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As recent events like severe storms demonstrate, disasters will occur. But they needn’t sideline your business. Read more to find out about developing a plan to mitigate the effects of disasters on your company’s data and network. 

 

The Cost of Failing to Plan

 

The cost of downtime is $5,600 per minute! Multiply that out, and you could be paying hundreds of thousands or even millions for lost revenue, lost wages (or overtime when systems come back online), or fines for regulatory non-compliance. Even if unplanned downtime is just an hour, the cost is steep. The revenue you lose because your customers can’t purchase items on your website, and even missed deadlines for projects, can hurt your bottom line and your reputation with customers. Data breaches from cyberattacks can reduce your customers’ trust as well, and possibly result in fines for regulatory non-compliance. By not having a plan, you may waste valuable time because you don’t know what to do first. 

 

Developing a Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Plan

 

A business continuity/disaster recovery plan is vital in protecting your company. The disaster recovery aspect deals with how your business will bounce back from a natural or manmade disaster.  How do you develop your plan? A good first step is assessing the current state of your network as well as the risks your company faces. Do your systems have any holes where malware can enter or places where data might become bottlenecked? Do you have redundancy/failover so that if one part of your network is down, another part can pick up the traffic? What about equipment you have on-premise–is it protected from overheating, a common cause of equipment failure? And what about cyber defense? Is your data backed up and safeguarded in the event of loss or intrusion? Finally, consider whether your employees are adequately trained and able to recognize (and stop) a potential phishing attempt. A robust plan will have provisions for infrastructure, systems, processes and personnel.

 

Keep Your Plan in Shape

 

Once you have a plan and implement it, testing will show how well it works. Staging mock events will show how workers act in the event of a cyberattack, and will show what they know (or don’t). Testing your plan will show what areas are strong and which need fixing. How quickly, for example, can data be retrieved from backup? Making detailed note of what goes well will help refine your plan and prepare you in case of an emergency.

 

Disasters come, but need not harm your business; having a plan is key. For guidance, contact your trusted technology advisor today.