4 Things You Need in Your Disaster Recovery Plan

Disaster Recovery Plan (1)

4 Things You Need in Your Disaster Recovery Plan


If you run a business, you probably know that disasters can happen at any time. Whether it’s a natural disaster like a fire, flood, or earthquake, or a human-made disaster like a cyberattack, ransomware, or Doris from accounts spilling tea all over the server, you need to be prepared for the worst.

But what does being prepared mean? How do you ensure that your business can survive and recover from a disaster without losing too much data, money, or reputation?

The answer is simple: you need a disaster recovery plan.

A disaster recovery plan is a document that outlines how your business will respond to and restore its operations after a disaster. It covers everything from backup and restoration procedures, to communication and escalation protocols, to roles and responsibilities of the incident response team.

A disaster recovery plan is not something you can create in a few minutes or hours. It requires careful planning, testing, and updating to make sure it works when you need it most. And trust us, you don’t want to find out that your plan is outdated, incomplete, or ineffective when disaster strikes.

So, what are the essential elements of a good disaster recovery plan? Here are four things you need to consider:

1. Your business objectives and priorities

Before you start writing your plan, you need to know what your business goals are and what processes and systems are critical to achieve them. You also need to define your recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO) for each process and system. RPO is the maximum amount of data you can afford to lose in a disaster, and RTO is the maximum amount of time you can afford to be offline. These metrics will help you determine how often you need to back up your data and how fast you need to restore it.

For example, if your business is an online store that sells products to customers around the world, you may have a very low RPO and RTO, because any data loss or downtime can result in lost sales, unhappy customers, and damaged reputation. On the other hand, if your business is a law firm that deals with confidential documents and contracts, you may have a higher RPO and RTO, because your data is more sensitive and your clients are more understanding of delays.

According to a study by IBM, the average cost of data breach in 2020 the average time to identify and contain a breach was 280 days. That’s a lot of money and time that you can save by having a clear and realistic RPO and RTO for your business.

2. Your backup and restoration strategy

Once you know your RPO and RTO, you need to decide how you will back up and restore your data and systems. There are different methods and technologies you can use, such as cloud storage, tape backups, or replication. You need to choose the ones that suit your budget, security, and performance requirements. You also need to specify where your backups will be stored, who will have access to them, and how often they will be tested and verified.

For example, if you use cloud storage, you can benefit from the scalability, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of storing your data in a remote location that is accessible from anywhere. However, you also need to consider the security and privacy risks of entrusting your data to a third-party provider, and the bandwidth and latency issues of transferring your data over the internet. Alternatively, if you use tape backups, you can enjoy the durability, portability, and affordability of storing your data on physical media that you can control and manage. However, you also need to deal with the complexity and inefficiency of retrieving your data from tapes, and the risk of losing or damaging your tapes in a disaster.

According to a survey of American businesses by Veeam, 95% of organisations experienced unexpected outages in 2020, and the average cost of downtime was $84,650 per hour. That’s a lot of money and hassle that you can avoid by having a robust and reliable backup and restoration strategy for your business.

3. Your communication and escalation plan

A disaster recovery plan is not only about technical aspects, but also about human aspects. You need to communicate clearly and effectively with your staff, customers, suppliers, and stakeholders during and after a disaster. You need to inform them about what happened, what actions you are taking, and what they can expect. You also need to establish an escalation process that defines who will be in charge of making decisions, who will be responsible for executing tasks, and who will be accountable for the results.

For example, if your business is hit by a ransomware attack that encrypts your data and demands a ransom, you need to notify your employees about the situation and instruct them to disconnect their devices from the network and report any suspicious activity. You also need to contact your customers and explain how the attack affects their orders and payments, and assure them that you are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. You also need to assign a leader who will coordinate the response team, communicate with the attackers, and tell them where to shove their demands (don’t actually do this. Please.)

According to a report by Coveware, the average ransomware payment in 2020 was $233,817, and the average downtime caused by ransomware was 21 days. That’s a lot of money and stress that you can reduce by having a clear and effective communication and escalation plan for your business.

4. Your risk assessment and mitigation plan

A disaster recovery plan is not a one-time project, but a continuous process. You need to regularly assess and update your plan based on the changing risks and threats facing your business. You need to identify the potential sources of disruption, their likelihood and impact, and the steps you can take to prevent or minimize them. You also need to conduct regular audits, reviews, and drills to ensure that your plan is effective and compliant with the best practices and standards.

For example, if your business is located in an area that is prone to natural disasters, you need to monitor the weather forecasts and warnings, and prepare for the possibility of evacuating your premises and relocating your operations to a safer location. You also need to review your insurance policies and contracts, and make sure you have adequate coverage and protection for your assets and liabilities. You also need to test your plan periodically, and simulate different scenarios and outcomes, and evaluate your performance and readiness.

According to a report by FEMA, 40% of small businesses never reopen after a disaster, and another 25% fail within a year. That’s a lot of failure and loss that you can prevent by having a regular and rigorous risk assessment and mitigation plan for your business.


These are the four basic components of a disaster recovery plan, but they are not the only ones. Depending on your business size, industry, and complexity, you may need to add more details and sections to your plan. For example, you may need to include a business continuity plan, which focuses on how to maintain your core business functions during a disaster, or a crisis management plan, which focuses on how to manage the public relations and reputation aspects of a disaster.

The bottom line is: you need a disaster recovery plan that is tailored to your specific business needs and challenges. And you need to create it as soon as possible, before disaster strikes.

If you need help with creating your disaster recovery plan, we have good news for you. We are offering a free disaster recovery plan and security audit for businesses that contact us today. We will help you assess your current situation, identify your gaps and vulnerabilities, and design a comprehensive and customized plan that will protect your business from any disaster.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact us now and get your free disaster recovery plan and security audit. You’ll be glad you did.