You’re listening to the 5 o’clock news when you hear those dreaded words—Hurricane forming in the Gulf of Mexico projected to make landfall at category 4 strength. This was the reality for those living in the Houston area in August 2017. Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast and locked itself into place over Houston, causing catastrophic flooding and billions of dollars in damages. At the end of 2019, another crisis emerged with the spread of COVID-19 across the globe. In 2021, Texans were hit with a historic winter ice storm known as Winter Storm Uri. The February freeze caused statewide power outages and rolling blackouts for days. All too often, individuals and businesses await disastrous impacts unprepared and without proper protocols in place. Although we can’t control acts of nature, there are certain steps you can take today to prevent data loss or IT infrastructure failure when the outward environment turns disastrous. In this post, we’ll cover the four things your business can’t live without when it comes to disaster preparedness and recovery.
What is Disaster Recovery and Why is it Important?
Disaster recovery is a strategy that helps businesses plan for catastrophic situations so they can protect their IT infrastructure (servers, hardware, network devices, routers, switches etc.) during a natural or manmade disruption. It’s an essential component of both business continuity (BCP) and disaster recovery plans (DRP). We dive into the difference between these two types of plans here.
Disaster Recovery and Hybrid Work
No plan would be complete without accounting for the hybrid work environment. With many teams working remotely, thoughtful planning must take place to ensure the safety and needs of both employers and employees working beyond company walls. While remote work comes with many benefits such as increased flexibility and better work-life balance, it also poses security and business continuity concerns. With team members working at home, on the road or in shared workspaces, cybersecurity and disaster preparedness are top priorities that need to be addressed.
Devices and Tools Ready to Save the Day:
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
While challenges will arise in any work environment, there are tech tools ready to save the day no matter if the sun is shining or rain clouds come rolling in. First up is the uninterruptible power supply, or “UPS” for short. UPS devices first emerged as early as 1934 and are used across many industries, anywhere with computers and servers. This nifty power unit serves as a battery backup and provides emergency backup power to your systems when the electricity goes out, keeping you up and running anywhere from several minutes to several hours depending on the wattage and connected load. During an outage, a UPS will keep internet access, give you enough time to save your work and act as a surge protector, although not its primary function.
Protect your Business with Multiple Backups and Test Them
We’ve all heard the phrase “back up your data”, yet it somehow gets moved to the bottom of the to-do list. These days companies and consumers can store their data on-premises, in off-site locations and in the cloud. Utilizing cloud storage is a reliable way to back up data. With dependable services such as Microsoft SharePoint, OneDrive, Google Drive and Drobox you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that your data is encrypted and secure. If your company headquarters ever experienced a natural disaster or cyber-attack, having multiple backup solutions will help preserve your important data. Once you have your critical data backed up, take time to test your backups regularly to confirm your data is being copied over correctly. After all, data is not truly backed up unless it can be restored. Performing routine test restores (backup testing) will ensure your backup solution is working as intended.
Reliable Communication Plan
When disaster alarms sound, it’s all hands on deck. Clear communication and preparation are key when disaster strikes. From coordinating emergency protocols and implementing your contingency plan to contacting employees, clients and partners it’s crucial to maintain clear lines of communication. As you devise a plan identify alternative forms of communication and make sure employees, clients and partners know where to go for updates. Whether it’s through email or your company’s social media channels, it’s important to update your audience before, during and after the incident.
Don’t Go it Alone—Call the Experts
Having a DRP, BCP and communication plan on hand along with a trusty UPS device and cloud backup solution will help keep your data safe and ease anxiety during trying times. IronEdge Group specializes in keeping business IT systems secure so you and your staff can rest easy knowing that your technology infrastructure is being monitored and supported 24-hours a day—no matter what the weather forecast looks like.