How to Protect Your Assets With a Disaster Recovery Plan

Disaster Recovery Plan

Your network, systems, and data must be accessible, functional, and efficient wherever and whenever needed. It seems obvious, but you might be surprised at how little thought some organizations give to the possibility of systems going down. If your internal — or worse, external — users can’t access your systems, your business is at risk. And that is why availability and disaster recovery plans are crucial to your company’s success.

The ultimate goal of availability management is to ensure that you’re always on.
Did You Know?
A comprehensive availability and disaster recovery plan includes strategies to provide a stable network and protect data from interception and loss during disasters — whether they are man-made or natural. Data lost to hackers or hurricanes can cost you dearly while damaging your reputation and exposing you to unnecessary financial and legal risks.
So what can you do to protect yourself?

Ensure Availability

Availability management is at the core of any IT service management plan and closely correlates with service value. Unrecoverable data loss can affect customers and employees and have severe repercussions for your organization, including lost revenue, a damaged reputation, and even litigation.

What can affect the availability of your data and systems?
  • Hardware Failure
  • Human Error (average cost: $3.5 million)
  • System Failure
  • Natural Disaster
  • Computer Virus (90% of malware has evolved to circumvent defenses)
  • Theft
  • Accidental Deletion
  • Power Outage (Downtime costs between $10k and $5M per hour on average)

Waiting for an incident to occur — or for regulatory bodies to force your hand on compliance — can be a costly mistake. Incidents of any type can disrupt your daily operations. Remediation and recovery can be expensive prospects. Any plan is better than no plan, and developing an availability and disaster recovery plan doesn’t have to be complex. Even a part-time information security officer can help you formulate one.

Creating an IT Disaster Recovery Plan

Developing a business disaster recovery plan should be integral to your information security program. A strategy for dealing with a cybersecurity incident is incomplete if it doesn’t include steps for maintaining system and data availability.

Did You Know? The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many organizations accustomed to brick-and-mortar workplace setups to adapt to remote working, operating in ways they’ve never experienced. This also exposed them to considerable amounts of new risk, or risk for which companies with existing availability and disaster recovery plans were unprepared.
Development of a robust IT disaster recovery plan will include the following three steps:
Analyze Business Impact

1. Analyze Business Impact

The first step in preparing for the worst is understanding exactly what the worst entails. What will happen to your organization in the event of a data breach? What about a natural disaster? Look at the big picture here. Don’t just focus on internal operations — consider every aspect of disruption for your business.

  • Review existing business continuity capabilities (if applicable)
  • Identify critical business functions and their dependencies
  • Estimate the impact of disruptions (operational, financial, legal, reputation, client goodwill, etc.)
  • Estimate the timeframe for recovery

2. Develop a Strategy

Once you’ve identified and prioritized your business-critical continuity systems, it’s time to work on protecting them (as well as other systems that depend on them). Understanding dependencies is vital here. If System A is critical to your operations, it must be protected. But if System A depends on System B, then System B must be equally protected.

Ensure your strategy includes necessary IT resources, security concerns, and data retention solutions.

Did You Know? You’ll need to weigh the costs of implementing new processes and systems against the potential costs (financial or otherwise) of leaving yourself less protected. Upfront costs can be difficult, but availability management problems can hurt you more in the long run.

3. Document Everything

The final step in creating your IT disaster recovery plan is documenting it. Every team member should understand precisely what to do if and when disaster strikes. (A cybersecurity governance plan can also help ensure different departments and team members know their responsibilities.

Consider including these elements:

Who should staff members contact in the event of a disaster? How should they communicate? Who is responsible for notifications or declarations?


What action should be taken and by whom? Include clear instructions for the recovery team, facilities management, and operations managers.

Ongoing Maintenance

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Keep plans and people fresh with regular reviews, drills, updates, and training.

We Understand Availability

At AISN, we understand that your organization needs security, performance, and reliability from a system that can be regularly serviced and carefully maintained to ensure you’re prepared for anything. If you’d like assistance developing or implementing an IT disaster recovery plan, our experts can help. Have other questions about availability or information security? Talk to us today.