Why is it important to test a disaster recovery plan? Businesses cannot anticipate every catastrophe that comes their way, but they can plan for the unknown. A disaster recovery plan is a strategy developed by an organization as a way to recover business operations as quickly as possible following a disaster.
From cyber-attacks to natural disasters, a single event can cause major losses in revenue and critical damage to business operations. According to a report published by the IT Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council, just one hour of downtime can cost a small business as much as $8,000, a mid-size company up to $74,000, and a large enterprise as much as $700,000.
Disaster recovery focuses on the IT systems that help support crucial business functions and is an essential component of any solid business continuity plan. However, developing a disaster recovery plan is just the first step. Businesses must also test their disaster recovery plan so that any discovered problems can be quickly resolved.
Reasons To Test A Disaster Recovery Plan
Waiting until a disaster occurs to test a disaster recovery plan can result in possible financial losses and longer than expected business interruptions. Testing a disaster recovery plan can help ensure that any weak components are remedied before a real disruption occurs that puts the business at risk. There are multiple types of disaster recovery tests, such as paper tests, walkthrough tests, simulations, parallel tests, and cutover tests. Determine how frequently each test should be performed and be sure to test individual components to ensure the accuracy and quality of the plan. There are many reasons to test a disaster recovery plan, including the following:
Practice Makes Perfect
Just because a disaster recovery plan looks good on paper does not necessarily mean that it will be effective when it is actually put into action. Testing can make a disaster recovery plan more effective by identifying problems early on and finding ways to make essential improvements. According to a study published by the Info-Tech Research Group, disaster recovery plans that are subjected to regular testing are 132 percent more successful than plans that go untested. The more that a disaster recovery plan is practiced and modified, the more effective it will be when a disaster really happens.
Quickly Rectify Problems
Common disasters like server room fires, virus attacks, hacking, ransomware infections, and similar mishaps can cause significant damage to business operations. Hardware and software failures can result in loss of productivity which means a loss of income. Implementing a backup procedure as instructed in a disaster recovery plan can restore data from a failure within minutes.
A security breach could lead to intellectual property theft but a strong firewall appliance configured correctly could help prevent security breaches. Testing a disaster recovery plan can help ensure that these types of strategies continue to work as they were originally intended to when the plan was created.
Increased Efficiency & Effectiveness Of Execution
It is difficult to predict exactly how a disaster will impact a business. A business may expect a disaster like a fire to disrupt business operations for just a few weeks when in reality, the impact could linger for many months or even years. Having a disaster recovery plan in place can help enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of execution and help minimize any downtime and disruptions. When disasters are handled swiftly and businesses recover faster, a company is able to start bringing in revenue again which means happy employees and satisfied customers. Disaster recovery plan testing can also provide business owners with peace of mind that their investment is protected.
Businesses are constantly evolving and that means their disaster recovery plan should change to meet the growing demands of customers and end-users alike. A disaster recovery plan that was created years ago may contain information that is outdated and unable to work effectively with modern technology and infrastructures. New threats may arise that put a business at risk, such as aggressive viruses or security gaps. Testing a disaster recovery plan on a regular basis helps ensure that these upgrades are made to support a modern technology environment.
Reach Out To A Professional Managed IT Services Provider
Disaster recovery plans serve an important purpose. In the event of a real disaster, a business wants to ensure that its people are aware of what steps to take to resolve issues quickly and with as little disruption to business operations as possible. Testing a disaster recovery plan on a routine basis allows businesses to identify possible problems, such as unexpected technical failures or lengthy restore times. When these issues are encountered during the testing phase, businesses can take the proper measures to resolve them before the real thing occurs. For more information about the importance of testing a disaster recovery plan, call us at (703) 783-2781 or contact us online to
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