What Types of Organizations Need a Disaster Recovery Plan…and What Should It Entail?

Between malicious cyberattacks, human error, natural disasters, and infrastructure failures, organizations without a disaster recovery (DR) strategy run the risk of expensive downtime and unrecovered data. In the event of data loss, DR strategies and services enable organizations to quickly and reliably recover their essential information to get back to business. 

Having a strategy in place is not the catch-all solution, however. Many organizations fail to test their disaster recovery plans, which can leave its real-life effectiveness in question.

Which Organizations Need A Disaster Recovery Plan?

The short answer is every organization that handles data and applications. The long answer is that the need for a DR strategy varies by type of organization:   

Enterprises 

Enterprises handle countless amounts of mission-critical data and customer details on a daily basis. Without access to this information after data loss or a breach, businesses may not be able to keep working on projects, which could cost up to $5,600 per minute according to Gartner. Plus, any customer data that’s been leaked poses a huge threat to the trust of current and future customers. Beyond business continuity and data recovery benefits, having a strong DR plan in place ensures that companies are handling data securely to stay ahead of potential threats.   

Healthcare

The healthcare industry is the most targeted for cybersecurity attacks due to the sensitive patient data they handle. In addition to the cost of IT downtime, healthcare organizations also have to deal with expensive fines for HIPAA noncompliance. This law requires organizations to uphold three primary standards that protect patient data:

  • Data should be secure and inaccessible from unauthorized users
  • Data should remain intact for extended periods of time without interruption
  • Data should be retrievable at any given time without delay

As hospitals and other healthcare organizations become increasingly integrated with data and IT systems, a DR plan is essential to ensure patient information can be reliably retrieved and protected in the event of data loss. 

Governments

Government agencies transfer and store top-secret intelligence data, citizen data, and other sensitive information that is often the target of political or terrorist attacks. That’s why government agencies need to have access to essential public services, such as disaster response systems in the event of detrimental weather damage or other catastrophes. With a DR plan in place, government agencies can get back online as soon as possible to better assist citizens in need and recover sensitive information securely. 

Finance

Within the financial sector, institutions and organizations are required to meet stringent compliance requirements in an attempt to protect digital records and daily transactions. For a financial firm, a DR strategy helps them protect data in transit, prevent operational loss, and enable rapid recovery. 

What Should Leaders Look For in a Disaster Recovery Plan?

Businesses that work in a high-risk industry should already understand the need for disaster recovery or have an existing disaster recovery strategy in place. When developing or improving a DR strategy, consider leveraging the help of an experienced IT services provider that has the resources and expertise to support a robust plan.  

Managed DR services, including solutions such as Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS), are not all built the same. That’s why it’s essential to look for a provider who can:

  • Protect Company Data: Losing access to mission-critical data can set businesses back months and can even cause companies to shut down due to liability damages and lost productivity. 
  • Protect Customer Data: Organizations responsible for customer and client data must keep it safe to prevent losing customer trust and damaging company reputation.
  • Ensure Business Continuity: Time without mission-critical data directly impacts business productivity and creates expensive downtimes.
  • Uphold the “3-2-1” Backups Rule: The golden rule of data backups states that organizations should have three copies of data at all times—two stored on different types of media and one copy held off-site. 
  • Inspire Confidence: Since disasters are usually unpredictable, being able to trust that essential data can be accessed and recovered when they are needed helps businesses run smoothly.
  • Meet Reliability Needs: DR services should be dependable, up-to-date, and feature periodic recovery testing to prevent unsuccessful recoveries. 

The Power of Managed DRaaS Solutions

DRaaS solutions can reduce the workload of an internal IT team and can provide organizations with the peace of mind to know that existing DR plans will run successfully whenever disaster strikes. Key features of Managed DRaaS include: 

Per-Application Testing

When it comes to disaster recovery strategies, replicating the data can be the easy part. Some business approaches only copy data to off-site locations, limiting its effectiveness to site-wide failover capabilities. Modern DRaaS technology enables per-application automated testing and simulated outages to ensure the recovery will be successful and effective in a real-life scenario.   

Shifted Accountability To Application Owners 

By leveraging managed services, companies can shift the DR testing accountability from the internal IT department to specific application owners who are more equipped to ensure applications can perform as expected at the recovery site. 

Expert Guidance and Support

Tenured managed IT service providers are experienced in creating and monitoring off-site and recovery environments to ensure seamless data and application retrieval in the event of a catastrophic event. In addition, their team of experts can answer any questions businesses may have regarding their DR strategy and how to improve their existing infrastructure. 

Want to learn more about managed disaster recovery solutions? Download the guide: The Top 10 Questions You Need to Consider When Choosing a Disaster Recovery Provider or speak to an expert.