The effects of Harvey and Irma will have longstanding impact on the expenditure of federal resources and the everyday life of Texas and Florida citizens. They are also a reminder to all businesses of the impact of natural events and the importance of disaster recovery planning. A business' first concern should always be the safety and protection of its employees and its physical property. However, a natural disaster can destroy a business' information and assets that are critical to its success and continuity. There are key steps to prepare and respond to a natural disaster and to minimize the disruption. Here are a few steps to conduct for an effective disaster recovery plan:
- Have the right team in place. It must be understood that disasters do not just effect information and technology assets, but they also will have a direct effect on the sales force, human resources, legal, finance, and overall management. It is crucial, when developing the right team, to phrase/create a disaster recovery plan that details how each segment of the company is part of the planning process and the assessment of risk.
- Risk assessment analysis. Before a company can develop a recovery plan, it must identify the information and assets it needs to protect, their physical location, their role in the success of the business and the associated cost related to that asset. It is also crucial to analyze the business' operations and how they would be impacted/effected through the loss of vital components and/or assets.
- Develop the plan. After identifying key personnel and the associated risks, you are in a position to actually develop a recovery plan. That plan must include determination of backup sites for housing of critical data; the frequent and consistent regular backup for the preservation of important company data; the encryption of sensitive and/or critical data, and the development of a program for training of employees and repeat training so that all employees are aware of risks and the steps to take in case of a disaster. It is crucial to not only update the plan as things change, but also to run periodic random tests to assure that the recovery plan is viable and working.
Over the next few months, I am certain that all of us will be able to assess how businesses are recovering in Texas and Florida. Hopefully the suggestions in this article provide some insight for you to develop a disaster plan and protect your business.
Questions? Contact attorney Walter Liszka in our Chicago office at (312) 629-9300 or by e-mail at [email protected]