IT disaster recovery

We have all been there. Our computer freezes just as we are about to click “Save” on an 80-page report. The Wi-Fi goes out right when we want to send an important update to our team. The fan on our laptop overheats and shuts down. We know the frustrations that accompany the technologies that make our lives so much easier.

For most of us, when we face any of the problems noted above, we quickly jump on the phone or fill out a service request for IT support. We believe that they are always able to find a magical solution to whatever the problem may be. And 99% of the time, they come through.

The Need for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning

While the IT “magicians” can somehow uncover files we thought were lost forever, we need to be realistic about what happens when our mobile device fails, or even worse, a company-wide IT disaster occurs. As a technologist, I understand the threats that face an IT infrastructure and realize that any number of these can take down an organization in seconds. It’s pretty disturbing, but there are actions that organizations should take to prevent incidents and streamline the recovery process if the worst occurs.

Preparing for a Catastrophe – on Multiple Levels

Since we were young, we have been taught to prepare for a disaster, even if the likelihood of occurrence is slim: fire drills, tornado exercises and lessons on surviving floods and hurricanes. These are still viable threats, but now, computers and technology bring a new one. Imagine the panic you would feel knowing your entire hard-drive has disappeared. Or that you can’t connect to your email. Now magnify that feeling by the number of people in your organization. That’s why businesses like our clients prepare for the worst by creating business continuity and disaster recovery plans. It’s also why they engage us as a “virtual CIO” or an independent “virtual CISO” responsible for keeping their network secure.

As a virtual CIO, we prepare our clients to implement business continuity planning for small interruptions and disaster planning in the event of a full-scale outage. Business continuity includes anticipating and mitigating drive failures or building redundancy into the network. Disaster recovery planning addresses how the organization recovers from complete server or network failure and specifies discrete recovery activities. Both plans help keep the organization’s technology footprint operational. From motherboard replacements, to keeping the Voice-Over Internet Protocol up and running, it is imperative that your organization’s IT team acts with efficiency and effectiveness to quickly return all critical IT assets to service.

3 Basic Steps to Take When Your Device Fails

As an employee, our various devices are critical for our productivity every day. We need them to work, or we don’t function at any level.

So, what should you do if you’re a non-IT employee? First, take a deep breath.

  1. Keep your supervisors apprised of all of the steps taken and required steps by the vendor or manufacturer.
  2. Document the process in its entirety.
  3. Inform IT decision makers of the issues and response received; purchasing decisions are made on factors other than just price.

3 Basic Steps to Prepare for Enterprise Failures

As CIOs and Directors of Security, we are responsible for this functionality across our organizations. And we’re required to ensure that the rest of the C-suite has confidence that we have it all under control. As leaders, instill assurance by adhering to these tasks:

  1. Document the organization’s Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans.
  2. Test the plans annually at a minimum, and preferably semiannually.
  3. Take the lessons learned from testing activity and update the plans, mitigating gaps and weaknesses identified before actual issues occur.

At the end of the day, don’t stress about the IT recovery process – unless your organization doesn’t have business continuity and disaster recovery plans in place.