10 Disaster Recovery Tips (inspired by Talk Talk….Morrisons….Marks and Spencer…)
It seems this week has been a never ending cyber embarrassment for our top companies. When big business are subject to cyber attacks or “glitches” (or whatever you want to call them) online safety moves to the forefront of everyone’s mind. Indeed recently the BCI released their poll of top ten business concerns and cyber attack has found its way to the top spot. Regardless of the size of your business, the onus is on you to ensure your customers are protected from data theft or fraud.
As a business owner it’s not just malicious attacks and incompetence you need to worry about. There are many other risks to business data and continuity.
Cofficient are quite well placed to comment on this since one of our clients was recently affected by a large scale fire at their physical location. Thankfully they had recently deployed a new cloud based ERP system – SAP ByD – which meant their business was affected little as staff could log in to their ERP account from any location. Crucially, their business infrastructure wasn’t affected. From a disaster recovery perspective, they were absolutely covered since all their IT “stuff” was hosted in the cloud.
Here are 10 disaster recovery and business continuity tips:
1- There is no one “perfect” plan for disaster recovery. Every business is unique so ensure your plan reflects the uniqueness of the business.
2- Consider making more than one plan; after all, there is more than one kind of threat. From natural disasters to manmade threats and cyber attacks, each carries its own risk which might need to be considered individually.
3- But make sure you deal with all three measures – detective, preventative and corrective. Your plan should aim to swiftly identify risks and have some mitigating steps which ought to prevent disaster – for example, keep your data off site or in the cloud; hold regular training sessions for staff; use up to date fire safety equipment (how long has it been since you recharged your fire extinguishers?)
4- Identify who will be responsible in the event of a disaster. Create a team of experts who are well briefed and can be quickly mobilised in the event of any kind of large scale disruption. If possible get them to contribute to the plan
5- Sense check all your insurance policies. Some insurers will cover things such as business downtime but will look favourably on businesses who have mitigated the risk of downtime. For example, using a cloud based business software which minimises downtime in the event of a disaster might be a factor in reducing the cost of premiums
6- Think about what data you need to protect. What’s important to you? You might want to save your customer or prospect list, it might be inventory or suppliers or maybe important document such as insurance policies. Figure this out and include in your back up plans.
7- If you aren’t already, think about getting an accreditation from British Standards Institution (BSI) who have an independent standard for Business Continuity Planning (BCP). It covers all sectors and industry and will provide a best practice framework for you to follow
8- Test your plan. It’s no use having it on paper if you haven’t tested the practicalities of it. This will also help secure buy in from staff. Believe it or not, the disaster could end up being poor organisational acceptance
9- Learn from other incidents. Smaller incidents like a practice fire alarm, bad weather or sickness will help you to identify weaknesses in your business.
10- Keep revising your plan. Your business will change over time and so your plan has to change too. A disaster recovery or business continuity plan which is no longer fit for purpose, is no longer fit for purpose.
Written by Emma Stewart Sales & Marketing Director at Cofficient