There are many things that can destroy a company’s network and data – such as a flood, fire, ransomware, or even human error. If this happens, will recovery be possible, and will your enterprise survive without an offsite backup service?
Our 3-minute self-guided questionnaire will help you evaluate your readiness for any disaster that results in loss of data. Some of these questions are a bit technical, so you might want to give them to a trusted I.T. administrator or MSP if you need help. The results might surprise you.
1. Does your enterprise use an offsite backup service to send data to a remote location on a regular (at least daily) basis?
Natural disasters can wreak havoc on your local computers and servers. That’s why it’s essential to use a backup service that sends the data offsite.
2. (If the answer to question 1 is yes) – Does your offsite backup service have redundant network connections, strong physical security, and an uninterruptible power supply?
Data centers are also susceptible to disasters, so powerful defenses are critical.
3. Will the backup encryption key(s) be accessible during a disaster?
It’s great if you’re performing regular backups, but you would also most likely need a personalized encryption key or password handy to initiate or complete recovery. Are these stored in a disaster-proof location? Will they be accessible to you or your trusted I.T. staff during a recovery situation? Can your enterprise reach its offsite data backup during an emergency?
4. Does your company have a business continuity plan in place?
Business continuity planning (which is sometimes called resiliency planning) refers to the process of creating prevention and recovery systems to mitigate and deal with potential threats to a business. Timely data recovery is a critical component of business continuity plans.
5. Do you have a system or program in place to inform all employees about an office closure or relocation during a disaster?
When disaster strikes, employees can work from their homes or at a replacement office, but will there be an easy way to reach them and tell them where to go?
6. If you need to perform a full-service disaster recovery of your applications and data, do you have an efficient way to let employees access your new servers?
If your servers are out of capacity, being able to recover your company’s applications and data onto replacement or temporary machines is half the battle. It’s also necessary to provide staff with an easy way to connect to these applications and data, from wherever they may be working, while your office is out of commission. A common mechanism is to provide all employees with VPN connections along with instructions on how to connect to the new servers. It’s also essential that employees have the right software to connect. For example, employees who use phones for their work will need to be able to connect via a mobile-friendly interface.
7. Does your company have a detailed disaster recovery playbook?
This playbook should incorporate things like disaster recovery management and escalation processes, full network diagrams and configuration details, a complete inventory of all applications and data, step-by-step system recovery and restore operations, a clear description of roles and responsibilities, and a communication plan.
8. Do you practice a full data recovery drill at least once a year?
Most networks have many moving parts, and they change over time. Even the most thoroughly crafted plan could turn out to fail in key areas, especially if it’s not tested regularly. The only way to ensure that your business disaster recovery plan works is to test it out on a regular basis.
9. When you perform a full recovery, can you satisfy your RTOs/RPOs?
It’s important to verify that you can meet all predetermined recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives during a significant outage or disruption. Recovery point objectives define the maximum period during which data can be acceptably lost due to a disaster. (For example, if wish to lose no more than a day’s worth of data, you will want to back it up once per day.) The recovery time objective refers to the maximum time it would take to recover the data.
10. Has your company allocated an ongoing budget for business continuity?
Managing your company’s business continuity requires regular time and commitment. Plans need to be revisited, playbooks updated and tested, and backup analytics need to be monitored on an ongoing basis.
So, How Did You Do?
If you answered “No” or “Not sure” to at least three of the questions, your business is most likely in serious risk of an overly lengthy interruption due to data loss – or worse.
Please note that our questionnaire is not exhaustive. Even if all of the answers are “yes,” you still might be at risk in some areas that we did not address. If you have any questions or would like to talk with our experts, please get in touch, and we would be happy to talk!