Disaster Recovery Best Practices for Small Businesses

When disaster strikes, your company needs to be ready. As the pandemic has shown in 2020, many small businesses were not ready for the scope and impact that a disaster may cause in terms of disruption and unavailability too critical systems and essential employees. Many small businesses were forced to scramble at the last minute to accommodate remote work solutions with the bare minimum preparation or experience to support continuity requirements. Small businesses should take into account the types of disasters that they may occur or impact their company. Here are a few key tips that companies large and small should prepare for to help navigate through an unplanned disaster.

The first and foremost tip all businesses should undertake is to have a documented disaster recovery plan sometimes called BCDR. A BCDR defines the critical steps for recovery procedures needed to ensure business continuity can be restored as quickly as possible to meet the critical objective points. At a bare minimum a small business should conduct a business impact analysis to determine which assets are the most critical and essential to support needed operations.

A small business should keep an up-to-date hardware and software inventory list which provides a complete listing of hardware and software applications in their priority order. This is essential to have documented to ensure that all assets are properly tracked and managed so that they could be replaced in the event of a disaster. In addition to the inventory listing a small business should have the vendor technical support contract information and phone numbers needed in order to quickly reach out for support in the event of a disaster.

Another good starting point for a small business is to properly define your maximum downtime and data loss. A recovery time objective is the maximum allowed time for critical operations essential to your business. You should define this time allotment to determine how long can you go without being able to perform business functions. A recovery point objective is the point at which essential operations are restored and you can resume critical operations. It is often only to determine that the recovery point objective align to the critical business functions that your small business performs. If you can recover only critical functions and resume other operations later rather than waiting on all operations to be restored this will help get you back in working order faster.

One of the other most practical disaster recovery practices is having an off-site or cloud based backup strategy. A small business should have a cloud-based backup solution such as AWS S3, Backupify, Google Drive, etc. to back up both company data as well as software applications that are required for the business. Modern operating systems provide built in cloud base backup support or provide agents that can be installed to automatically perform this function.

Disasters or unplanned emergencies can happen to any business. Our consultants at Grove have the right skills and technology experience to provide guidance and support in preparing a disaster recovery process tailored to your organization. Reach out to the folks at Grove today for a consultation.

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