Nobody ever wants their business continuity plan to have to be activated, because it means something disastrous has happened. But they’re a necessity in modern business and having confidence in your continuity planning is achievable.

What is the difference between data backups and a business continuity plan?

Simply having your data backed up and secure is a good start – but it is only a start. Planning for a catastrophic systems failure or a cyber attack, means knowing that:

  • You can restore data safely and rapidly
  • Your team will be able to get back using both software and hardware with confidence, soon after a systems failure
  • Customer service will be maintained
  • You won’t lose time, money or customer confidence

Take the following as an example. In January 2017, Cockrell Hill Police Department (Texas, US) came under ransomware attack. A single infected server led to the loss of eight years of evidence including video recordings. So far, so bad.

Then, their back-up procedure activated very soon after the ransomware attack replacing their backed up files with a backup of files that had been encrypted by the ransomware and were therefore inaccessible.

Their previously uncorrupted data backup was wiped out by the very system they’d been relying on to preserve it.

Cockrell Hill had a business back up, but they needed a business continuity plan.

Creating an effective business continuity plan

In designing a business continuity plan, it’s important to ask the following questions:

  • Are the backed-up files easily accessible?
  • Is the backup device safe, secure and accessible?
  • Can our operating systems be reinstalled from the backups or just the filesystem?
  • How long will reinstallation of our operating systems take?
  • How long will critical file restoration take?
  • And how long for complete data restoration?
  • How much time will pass before the business is able to be running at full capacity again?
  • And how much time must we allow to catch up on anything we had to postpone during the catastrophe?

Effective business continuity planning saves time, money and reputation

Rebuilding your system requires so much more than simply restoring data – there’s the time required to review what went wrong and make sure you’re not leaving yourself open to risk again. You have to account for the time and energy required to inform your team and your customers and rebuild their confidence after an event like this, whether it’s fire, flood our outside attack.

All in all, having a robust plan will save you not just time and money, but reputation too. In fact, it could save your entire business, because according to a study by accounting firm Touche Ross 90% of businesses without a disaster recovery plan will fail following a disaster. Considering 30% of businesses don’t have a plan in place, this figure is startling.

At DC Networks, we understand the risks. We offer business continuity plans that include the backing up of full virtual machines which can be restored at any time, including new replacement hardware if required. And we back up servers too, so you have total recoverability of your data and services.

We’re here to help you turn a data backup plan into a business continuity plan that we hope you’ll never need to use – but if you do, you’ll be glad you’re working with us.