Disaster Recovery Steps Everyone Should Take When They Experience an IT Crisis

05/03/2022 | by SandStorm IT

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If you’re reading this blog post, you may be in the middle of a disaster recovery crisis. Natural disaster. Ransomware attack. Hardware failure. Whatever the cause, you might be facing a serious threat to your business’s data and operations.

Or better yet, maybe you’re taking a proactive approach to your IT and drafting a disaster recovery plan, hoping for the best but, wisely, preparing for the worst.

Whatever your situation, IT disasters can have a significant impact on businesses. According to the US Department of Homeland Security, the ramifications of an IT disaster may include:

  • Lost sales and income
  • Delayed sales or income
  • Increased expenses
  • Regulatory fines
  • Contractual penalties or loss of contractual bonuses
  • Customer dissatisfaction or defection
  • Delay of new business plans

You may not be able to completely avoid all disasters, however, taking the correct disaster recovery steps can help your business navigate the storm and mitigate negative consequences.

Minimize the Impact through Disaster Recovery

As a business owner, you intuitively know that taking immediate steps to mitigate the problem can lessen these effects. Time is of the essence when it comes to disaster recovery, and you and your staff should take immediate steps to minimize the impact of the disaster.

Flood?

Minimize damage by moving assets away from water.

Ransomware attack?

Shut down the affected computer immediately.

Data breach?

Evaluate the source of the breach and take steps to further limit hacker access.

Always remember that at this stage outside disaster recovery services can be a crucial partner in this phase of disaster recovery. Whether it’s a fire/flood restoration company or an IT company – they can often help mitigate the damage or even recover your data.

Assess the Situation Based on Your IT Disaster Recovery Plan

Now that you’ve limited any further damage to your systems or loss of data, the next step in disaster recovery is to evaluate how bad the situation really is. Ideally, you’ll have a business continuity plan where you have taken the time to list all assets and locations of backups. A comprehensive continuity plan can make a huge difference in the disaster recovery process.

In the case of an online attack, if an up-to-date backup is in place, you might find that the situation can be remedied fairly quickly.

However, other disasters might involve significant physical damage to your hardware and physical location. If you have listed all assets in a disaster recovery and business continuity plan, you can efficiently go down the list and assess the condition of each item. This also speeds up an insurance claim and hardware replacement.

If you don’t have a business continuity plan, it’s never too late to put one in place. Even if a disaster has already happened, you can be better prepared for the next one. Whether you hire an IT disaster recovery service provider to help you make a plan or create one yourself, it’s an important step to take for your business. To read more about business continuity plans, the US Department of Homeland Security has provided a useful guide and training here.

Check Backup and Follow Disaster Recovery Procedures

Until you take a look at your backups, you won’t know the full extent of most disasters. Hopefully, your business has a backup plan in place so you can get back up and running as quickly and smoothly as possible. Efficient backup recovery with the least disruption to your business relies on up-to-date backups. If you’re not sure if your backups are happening often enough or correctly – you’re not alone. Many business owners are stressed that they’re not protecting their business’s data properly and may not have a disaster recovery plan. If you fall into that category, you may want to consider hiring a managed IT company to ensure proper backups and help you develop an IT disaster recovery plan template for your small business.

(Read more about information about disaster recovery solutions here.)

Communicate with Affected Parties

Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to a disaster recovery plan for a data breach. More than 280 million people had their data stolen as a result of data breaches in 2021. It’s a sad reality that customers typically have experience with this in our interconnected world, and appreciate transparency when it happens.

However, to maintain customer trust, it’s important to communicate the nature and the extent to which their data may have been compromised.

Evaluate Data Storage And Disaster Recovery for the Future

With every unforeseen catastrophe comes an opportunity: to learn and improve for the future. How could you improve your disaster response plan? The fact is that this event may have opened your eyes to some weaknesses in your backup system or recovery plan, but you may not be confident that you have the expertise to create a better plan. This might be a good time to bring in an IT disaster recovery service provider to help advise you on best practices moving forward.

Want to Protect Your Business from a Future Disaster? Take Our Assessment

Many business disasters are cybersecurity disasters, and at SandStorm IT, we’ve made it our business for more than 30 years to help organizations like yours in the Greater Memphis area (including Covington, Millington, Bartlett, and Arlington) manage and protect their technology. We’ve created a free cybersecurity assessment. In less than 5 minutes, you’ll learn how you’re doing and where your security plan needs improvement. Take the test now to determine whether your business is at risk so your crucial data is protected.

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