For many parts of the country, natural disasters are of great concern and among the leading causes of downtime. Natural disasters can often strike unexpectedly, causing major IT outages and service disruption. For this reason, if your region is susceptible to regular natural disasters, it is important to be prepared with a DR strategy.
The current threat and impact of hurricanes in the Atlantic has many companies scrambling for emergency disaster recovery solutions. And while many of them have been down this road before, major strides need to be made in the DR planning process. Here are 5 lessons that we have learned from hurricane season in the Atlantic:
1. Understand the Risks of a Hurricane to your Business
If your company should find itself in the path of a hurricane, it is important to consider the potential impact and risk you may face with regards to your on premises infrastructure and applications. Hurricanes are sure to cause downtime, and downtime means lost business and revenue. For this reason, consider conducting a risk analysis and developing a mitigation strategy to reduce the impact of downtime.
2. Prepare your Employees
Disaster recovery plans work to ensure that all personnel are on the same page with regards to handling the impact of natural disasters on your business. But even more important than the safety of your data is the well-being of your employees.
Hurricanes can affect your employee's ability to get to and from work, not to mention impact their safety while at work. Make sure that your employees understand your company's evacuation plan. Your company should also maintain an emergency supply of food and water, should your employees get stranded at work.
3. Test your Disaster Recovery Plan
One of the most important parts of creating a DR plan is putting it to the test. When a hurricane hits, you want to know your data is protected, not find out too late that your plan failed. Disaster recovery plans should be tested monthly to ensure optimal performance, and updates should be made accordingly.
4. Make Updates to your DR plan
Speaking of updates, DR strategies often change in accordance with the latest and greatest cyber security trends. Do not leave your company open to attack or vulnerable to natural disasters by failing to update your plan. Additionally, during the testing process, gaps in protection are often uncovered and changes should be made to apply additional protection.
5. Deploy a Geographically Redundant Backup Site
For businesses in the path of a destructive hurricane, one thing to consider is geographic redundancy. The 3-2-1 rule of backup states that a business should have 3 copies of data, on 2 different media with 1 being off site. When a disaster strikes your headquarters, having the 1 copy offsite becomes a lifesaver. However, this offsite backup should be located at least 500 miles away so that it is not affected by the same natural disaster.