Steps to Reliable Disaster Recovery

Being unprepared for a disaster is an absolute disaster. It could be manufactured, like Ransomware, a data breach, fire, earthquake, flood or pandemic. The most crucial factor is to keep your business running. That is why a solid Backup/Disaster Recovery (BUDR) plan MUST be in place.

Are you prepared before a disaster happens?

Do you have a written Disaster Recovery Plan in place?

If so, have you tested it to ensure you can trust it?

How often do you test it? When was the most recent test?

With your current data Backup system, how long does it take to recover?

How long can your business afford to be down?

Have you measured the financial cost of downtime for your business? What is it?

Is there an offsite copy of your Recovery Plan in a physical disaster?

For a comprehensive description of the three levels of backups, please look here:

Local Backup

Cloud Backup

Cloud-to-Cloud Backup

Once a disaster has occurred: What do you do?

  1. Stop and Think.
  2. A Fire is different from a Cyber-attack. Take a minute to fully grasp the nature of the emergency and how it will affect your business.
  3. a) Is your entire system down, or is the issue localized?
  4. b) Have your files been compromised? Deleted? Inaccessible? Or is the system just down?
  5. Set your Goals for Recovery.
  6. A BUDR plan (Backup/Disaster Recovery) is more encompassing than a simple backup routine. Know and think through your steps to recovery.
  7. a) What happens first? Restoration of the system or the data? Which is the faster method for you?
  8. b) Prioritize the crucial elements of your system and tasks needed for recovery.
  9. c) What point do you restore from? Date and time.
  10. d) Estimate how long the recovery should take.
  11. Establish the most efficient steps.
  12. The order in which you address the following will impact your recovery time. Know the best path forward. Which do you do first?
  13. a) Restore files.
  14. b) Local virtualization.
  15. c) Offsite virtualization
  16. After recovery to a virtualized system, take nothing for granted.
  17. Once recovery is verified, take a roll call with your users to ensure everyone has gotten back what they need.
  18. a) Test your network for full connectivity.
  19. b) Have all users verify they can access all applications and resources.
  20. Restore the original system.
  21. If you do restore the original, which process is best?
  22. a) A bare metal restore?
  23. b) Or a virtual machine restore?
  24. Final Assessment
  25. Once the issue is solved, look closely at everything that happened.
  26. a) How well did your team perform?
  27. b) What could you have done differently?
  28. c) What caused the disaster and system failure?
  29. d) What issues were revealed that need to be addressed?
  30. e) What improvements could be made to your response to the failure?