What happens if data recovery takes longer than you expect? Do you have a Contingency Plan?
Data forms the foundation of every modern business and loss of data, whether temporary or permanent, is damaging. The presence of the right data protection plan however will help you minimize this damage or even evade it altogether. A robust contingency strategy, however, still must be put in place to react properly when data loss takes place. Yes, you want to have recovery plans in place, but you also need to broaden data protection to continuously tackle possible threats before they happen, and then efficiently deal with the inevitable interruptions during a recovery.
Previous to an emergency, perform an impact analysis. That is, identify what can happen when different types of data loss take place. Granted, you should expect to recover the data at some point, but what happens if the recovery takes longer than you expect? Have the folks who will be impacted during an outage, a cyber attack, etc. been educated on how they should operate between the discovered loss and the eventual recovery?
Once the key staff have been made aware of what they will be need to do, and how they are expected to act, you then have a specific outline of the resources needed to behave during a data loss recovery period. The following particulars should help to be particularly prepared. Most contingency plans are wordy, general, and even useless in an emergency. Contingency planning means you should set up the relevant and handy resources that your business needs to access in times of an emergency.
- The lines of authority – who, in order, will be in charge to implement a contingency plan
- Communication vehicles for the authorities in an emergency – land lines, and even cell phones may not be working, so consider and test other methods.
- Multiple forms of documentation that outline a contingency plan – hard copies are seldom available. In a blackout, a digital copy may be difficult to display. Every company should think through what would work for them.
- Contracts or ready purchase orders for potential service providers – typically, networks, storage, and servers will need to be put in place on the fly. Individual users should have some form of workstation or mobile option in place.
- Facility options – usually a second office will do the trick, but a third facility choice still might make sense.
Planning is the key to ideal execution, but the plans should be easy to grasp and easy to pull off. Every department of your business plays a role in availability of data. Include HR, IT, Facilities, Logistics and every department involved in the functioning of your organization. Forming a special team to make the plans is a good idea, but make sure the team gets inputs from the whole organization. Each organization, in fact, may have a different contingency outline.
A responsible synopsis of possible scenarios will keep a contingency plan up-to-date and accurate. Review potential data loss developments and refine your options. Sabotage from within is an important scenario most organizations fail to consider, for instance. Keep contingency planning dynamic rather than static. Environments change.
With a practical, dynamic, and company-wide contingency blueprint in place, the recovery process may well be quick enough to prohibit implementing some of the more drastic plans. At STORServer, we offer a wide range of Data Protection Consulting Services handled responsibly by professionally certified experts. As your recovery partners, we can lead your business to dependable and timely data protection solutions. But, always be ready with the contingency plan during potential and unexpected recoveries.