Your Disaster Recovery Plan Fails: What Now?

Whether your business is large or small, you need to have a disaster recovery plan in place. Your disaster recovery plan is there to help you meet your IT requirements, even when the worst happens. For example, it may feature a way to access data during an extended power outage.

Unfortunately, disaster recovery plans can fail. If this has happened to you or if you want to prepare yourself for such an event, you need to know what to do next.

Identify why the plan failed

Identifying why your disaster recovery plan failed is important for two reasons. First, it gives you a better chance of preventing it from happening again. Second, you may find a way to pull back from the disaster and minimize losses for your business.

For example, if you relied on a piece of software you thought was infallible, you may want to consider additional backup plans in the future. You can also look at recovery techniques that could help you recover from some of the failures the software introduced.

Re-educate your workforce

According to Brigham Young University, “exploiting human error through social engineering” poses a bigger threat than malware. In other words, human error accounts for a lot of instances of data loss. With that in mind, it’s easy to see how human error could also result in a disaster recovery plan failure.

When your disaster recovery plan fails, investigate whether human error played a role. The aim of such investigations isn’t to penalize your workforce. Instead, it’s an opportunity to re-educate them and strengthen their IT knowledge. If necessary, consider increasing your managed IT services to prevent further errors.

Begin tackling financial losses

How your company will experience financial losses in the event of a failed disaster recovery plan will vary. For example, if you experience downtime because of ransomware, the losses may be equivalent to giving your business a day off. If you’re experiencing a data breach, you may incur fines, reputation damage, and a loss of business.

The costs of data breaches are especially steep. The average cost per breached record is $242. Identifying what your financial losses are and how high they could grow allows you to form a strategic approach with your management team. 

Look for alternative ways of working

When you put a disaster recovery plan in place, it usually contains ways for you to continue working even when a disaster hits. If it fails, you may find yourself looking for ways to keep your business going until you can address the situation.

Start by looking at the departments that will have the biggest impact if they don’t function. Examine whether tools such as the cloud could help your team temporarily regain control until everything returns to normal. In addition to preventing financial losses, you need to minimize inconveniences for your customers or clients. Finally, you need to look at how you can protect your organization’s reputation.

A failed disaster recovery plan doesn’t mean your business is doomed. While you try to regain control, make sure you analyze what went wrong. As you attempt to piece everything back together, focus on finding ways to learn from your experience and prevent a repeat of your mistakes in the future.