There are a lot of things that can cause a disaster for your business. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that human error is the most prevalent cause for a business disaster. Not a flood, not a fire, not a global pandemic, but someone making a mistake, doing something negligent, or trying to sabotage your business.
There are typically two ways of thinking about disasters. The first is reactive: the thought that most disasters are caused by “acts of God”; that is, that they are unstoppable problems with consequences that you are forced to deal with. The other is proactive: that everything is a potential disaster and that you have to be ready for any circumstance that is thrown your way.
Of course, like anything else, being proactive is better than being reactive, but in disaster recovery, there needs to be processes in place for both because of the nature of the situations. The situations can fit into three separate categories: natural disasters, physical disasters, and technology-based disasters. Let’s define all three:
The natural disaster is the situation that everyone thinks of as a “disaster”. This includes a fire, a flood, hurricane, tornado, blizzard, etc. We can even throw in a pandemic since it is still relevant. The impact of a natural disaster can vary, but in the context of a disaster recovery plan any interruption to your company is a hindrance. Having a plan to get back up and running after weather or widespread illness takes down operations is essential to the short-term viability of your business.
The physical disaster is what happens when some part of your business’ infrastructure fails. This can be your building, the utilities your business depends on, or security breaches such as theft. Many times physical disasters are due to pipes bursting, HVAC systems on the fritz, or power failures. It may seem like a situation that isn’t such a big deal, but all downtime is costly and you really have to have some type of contingency if something knocks your business’ power out or leaves damage to your infrastructure.
Technology disasters are highlighted by technology failures; not just components and systems failing, but cybersecurity failures as well. They are probably the most likely of the disasters to happen as they are machines, and over time will fail. They also have a very different impact and require certain expertise to plan for. Technology-based disasters include data loss and cyberattacks, two situations that are never welcome; not that any downtime-causing incidents are.
A lot of disaster recovery planning has the same general requirements, and the exact same goal: to get your business up and running again soon. Where it gets tricky is in the specifics and knowing that your planning is going to have an effect when the time comes. That’s why regardless of what you are up against, you need to have your data backed up onsite and in the cloud, so that whatever situation you have to confront you know you have your company's most important non-human resource at the ready.
To learn more about disaster recovery, DR testing, and other information about business continuity, give the professionals at BNMC a call today at 978-482-2020.
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