What is a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)?

A Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is a documented, structured tactic that describes how an organization can quickly go back to work and operations after an unforeseen incident occurs. Having a DRP can be the difference between closing your doors for a week versus forever. Instances when an organization might need a DRP could include:

  • Power outage.
  • Natural disaster.
  • Malware or other cyber attacks.
  • Building disaster.
  • Regional or national disaster.

The discussion to follow shows some tips on how to develop an effective DRP and how they are beneficial.

Benefits of a DRP

  • Permanent data loss – without a DRP in place, an organization is at the risk of losing data which is vital to customer satisfaction and continued operations. A DRP will help to protect a business from internal and external threats. An example of how this can be done is with data backups being stored offsite or on the cloud.
  • Human error is inevitable – humans aren’t perfect, and mistakes are bound to happen. An accidental click, even from a cautious employee, can lead to important information being at risk.
  • Customer re-acquisition is expensive – earning and keeping customer trust and loyalty can be difficult. Taking precautionary measures to safeguard their information is therefore essential. IT disasters can cost thousands of dollars per minute, depending on the type of data loss. This can lead to customers being unforgiving in the event of data loss.
  • Costs – planning ahead saves the headache of unexpected and expensive recovery costs. This can save costs on having to hire costly professionals due to the urgency to quickly recover data.
  • Reputation damage – one of the worst risks an organization can face is unhappy customers spreading the word fast about their problems. This can negatively affect an organization’s ability to gain new customers, but also impact how existing customers feel.

Tips to Develop an Effective DRP

A DRP should incorporate with the organization to prevent downtime from disrupting the business continuity. This includes:

  • What data is needed for the organization to remain operational.
  • The locations from which the business would operate if the primary location becomes compromised.
  • Information on how you will communicate with your team during an emergency.
  • Specific response steps in case of a data breach or ransomware attack.

The below image provides a summary of how to develop an effective DRP.