Don’t take all summer to recover from an IT disaster

Whether it’s an equipment failure, connection issues or a cyber incident, how long should it actually take to recover?

Given the sheer volume of electronic information businesses now generate, much of it operation critical, the impact of data loss or corruption from hardware failure, human error, hacking or malware could be significant.

Businesses data files are changing throughout the workday, so while prevention is always better than cure, in the digital world it is rarely absolute. The only factor you can control is the outcome so you can get back to business unscathed as quickly as possible.

The speed of that recovery all depends on one critical factor – do you have a plan?

A plan for data backup and restoration of electronic information is essential which should cover each element of your system; hardware, software, data and connectivity. Without one component the system may not run. Therefore, a recovery plan should be developed to anticipate the loss of one or more of the following system components:

  • Hardware (networks, servers, desktop and laptop computers, wireless devices and peripherals)
  • Connectivity to a service provider (fibre, cable, wireless, etc.)
  • Software applications (electronic data interchange, electronic mail, enterprise resource management, office productivity, etc.)
  • Data and restoration

Connection

Connection failures within the workplace can take many forms, from problems connecting to other pieces of hardware, problems connecting to a server, to a wireless network, to the internet or a particular website, to a piece of operating software – or all of the above!

Keep in mind that most network problems have simple solutions, from installing a Wi-Fi booster to restarting your internet modem or checking a computer cable. If you lose your Broadband/Fibre/leased line connection, what is the providers response time? Many businesses have been saved from this situation by purchasing a 4G router, which while offering reduced bandwidth that the original connection, will enable you to keep in contact with your clients via email. Internet browsing will be very limited, so expect an increase in staff productivity during this time.

Equipment failure

Equipment failure happens, sometimes the computer says no. The PC used once a week by the part time employee will have a different impact to the main File Server failing. This is where planning with a full understanding of how IT is used in your business pays dividends in saving recovery time. A new PC or Laptop can be purchased from the High Street, but what about the software and configuration for the user?

The common causes – which are preventable

  • User error
  • Failure to carry out system maintenance – including Windows Updates
  • Failure to monitor and report equipment issues
  • Failure to track the age of an asset – the day will come when that 7-year-old PC will not boot up.

Cyber incident

Over the past few years disruptive cyber attacks have increasingly become commonplace, with ransomware topping the list. Recovery from ransomware requires an offline backup – which is to say, a backup not connected to your network (or else the ransomware would encrypt that too).

How fast you can recover from a cyber incident will depend not just on whether you have a clear recovery plan in place, but how effectively you communicate that plan to your team. Prioritise an order of what needs to be fixed first and ensure you have truly identified the root cause so when you go ‘online’ again you don’t end up back at square one.

Things to consider while you’re “offline”

  • How will we securely get messages out to staff?
  • Do we have an alternative mechanism to share files etc. so staff can continue to work?
  • And ultimately…what IT solution do we have which does not rely on our day-to-day IT system and who has access to this?

Contact us today for a consultation regarding your IT security and for advice on how to prepare an effective recovery plan. 01782 200987