After hearing the news that this winter could be the worst ever, due to El Nino, it made me re-think our Disaster Recovery plan here at CNS. You have to be prepared against a plethora of risks that include fires, floods, cyber attacks and theft as well as power failures and internet faults, any of which can be detrimental to a small Sacramento business. To minimize the risk and downtime of one of these major incidents, any small business needs to have a plan for recovery, aka a Business Continuity Plan and a Disaster Recover Plan.
A Business Continuity Plan is a set of plans and activities that detail how a businesses critical operations will return to function in the event of a serious disruptions. Whereas a Disaster recovery Plan is a document that concentrates on the procedures and policies needed to protect and recovery a business IT infrastructure in the event of a disaster. Regular disaster recovery tests should take place to safely ensure an effect Disaster Recovery Plan is in place.
It is thought that 37% of businesses have no continuity plan in place, which is a surprising static when you consider organizations with a plan are far more likely to survive the effects of a major incident than those that don’t have one.
A Business Continuity Plan should address all requirements that are essential to keeping a business running. It should ensure that disruption to customers and employees are kept to a minimum and that any failure is managed before it develops into a disaster. Due to internal processes and procedures it is important that departmental managers are included in the design and creation of an organisations BCP to ensure all roles and responsibilities are understood. Test simulation of the plan should be made to ensure all business critical functions are included.
Capital Network Solutions IT technicians are constantly evaluating products and services that have been designed to recover from major incidents as well as prevent against them. Here are some must haves for your Sacramento business:
- Uninterruptible Power Supply: Power failures can hit at anytime in the form of blackouts, spikes and power surges. Installing an Uninterrruptible Power Supply (UPS) on your business network will provide emergency power and a graceful shut down for essential IT hardware including computers, servers, routers and switches.
- Microsoft Server (2012+): The latest Microsoft server operating systems have been designed for business continuity and disaster protection, offering advanced visualization, online replication, and greater redundancy in the event in the event of hardware or software failures.
- Virtualized Servers and Cloud Backups: Now days virtual server solutions can be stored in multiple locations at once offering instant data and service recovery in the event of a disaster. Cloud Disaster Recovery backups are now industry standard and low cost. Cloud DR backups ensure data is stored on premises and online throughout the working day.
- Cloud Email Services: Every business depends on email, having it stored in a cloud service such as Microsoft Office 365, ensure your email can be access from anywhere, anytime, or any device. Cloud email places the responsibility of email disaster recovery and protection on Microsoft, who spends millions of dollar ensuring global server replication and guarantees constant email availability.
- Threat Management & Anti-Virus Protection: Business continuity and disaster recovery plans should include defenses that prevent a virus attack with a plan of action to quickly recover in the event of an attack. Anti-virus software should be installed on all computers to manage and control the spread of a virus. Anti-virus should be considered mandatory and not an option for business networks with disaster recovery protection.
- Emergency contact details of both internal and external contacts. Don’t forget staff, vendors, your IT department, and any office visitors scheduled for that day.
- Specific recovery steps required for all common types of disaster that are likely to effect IT.
- Details of backup strategies with recovery steps and options.
Most importantly a disaster recovery plan should be a work in progress, it should be regularly updated and tested at least once a year.
If your business requires further information on Disaster Recovery plans or you would like to know how to improve your Business Continuity, contact our help desk of experienced IT consultants for more information. CNS would be happy to guide you through the process of Disaster Recovery.