Do you have data backup and business continuity plans in place?
A sound disaster recovery / business continuity plan is essential to protecting the well-being of your organization.
Disaster recovery refers to specific steps taken to return to normal operations after a catastrophic natural disaster or national emergency. This may include restoring servers or mainframes with backups, re-establishing private branch exchanges (PBX) or provisioning local area networks (LANs). A disaster recovery plan (DRP) should be a part of any business continuity plan.
Business continuity describes an organization’s processes and procedures to ensure that mission-critical functions can continue not only during and after a disaster, but also after other disruptive events, such as illness or departure of key staffers or supply chain partner issues.
Keep Your Business Running When Disaster Strikes
Business continuity is an ongoing process, not a one-time project. A complete and tested plan means you don’t have to gear up the organization to think about a new problem every time a new business process or technology is implemented.
Companies often have disaster recovery plans, but frequently these plans are several years out-of-date, and some were never tested to see if they would actually work. Additionally, organizations don’t maintain a comprehensive data backup policy for their vital records, which is now required by Sarbanes-Oxley. Records that prove the financial position of an organization must be protected.
Accountants and lawyers can help define what constitutes vital records. These could include paper records and work-in-progress records that are on employee’ desks but not stored on system disks. It is difficult and expensive to make backups of such records, but they shouldn’t be ignored.
To achieve successful readiness, each year a company’s designated planner should evaluate risks and conduct a business impact analysis. During a risk assessment, potential threats to your business are revealed. Look at threats from natural and environmental events (e.g. weather and earthquakes), from facilities breakdowns, from security breaches and from technology failures. The business impact analysis evaluates the impact of the risks and threats that were identified. Look at each business function to understand critical functions, and determine what’s lost for the company if a function can’t operate.
Next, the business continuity planner should develop strategies and procedures for recovery that are workable and affordable, including how to back up vital records. The planner should lead a company-wide practice-run to review how well the proposed procedures work.
This process should be completed at least once a year. Lantana Communications has a team of trained professionals who can assist you in putting together a disaster recovery plan for your business.
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