Given the ever-increasing number of malicious attacks in the world, companies need to implement disaster recovery policies to protect their sensitive data. They need to create a system that would ensure that their operations can go as planned if anything goes awry.

“The average damage caused by a data breach in 2023 was around 4.45,” warns IT Management Solutions, a Boston managed services provider. According to this service provider, this is a 15% increase compared to the year prior. In fact, the potential damages are so high that they’ve put numerous brands out of business.

To help you out, we’ve decided to create a list of best practices you should implement to protect your sensitive data. By relying on them, you’ll be less susceptible to external attacks.

1.   Get on the Same Page

One of the main reasons why data breaches are so deadly is because companies don’t know how to react to them. Top brass and IT experts can’t find common grounds regarding this question, especially when it comes to RPO and RTO (Recovery Point Objectives and Recovery Time Objectives).

To tackle the issue, the entire corporation has to be on the same page. Management needs to create a disaster recovery plan in council with IT experts, outlining the priorities. This will not only allow faster reaction times, but it will also minimize the damage to the data.

2.   Strategize in Advance

In this day and age, disaster recovery plans are some of the most important documents for companies, especially those that are heavily reliant on digital transactions. A solid plan covers all eventualities while also assuming the worst-case scenario. You should specifically focus on three key points:

  • What kind of impact can your workforce have in case of a malicious attack?
  • Does your plan work in a vacuum, or can you integrate it with other procedures?
  • How often do you update your disaster recovery plans?

In an ideal situation, your staffers will know exactly how to react to every hazard. They will be flexible enough to tackle any challenge and minimize damages to the company. Furthermore, your plan should be comprehensive and include everyone’s expert opinion. Lastly, make sure to update your plans every once in a while to encompass new dangers.

3.   Replicate Your Data

Nowadays, it’s much easier to save your data on various devices. This is especially true if we consider that companies are turning to SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS solutions. You’re no longer dependent on your own infrastructure for backup, as you can utilize other companies’ hardware to save your documents.

Even if you save data on the cloud, it’s still recommended that you create personal, physical copy from time to time. You can use external drives to save your most important documents or utilize various third-party servers and infrastructure, on top of what SaaS providers offer you.

4.   Automate Data Recovery

Automating disaster recovery procedures makes your life that much easier. Furthermore, if and when you’re targeted by a malicious attack, you don’t have to rely on your staff to protect the company’s documents. Instead, you can utilize automatic systems to protect your data and mitigate the damages.

All you need to figure out in this situation is how much you should rely on software for automation. While you can also employ your staff to help out, they can make costly mistakes that will lose you relevant business files.

5.   Protect IT Systems

Perhaps the most important thing during disasters and external attacks is protecting off-site and on-site systems. Many companies make the mistake of leaving their backup on the same premises as their main documents. So, when they experience a complete shutdown and loss of data, they lose data from both sources simultaneously.

The best way to tackle this potential issue is by having several sets of copies in different places. IT experts commonly recommend that you follow the “3, 2, 1” rule. In other words, you need to have 3 sets of copies, which are placed in 2 types of storage media, with 1 copy being stored outside the original premises.

6.   Test Your Disaster Recovery

Just because you’re using the best software, infrastructure, and policies doesn’t mean that your disaster recovery procedure is bulletproof. Managers have to perform complete testing of their disaster recovery to ascertain whether their system works.

Keep in mind that disaster recovery IT isn’t a static environment. Like many other things, it is subject to periodic changes, which causes additional issues. The good practice is to test individual servers every couple of days. Similarly, you should perform full environment testing every few weeks.

Ideally, the disaster recovery testing should be fully automated so you avoid errors and get more complete feedback.

7.   Implement Data Security Practices

Security is vital, especially when we talk about mission-critical workloads. When assessing your policies and software, you should answer the following questions:

  • Are my data centers secure enough?
  • Is data encrypted during transfer and rest?
  • Do I have the right certifications to match industry compliance?
  • Is my technology updated and relevant?

By checking all these boxes, you can rest assured your data and systems are well insulated from external hazards and threats. Make sure to introduce newer and better solutions when they’re available and perform regular checkups so that everything works as intended.

Conclusion

If you want to get the most from data backup and disaster recovery practices, you need to think well in advance. Your company needs to create a wholesome strategy, in partnership with the IT department, that will cover all the eventualities. Most importantly, you need to assign roles for team members and teach them how to reach in different situations.

If you don’t want to invest in resources and employees, you have another good option – hire a DR services provider. These companies specialize in data backup and disaster recovery and can easily manage various hazardous situations.