Business disruptions can cost your company a lot of money and ruin the trust that clients have in your services. Some experts estimate that companies lose $5,600 for every minute of downtime. Creating a backup and disaster recovery plan, or BDR plan, will help you avoid those problems by giving you a chance to recover quickly.
Before you develop a BDR plan, consider which steps you should follow to match your business’s needs.
Identify the most important aspects of your business processes
Some aspects of your business processes matter more than others. For instance, losing all your client contacts would make it nearly impossible for you to recover quickly. Losing documents from several years ago, however, probably won’t interfere with your operations much.
Identify the information and processes that matter most to your business so you can establish them as priorities in your BDR plan.
Store crucial information in three places
At the moment, you probably store most of your business’s information on your office network. What would happen if a fire or malware destroyed those files? You would lose access to the data that makes your company successful.
You can protect your business by following the 3-2-1 backup rule. According to this rule, you need three places to backup your information. Two of those places are located in your office. You might want to add an onsite server that retains your information even when your network fails. For added protection, keep your server in a secure location away from your other devices.
You also need to backup data in one remote location. Typically, this means storing your data in the cloud. Even if your whole office gets destroyed, you’ll still have access to critical information stored in the cloud.
Automatically update your information to the cloud
Your BDR plan needs to include a cloud service that lets you automatically update your information throughout the day. A cloud provider that only updates once per day puts you at risk of losing work. Imagine losing access to the final touches of your latest report. You would have to spend a lot of time reorganizing your thoughts to finish the project again.
Cloud servers that automatically update throughout the day can protect you from sudden data loss. Instead of losing an entire day of work, you might just lose a few minutes. With such a small loss, your business can rebound almost immediately.
Focus on security to prevent disruptions and data loss
As hackers become more sophisticated, the role of cybersecurity has grown significantly. Today, even small businesses need to prioritize cybersecurity to protect themselves from malware, ransomware, and other attacks. Ransomware has become particularly disruptive, so make sure you partner with a company that knows how to combat this specific type of malware.
You have several options for improving your business’s cybersecurity. Some of the most important steps include:
- Updating operating systems and applications often.
- Encrypting files on your network.
- Restricting access to sensitive information.
- Monitoring your network activity.
- Training employees to avoid phishing attempts and the latest social engineering hacks.
If you don’t have an IT team that can guarantee these and other cybersecurity measures, then you should consider partnering with a managed service provider that can bring layers of protection to your network.
Make your offices more secure
Data loss and business interruptions don’t always happen because of illegal behavior. Damage to your offices could also force you to cease operations for several days or weeks. Make your building more secure to lower the risk that your offices and equipment will get damaged.
Some things you can do to make your offices more secure include:
- Adding more fire extinguishers throughout the facility.
- Installing an overhead fire system.
- Having a professional inspect the building for signs of water leaks.
- Restricting access to rooms that contain expensive equipment and sensitive information.
Review your business interruption insurance policy
A reliable IT team can improve your cybersecurity to make you an unlikely target for hackers. No amount of cybersecurity, however, can protect your physical property from damage. A fire, flood, or other damaging events could leave your offices, production facility, and warehouse unusable for months.
Temporarily relocating to a new location will help your business stay operational. You’ll lose a lot of money, though, while you put your new office together and rebuild the old one.
Having the right business interruption insurance policies can save you from significant loss. The best insurance usually includes policies that cover:
The amount of money it takes to repair or rebuild your facility.
- Equipment lost in the event.
- Lost income while your business can’t operate.
- Extra expenses like temporary offices and leasing necessary equipment.
A great insurance policy won’t stop interruptions, but it can make life a lot easier while you rebuild.
Creating a complete BDR plan that keeps your business data safe will take some time and effort. The peace of mind that you get, though, helps you focus on growing your building and protects you from data loss that could destroy all your hard work.