What is Disaster Recovery Testing?

Posted by Tom Burt on Mon, Dec 18, 2017 @ 3:43pm

Disaster Recovery Testing is the process of going through each and every essential piece of a business or organization’s disaster recovery plan. The goal is to ensure that the existing is thorough enough to ensure that the business can recover in the event of almost any disaster.

What is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

A disaster recovery plan is a plan an organization implements to help steer it through any potential disaster, ensuring operations can be entirely recovered no matter what problem strikes. It gives specific directions for recovery in the event of any form of disaster, so staff or owners have a guide for getting the business back to where it was before the event took place, with as little disruption as possible.

How does disaster recovery testing help a business?

Disaster recovery testing helps a business plan for the worst, and be ready to recover. The testing helps ensure that when disaster strikes, whether it is physical destruction of your business, personal loss, data breach, cybersecurity issue, or other compromising situation, that the business has a plan already in place to get operations back up and running.

Having this plan in place allows you to recognize your vulnerabilities as a business, and prepare to address them. When chaos occurs, it can be a very stressful and overwhelming time. It is invaluable to have a plan already in place to follow when disaster strikes, no matter what events might occur.  

Is disaster recovery testing necessary for my business?

Yes, no matter how big or small, disaster recovery testing is necessary for any business.

For larger businesses, it is often necessary to have a continual consultant, or even staff that are dedicated to ensuring the company can bounce back from any disaster. The larger, more complex, and more system-dependant your company is, the warier you need to be of disaster recovery.

Smaller businesses may be able to take steps themselves to ensure they can recover from any issue. But even for small online businesses, it may be important to ensure you have a consultant evaluate whether you would be able to recover from a hardware issue, software issue, supplier issue, or data breach.

Your business is valuable, and you owe it to yourself, your clients, and your staff to have a plan in place to recover from any disastrous event.

How do businesses conduct disaster recovery testing?

Many of the world’s largest businesses will hire staff dedicated to disaster recovery testing. More commonly, smaller organizations, will bring in consultants, or hire specialty services to conduct their disaster recovery testing. 

These services consistently study, train, and prepare for any form of disaster that can strike a business, and evaluate what would happen if these terrible events came to pass. If there is any identifiable issue that would prevent your business from recovering, these services will flag them, and make recommendations for change.

If you’ve been careful in planning for disaster recovery, it can be frustrating to think you need to bring in outside help to test your carefully laid plans. But, another set of eyes can help to reveal potential issues you and your team had never thought of, and can only add to the flexibility and vitality of your business in the long-term.

How can small businesses conduct disaster recovery testing?

If you are more of a DIY person, haven’t yet opened your business, or simply cannot afford any help right now with your disaster recovery testing, there are many online resources that can help you to conduct your own disaster recovery testing. If this is your only option, the best place to start is with your data, ensuring it is safely backed up both virtually and on-site, and secure from any breaches. From there, you can create a checklist and evaluate every part of your business, and create a plan to recover when disaster strikes.

How do I make plans based on the results of disaster recovery testing?

If you hire a disaster recovery specialist to assist with your planning, they will be able to make recommendations to improve your systems and planning. These upgrades may be large or small, but should be put into place as quickly as possible.

If your business is particularly complex or is based in technology, you will likely need to have a more robust disaster recovery plan. The results of disaster recovery testing will allow you to plan the budget, time, and resources you need to get your disaster recovery plans perfectly in place.

Is it possible to prepare for every possible disaster?

Try as we might, the unpredictable can happen. But it is possible to prepare your business to be ready to bounce back from any potential IT disaster. Ensuring you can quickly recover your business records, client data, whether a physical or digital disaster strikes can bring you peace of mind.

Undergoing disaster recovery planning and testing every step of your plan is a great way to evaluate the security of your business, the strength of your business model, and identify any gaps. With disaster recovery testing done regularly, you’ll be able to sleep easily, knowing your hard work is safely protected.

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