Planning Your Business for Disaster

info graphic of disasters

Planning Your Business for Disaster

In the past month, we have seen a natural disaster destroy businesses, homes, and lives, and have discovered that millions of Americans’ personal information were stolen in an Equifax data breach, along with countless other disasters impacting small businesses around the world.

It’s hard to believe such catastrophic events could ever happen to ME, but the reality is, it’s possible. Whether it’s due to a hurricane, tornado or a massive data breach like the one with Equifax, disasters happen every day to companies of all sizes.

Brian Jackson, Abacus Technologies’ president/COO recently wrote an article for the Birmingham Business Journal about disaster planning that includes a few key questions to begin asking of your disaster recovery plan. To read the article, click here. To talk with Abacus about assisting with disaster recovery planning, contact us.

A growing number of businesses of all types and sizes are still not adequately prepared for many disasters that could affect their future. Statistically, 60 percent of businesses don’t have a fully documented network disaster recovery plan, and almost half of those that do have a plan admit that it is outdated and would not be effective if and when a disaster did strike. Even fewer businesses test their disaster recovery plan on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, a business that is not adequately prepared for a potential disaster faces a wide variety of risks which could ultimately cause them to close their doors.

Some of these risks may include:

  • Natural disasters – Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, or fire.
  • Human error – Employees accidentally downloading virus-ridden files to a computer tied to the business network.
  • IT systems failure – A network or hardware failure, which can result in unusable computers and phone systems.
  • Cyber attacks – From ransomware or due to data breaches.

When a disaster does strike an unprepared business, the effects can be catastrophic. The business may not be able to operate effectively, which could cause delays in service to customers. Long delays might force customers to turn to competitors for help. Poor planning can also result in financial loss. Typically, the less prepared a business is for disaster, the more money they spend on response and recovery. Additionally, there is the reputation of the business that is at stake. Poor handling of disaster can directly impact the bottom line by making it difficult to keep current customers and acquire new customers.

Maybe your company is small and streamlined, or maybe it operates in an industry with relatively low risk. You might think that your facilities and systems are inherently safe. Thinking about a business continuity plan might seem complicated and overwhelming.

Here are a few simple questions to ask to help evaluate the business and plan needed to recover.

  • Do you have a plan to account for all potential business-impacting events such as natural disasters, human error, IT failures, and cyber attacks? Is the plan current?
  • Does your plan include all critical systems (accounting, operations, IT, HR) and prioritized recovery tasks?
  • Do you have redundancies in place for critical systems data, such as redundant power supplies, replication of software, and backups stored in multiple locations?
  • Does your plan include a clear timeline for all objectives?
  • Do all employees have a copy of the plan that is accessible to them in the midst of a disaster and knows their roles?

Having a thorough understanding of these questions? How much planning and preparation has gone into your company’s disaster plan can mean the difference in business continuity and business closing.

Learn more about services offered at Abacus Technologies.