• Anthony Jett

What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

Regardless of what image the word disaster conjures for you, perhaps a flooded office or a ransomware attack, all businesses need a plan to respond. The last thing you want to be faced with during an actual disaster is a team of people without direction, trying to haphazardly figure out what to do. Foregoing the crucial step of developing a disaster recovery plan will result in wasted time, effort, and resources. Guaranteed.

But what exactly is a disaster recovery plan? A disaster recovery plan can change based on what it is designed to recover from, natural disaster versus cyber attack, but the goal is the same. A thoughtful, organized, and well-rehearsed plan that outlines which steps to take during a disaster, who to call, and which actions to prioritize. For example, your plan should include a map of your network and an inventory list that prioritizes each piece of equipment based on its operational criticality. A solid plan will address the timing for each recovery action, from initial on-site deployment, to the crafting of a media message. For context, the disaster recovery plan template that MeriTec prepares for our clients starts at 20 pages in length and contains 38 sections. This is the blank template before MeriTec tailors the plan to each client.

If you search for "disaster recovery plan templates" you will find many free examples that are solid places to start, TechTarget has a good template. There are really no downsides to developing your own plan, but three things to consider. First, they are very involved and require a considerable time investment to do them correctly. Again, it cannot be stressed enough that this document may be the difference between whether or not you successfully recover from a disaster. Second, it is important to have individuals with experience involved in the plan drafting. There are a lot of nuances that need to be built into a plan that may be overlooked if you haven't crafted one before. Lastly, you must practice your plan. Make sure that all necessary employees and external partners have a copy of the plan and then practice it. Take it slow and steady, walking through each moment of a disaster and what each person will do. This is the time to make sure all questions are answered and your plan is modified if necessary (it will be necessary).

Crafting a disaster recovery plan may seem daunting but with the right partner it doesn't have to be. There are plenty of resources available to help, and you could always partner with MeriTec Services! Our team of experts will develop and test a fully tailored plan for your business and be there for you if disaster strikes.

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