The time to think about disaster recovery is before you need it

Written on Oct 05, 2017

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA content manager

No business owner likes to imagine disaster striking their business, but they should do exactly that.

Should that day come, it’s critical to they have a recovery process in place, said Geoffrey Whidden, manager of network solutions at ‎Sikich, LLP.

DisasterWhen it comes to your company’s data, Whidden defined a disaster as the loss or unavailability of the primary data center location. When thinking about recovery, he said it’s important to consider how up-to-date your offsite data is and how fast can that come back into service.

“The IT part of disaster recovery is only one part of the solution,” he said. “You need a policy framework. So, if your site goes down and your data is saved, that’s great, but how is it going to be recovered? Who is going to communicate information, and how are they going to access it?”

Although regional disasters like a hurricane are important to prepare for if your company is located in an affected area, there are other ways for disaster to strike: fire, flooding and cybercrime could all impact your business.

The issue of disaster recovery has come to the forefront recently for two reasons, Whidden said: first, more people have heard horrors stories of businesses losing everything and don’t want that to happen to them.

“Second is the cost has come down substantially,” he said. “A full disaster recovery for a small organization could have been $100,000, now it’s a couple hundred dollars a month.

“What we’re seeing now is smaller businesses using cloud technology to create services that, traditionally, larger organizations would put into place,” Whidden said.

Whidden said one of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to disaster recovery is not testing their systems.

“Unless you’ve done a disaster recovery restore, you don’t have 100% confidence that the data is there,” he said.

Cyberattacks like ransomware are making people and businesses more vulnerable than ever.

“Organizations are at increased risk than they used to be, sometimes from very unknown and unexpected areas,” Whidden says. “But now costs have come down substantially, people should really start looking into disaster recovery.”

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