The Benefits of Disaster Recovery Planning

Disaster Recovery Process

Introduction

This is a business owner’s worst nightmare:  Everything seems to be going well for a long period of time, and then all of a sudden, a disaster strikes such as COVID19, impacting your operations, your employees, and your customers.  

But given just how interconnected everything is today, there are also indirect parties that are all impacted as well, which include your suppliers and distributors, shareholders, families, contractors, any external third parties that you may outsource work to, your advisory board, and even the board of directors.

Depending upon the magnitude of the disaster, it could take an exceptionally long time to recover, and the need to come back to life as quickly as possible is of course of the utmost importance.  But how does one go about this?  This is of course no easy task to accomplish, but the process all begins with a very carefully crafted plan that can be launched and executed in just a matter of minutes.

Given the totally new Cyberthreat Landscape of today, CIOs and CISOs are now starting to fully understand the importance of having a Disaster Recovery (DR) Plan as part of a larger Business Continuity Strategy.  For instance, one just never knows when they will become the victim of the next Cyberattacker, no matter how large or small it is.  

The Benefits of a Disaster Recovery Plan

Apart from restoring your mission critical processes up in a short of period of time, a well-documented Disaster Recovery Plan has other numerous benefits as well, which include the following:

Your organization will achieve greater cost efficiencies:

For example, before you can even engage in creating a Disaster Recovery Plan, you must first complete what is known as a “Business Impact Analysis”, also known as a “BIA” for short.  It is defined as:

“A business impact analysis (BIA) is the process of determining the criticality of business activities and associated resource requirements to ensure operational resilience and continuity of operations during and after a business disruption. The BIA quantifies the impacts of disruptions on service delivery, risks to service delivery, and recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs). These recovery requirements are then used to develop strategies, solutions and plans.”1

In other words, you are mapping out those IT assets that are at risk if and when a Cyberattack actually occurs and quantifying that level of risk.  From there, they will then be categorized such as:

  • High Risk;
  • Medium Risk;
  • Low Risk.

By ascertaining this, you and your IT Security team will know which and how much of resources need to be dedicated to protecting those IT Assets that are at most risk, thus resulting in an efficient spend of a tight IT budget.

An increased level in worker productivity:

Believe it or not, a good Disaster Recovery Plan can actually improve the morale of your workforce, which will in turn increase their productivity levels.  For example, when creating it, you will be assigning your employees various tasks that they must do in the face of a Cyberattack.  Knowing that they are making a positive impact in this fashion will only strengthen their belief that they are actually contributing to a greater good of the company, other than simply doing their daily job tasks.

A happier customer base:

Because of all of the new Cyberthreats that are coming out, as well as their variants, customers are becoming much more cautious in regard to opening any emails that they receive, the links they click on, and even the websites that they visit.  For example, although Phishing remains one of the oldest attack vectors that is in existence, many Cyberattackers are still using it in order to covertly hijack the Personal Identifiable Information (PII) of unsuspecting victims.  In other words, your customers want to know that they as a business owner, that you are taking every precaution possible to protect their respective PIIs.  By demonstrating to them that you have a solidified Disaster Recovery Plan in place, this will only bolster their confidence to stay with you as customers and bring in repeat business.  It means that they feel safe and comforted knowing that in the unfortunate chance you are impacted by a Cybersecurity attack, there are plans in plans in place so that their PII will not, as far as possible, fall into the hands of a Cyberattacker.

You will have a better sense of scalability:

After completing your Business Impact Analysis (BIA) as previously described, you and your IT Security team will have a much greater understanding of the types of resources that will be needed to protect them.  Some of these resources will be either based On Premises, or in the Cloud, or perhaps even a combination of both.  Having such resources with the latter will offer your organization a much greater realization of scalability.  For example, you can ramp up or ramp down very quickly those resources, when an IT Asset changes a risk category.  For example, if a “High Risk” asset becomes downgraded to a “Medium Risk” categorization, those resources that were dedicated before can be scaled down to meet the new requirements very quickly.  This will also help your organization in realizing greater cost efficiencies as well.

Conclusions

Overall, this article has examined the importance and benefits of having a solid Disaster Recovery Plan in place.  A future article will examine the components of it.  The next important document is the Business Continuity Plan.  

This spells out in detail how you plan to bring up your mission critical operations within the shortest timespan possible.  But it also serves another focal point as well:  How to deploy your next remote workforce quickly and seamlessly, given the fact that COVID19 will be around for quite some time yet to come.

This will also be the focal point of a future article.

Sources

  1. https://www.gartner.com/it-glossary/bia-business-impact-analysis