What’s Your Coronavirus Disaster Data Recovery Plan?

A useful guide on how to set up a disaster data recovery plan during this COVID19 crisis. Learn the basics of data recovery planning, structure, and factors to consider. It's a data recovery plan for SMB's!

By Linda J
By Linda J
Last Modified April 20, 2020
Table Of Content
What’s Your Coronavirus Disaster Data Recovery Plan?
  • How is the Coronavirus Pandemic Affecting Businesses
  • Importance of a Foolproof Disaster Data Recovery Plan
  • Things to Consider in Setting Up a Disaster Data Recovery Plan
    • Initiative
    • Inventory of Physical and Digital Assets
    • Disaster Data Recovery Team and Backup Personnel
    • Data Backup and Backup Checks
    • Risk Assessment and Determining Disasters
    • Alternative Business Location
    • Communication
    • Regular Tests and Updates
    • Data Continuity Plan
    • Organizing Data and Documenting a Written Plan
  • Types of Disaster Recovery
    • Cloud-based Disaster Recovery
    • Data Center Disaster Recovery
    • Network Disaster Recovery
    • Virtualization Disaster Recovery
  • Business Continuity Plan

Disaster data recovery is the ability to access important information during disasters. For businesses, we are talking about business data that is crucial to operations. Businesses today rely heavily on Information Technology. So, when data loss happens, it can be catastrophic. Data loss can cripple the whole operation. 

Data loss is common during calamities. It is very costly. 

This is why disaster data recovery is very important. It can help a company to recover quickly. It will also help ensure business continuity.

The coronavirus has forced the world to a standstill. Businesses are closed. People are forced to stay home. Communities are on lockdown.

Destruction of property, data corruption, and network outages are just some of the problems that may not be able to be addressed right away. 

Health and community safety is the main priority. So when data loss and happens, companies feel helpless. 

This is why a solid disaster data recovery is crucial. You need to have an effective and efficient data recovery plan in place and review it periodically to ensure it meets current and future issues and needs. 

A disaster data recovery plan is essential to restore your business operations during and after a disaster. 

You want your business to bounce back as quickly as it can while minimizing your financial and operational losses.

A disaster data recovery plan is similar to a business continuity plan or BCP. A BCP is an alternative plan to keep the business running by using other tools and locations when serious compromises happen.

How is the Coronavirus Pandemic Affecting Businesses

The coronavirus has left us in a state of panic. 

It came like a tornado, without warning and has wreaked havoc in every corner of the world. No one is exempted. 

It spread like wildfire and has claimed tens of thousands of lives so far. 

Rich or poor, COVID-19 doesn’t care

Many businesses are feeling the economic impact already, with most having to close doors until further notice.

Companies are losing money and every day it is getting worse. Employees cannot go to work so no one is onsite to address hardware issues. 

When it comes to IT and data-related issues, there is a heightened sense of anxiety. This is because no one was ready for the coronavirus pandemic.

Unless you have a good disaster data recovery strategy in place, things like data corruption and server failure can spell catastrophe.

To big organizations, the loss could mean millions. To the smaller businesses, it could mean indefinite closure.

Disaster data recovery will help your business get back to normal operations as quickly as possible with only minor interruption. This will save your company valuable time and money. 

Data loss can be harder for smaller businesses who may have fewer resources to employ when disaster strikes, so they must adopt a good disaster data recovery plan.

Importance of a Foolproof Disaster Data Recovery Plan

Importance Of A Foolproof Disaster Data Recovery Plan | Ttr Data Recovery

Big or small, all businesses need a foolproof disaster data recovery plan. This is important to minimize the negative effects of the coronavirus and any future disaster that might strike. You should have a documented and highly structured approach. 

The first step is to identify mission-critical IT systems and networks. They will be the focus of the plan. 

This will be easier for small and medium enterprises, but a bit more complex for larger companies.

The next step is to figure out the desired recovery time. This is the timeframe for the whole data recovery process. The idea is to identify the maximum amount of time acceptable for data loss to continue before mitigating.

The next step is to create a detailed outline. 

Put in writing every step needed to be taken, including troubleshooting, reconfiguring, recovering, and rebuilding your systems and networks.

Things to Consider in Setting Up a Disaster Data Recovery Plan

Things To Consider In Setting Up A Disaster Data Recovery Plan | Ttr Data Recovery

Initiative

This is the most important step. Nothing will happen if no one initiates. 

If you noticed that your company does not have one, suggest it. Make sure your company has a good disaster data recovery plan in place. 

Take the lead in proposing one. if there is one in place, take the initiative to check if it is updated. Make sure that the one you have will be effective in case something happens.

Inventory of Physical and Digital Assets

Make a detailed list of your assets and service departments. Determine the hierarchy based on their impact on business operations. 

This should include software, hardware, departments, and people.

You cannot recover data all at once during disasters. Prioritize mission-critical data that is important to restoring business operations and ensuring business continuity.

Disaster Data Recovery Team and Backup Personnel

Having a disaster data recovery team is important too. You need people who have a thorough knowledge of your IT Infrastructure. 

They should also be familiar with the daily flow of operations. 

Establish the roles of each member. Be clear on the steps they each need to take during implementation. They must be able to coordinate with each other. 

Create a backup data recovery team. 

In case one of your original team members is unable to perform their duty, someone else will be able to take over. You need the backup team to be as ready as the main hard drive recovery service team.

Data Backup and Backup Checks

Backing up your data is very important. Backing up your backup is recommended. Having data backups will ensure quick and easy hard drive data recovery. Create a detailed list of all company data and their location. Document everything. 

A backup is just one aspect of the disaster data recovery plan. 

Other factors are needed for your disaster data recovery to be successful. Data backup is simply duplicating the data. Make sure it is safe and secure.

Risk Assessment and Determining Disasters

Your disaster recovery strategy should include a  list of possible disasters and outbreaks. It can be man-made or natural disasters. 

List down the procedures that the company needs to take when one hits. 

For example, the coronavirus outbreak has put everything on halt, so people and organizations are on lockdown. You should put together a detailed procedure in dealing with the outbreak and assigning individuals who can address the issue since not everyone can jump in to help.

The risk assessment will determine each possible disaster or outbreak and the impact it will have on your business. It should also include the estimated time of recovery for every situation.

Alternative Business Location

In the case of a lockdown, like what is happening today, you must have a backup location that you can use so you can resume operations. 

This is also applicable to natural disasters and calamities.

The alternative or offsite location can be temporary that will allow the company to recover and regroup with the use of minimal equipment and human resources. This can also be a permanent location in case the main location is destroyed. 

This is a vital component of a successful disaster data recovery strategy.

Communication

During calamities, outbreaks, and natural disasters, communication is key. You need a complete list of contacts that are vital to the resumption of operations and business continuity.

The list should include names, phone numbers, emails, and other means of communication. 

The list should not be limited to people within the organization but should include vendors that are vital to operations like software and hardware vendors, internet service provider, and your data recovery partner agency.

A good disaster recovery strategy should allow easy communication to important personnel, stakeholders, and third-party vendors and suppliers.

Regular Tests and Updates

A reliable data center disaster recovery plan undergoes regular testing and updates. This should be done regularly because the disaster data recovery plan will be useless if it is not up to date.

Software is updated constantly, so should your recovery plan.

Schedule practice drills with your recovery team and make surprise drills every now and then. This is critical to ensure that your strategy is effective and efficient.

Data Continuity Plan

When planning a good disaster recovery strategy, you should list the vital resources needed to run the operations of the company. 

This may include financial factors, supplies and shipment, vendor communication, and customer relations. 

You must have detailed documentation to refer to when you are rebuilding your business after a calamity. This will allow a smoother and faster transition.

Organizing Data and Documenting a Written Plan

The key to all these is a solidly written document that details every aspect of the disaster data recovery plan. It should be well-written, clear and concise. It should also be accessible to key personnel so the plan can be implemented effectively.

Types of Disaster Recovery

Types Of Disaster Recovery | Ttr Data Recovery

Cloud-based Disaster Recovery

Using the Cloud for data storage is less expensive and more convenient. The Cloud is one of the most secure data storage options today. 

It is less expensive than using data storage hardware. You will save time, money and space for a recovery site. This is a popular disaster data recovery option.

The cloud can be accessed anywhere at any time by your recovery team. No equipment, hardware or software needed because everything is taken care of by the service provider.

Data Center Disaster Recovery

A data center includes the whole facility itself, the utilities used, and the people needed to make sure that the data is safe and secure. Having a data center that will hold vital company data that will remain safe in case of unforeseen events is very important. 

This can be costly, needs software and physical security, and high maintenance.

Network Disaster Recovery

This oftentimes includes having designated personnel for IT purposes, having backup equipment in case replacement is needed, and many others.

For example, with the coronavirus outbreak, vendors and suppliers may be closed. This is when your network disaster data recovery plan comes in. Backup equipment or a designated person will come in handy in case of an emergency.

Virtualization Disaster Recovery

Oracle, VM, and Microsoft Hyper-V are just a few examples of good virtualization software. This is convenient because it eliminates the use of physical servers which takes up space, is costly, and needs regular maintenance.

Business Continuity Plan

Business Continuity Plan | TTR Data Recovery

It is not enough to just get your business up and running during and after a crisis, it is also important to plan a continuous business operation. It should include the following:

      • Threat or Risk Matrix – Identify all risks and threats the company may face and a  procedure on handling each risk or threat.
      •  Critical Processes – Identify the key processes that are vital to the continuous operation of your business. These are processes that, if not included, will stop or jeopardize regular operations.
      •  Backup Facilities – Your employees should know when and where to use your backup facility in case of an emergency.
      • Contact Information – This will be a complete list of all employees, shareholders, important vendors, suppliers, legal, insurance, and financial contacts and their corresponding contact information.
      •  Disaster Recovery Systems – You must have disaster data recovery systems in place in case operations fail. Partnering with a data recovery agency is a good way to mitigate the risk.
      • Software Inventory – Determine the software that is vital to operations and back them up.

With our growing dependence on Information Technology, we are at the mercy of reliable disaster data recovery plans in case of unforeseen events. 

It is important to take a closer look at your organizational structure, your key processes in operations, and key personnel.

Planning a disaster recovery strategy takes time and money. 

It can be a daunting task, but one that needs to be done. For some that do not have the time to create a solid disaster data recovery plan, you can get expert help to ensure that your business is secure.

Call TTR Data Recovery today to talk about how we can partner with you as part of your disaster data recovery plan. In need of disaster data recovery now? 

Ask us about our emergency data recovery service options. 

At TTR Data Recovery, we’re standing by during these troubling times to assist you with all your data recovery needs. Call us 24/7.