the solutions currently in place sufficient to achieve the RPO and RTO of each with a high probability of success? Why or why not?
- If not, what has to be put in place now to ensure a high probability of success in achieving the RPO and RTO for each in the event of a disaster?
We know that this exercise can be overwhelming! Give us a call and we can help you prepare your Disaster Recovery Program. You’ll sleep better knowing you have completed the proper preparation on your side!