Business Continuity In 3 Easy Steps

  • Published byadmin
  • September 25, 2017

Business Continuity In 3 Easy Steps

Business continuity is an incredibly important part of running a business, but some smaller organizations underestimate just how crucial it is in the event of a disaster. Although FEMA estimates that more businesses are taking advantage of business continuity than ever before, not enough are. Business continuity is something that must be planned for, practiced consistently, and updated as needed. Does your business have a business continuity plan?

Here are three things to keep in mind when putting together a quality business continuity plan.

Keep Each Department in Mind
Business continuity is something that should be applied to the entirety of your business–not just your IT infrastructure. You want to ensure that your entire in-house team has a say in your business continuity plan, specifically to ensure that–in the event of a disaster–they are able to get back in action as soon as possible. If each of your departments can ensure access to important information post-disaster, it makes it much easier to recover in the long run. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that each department has access to mission-critical data, that their processes are moving forward at a steady pace, and has three points of contact within the organization.

Practice Often
A plan is worthless if you don’t know how to implement it. You should think of practicing your business continuity plan as a fire drill for your organization. By planning for the worst and practicing what you do in the event of a data loss disaster, you ensure that your business can realistically pull off what the business continuity plan demands in your time of need. Make sure that each of your team members knows their individual roles in your business continuity plan, and keep everyone updated on changes made to the process so that your staff is on the same page. Depending on how often you practice your business continuity plan, you’ll start to see whether certain details are missing or obsolete, giving you time to change them before your plan is needed at all.

The 3-2-1 Data Recovery Rule
It wouldn’t be a business continuity plan if it didn’t include data backup and disaster recovery in at least some capacity. Manually backing up your data can be a dangerous tactic, as you’re relying on systems that aren’t automatic and could be subject to user error. Furthermore, you need more than just one copy of your business’ data in order to ensure proper recovery. If one copy is destroyed, you better have a backup in place. A way to guarantee that this doesn’t happen to your organization is the 3-2-1 rule.

Here’s a quick run-down of the 3-2-1 rule:

  1. You should have three backups of your data at the very least.
  2. Two of these should be stored on various types of media, such as a server, external hard drive, USB drive, etc.
  3. One of these should be stored off-site, like in the cloud or a secure data center.

By using this method, if one of your data backups is destroyed it won’t ruin your business (or your comprehensive continuity plan).

Catalyst Technology Group can help your business build a business continuity plan specifically designed to suit the needs of your organization. To learn more, reach out to us at (317) 705-0333.

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How to Ensure Business Continuity, According to Financial Institutions

  • Published byadmin
  • August 23, 2017

How to Ensure Business Continuity, According to Financial Institutions

Your business could stand to learn quite a bit from the way that financial institutions handle business continuity. Technology is a central part of the way that Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) function, as well as the companies that these organizations oversee. Data loss and downtime are the arch nemeses of these organizations, so it makes sense that you look at what these organizations do to prevent it.

The FRB and SEC demand certain standards be met by any organizations that they are associated with. You can use these regulations to learn a bit about how best to protect your organization from data loss and downtime. Even if your organization isn’t legally required to meet these standards, it’s still a good way to prepare for a worst-case scenario.

Human resources are one of the most important parts of running your business, as without workers, your organization doesn’t exist. It’s surprising how often they aren’t considered in a data backup plan. Therefore, you’ll want to ensure that you have identified key personnel and establish emergency contacts in the event that you need to make impossibly quick decisions. Also identify who is in charge of your business continuity plan, as they will be central to pulling it off in the long run.

Communication and Planning
Communication is also an integral part of any business continuity plan. You need to have a system set up to notify your team in the event of a disaster event, as well as have a hotline set up that allows employees to receive updates. Keep updated phone records and have backup communication plans in the event that you’re unable to use your primary one. Lastly, ensure that you have a way to contact your vendors and, most importantly, your customers, as they need to be aware of any issues that keep them from receiving any services rendered.

Technology Troubles
Technology plays an important role in the recovery process, just like it does during normal operations. You need to have a clear-cut process for recovering data, and you should be taking advantage of multiple locations for your data backup needs. More than anything, though, you should implement a priority list for your business technology solutions. This priority list should include the following critical assets: hardware (servers, network components, mainframe), software (applications, operating systems, etc), communications (network and telecommunications), data (files and records), operations processing equipment, and office equipment.

General Checklist
Here are a few more topics to consider that are often overlooked by businesses planning for disaster recovery:

  • An official declaration of a disaster scenario
  • An alternative location for operations to continue
  • Automated systems that can run manually
  • A maintenance plan
  • A way to practice the execution of your disaster recovery plan

If your business implements a poor data backup and disaster recovery solution, you will feel it when it comes time to actually respond to a disaster. You’ll lose time and precious resources scrambling to get things back in working order. A proactive stance could be the only way to combat a disaster scenario. To learn more about how to protect your organization, reach out to us at (317) 705-0333.

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