How to avoid these 4 common disaster recovery mistakes

The vast majority of companies today are not tech companies. They may integrate a great deal of technology, but the actual purpose of the company will not have anything to do with computers or cybersecurity. Of course, you know that you need a robust IT infrastructure, security, and a fully backed-up disaster recovery plan which leads many businesses to complete reliance on their internal or outsourced IT team.

It’s only natural to rely on your IT services to handle the technical stuff. After all, that’s what they do. However, just as you can’t give your accountants completely free rein over business finances without the occasional audit and oversight, it is very dangerous to implicitly trust your IT team to have your disaster recovery and cybersecurity locked down. Unfortunately, unsupervised freedom without the proper precautions enacted by management can give an IT team far too much rope to hang your company with.

A single mistake or overlooked detail could put your entire tech infrastructure and data recovery abilities at risk. Let’s take a look at the 4 most common disaster recovery mistakes a company can make and how to avoid them.

Failing to Test Backups and Recovery Capabilities

The entire concept behind disaster recovery is based on backups. These are compressed copies of your files database, website, and network infrastructure. Should anything happen to your data like ransomware or file corruption, the recovery process will use these backups to ‘reload from save’.

However, backups can be damaged just like any other kind of data. If your most recent backup was interrupted or did not save properly, your company will be unprotected and unable to recover from a data disaster. It is also possible that the backups taken will not integrate back into your system as well as your IT team plans them to.

This is why it is vital to insist that your backups be tested regularly for viability. And at least once a year, you need to run a recovery test. The test confirms that the type of backups you are taking can, in fact, be used to restore your company data in the event of a disastrous loss.

Not Training Employees in Cybersecurity

While it is possible for data to corrupt and be lost on its own, the leading cause of data disasters is still malware and hacker infiltration. And the leading cause of ransomware and hacker infiltration is employee mistakes. Visiting risky websites, downloading infected files, and falling victim to phishing emails are all ways that employees can open your otherwise secure business network to harmful programs written by hackers.

And, of course, access granted to employees through portals and logins are a favorite way for targeted hacker attacks to gain access to company data. This means that no matter how powerful your firewall is, employee cybersecurity training is the only way to close potential infiltration avenues. Failing to train your employees in avoiding dangerous websites, downloads, and emails and to secure their passwords on every device is the only way to prevent hackers from using your necessary internal access points to infect your entire business network.

Never Verifying with Your IT Team

It’s all too easy to tell your IT team to ‘take care of’ disaster recovery and security, then assume that things are taken care of. For other departments, managers and C-level execs are able and often do check in because they understand what to look for. However, with IT, if you have no idea what your IT team is doing to protect your business data, it’s also hard to provide ample oversight.

However, no matter how capable your IT team may be, they still need their systems and solutions verified from time to time. Complete free rein isn’t useful because their mistakes will go unchecked and undetected by the higher-ups. It is vital to verify your security, backups, and disaster recovery methods in place and to perform penetration tests and recovery tests to confirm that everything is working as it should.

No Documentation on Recovery Process

As our final point, many people don’t realize that documentation is one of the greatest weaknesses in the IT industry. Documentation can mean an outline of your IT infrastructure, an explanation of how specific protective implementations work, and a set of instructions on how to implement the recovery process if the initial plan designer is not present.

Does your company have network and recovery plan documentation? If not, you are at serious risk of not being able to use all the high-end technical solutions you have commissioned for your company’s protection. Make sure your team documents your network infrastructure, the steps they have taken to provide cybersecurity, how your backup system works (and how often), and how to implement your disaster recovery plan.

Simply by understanding the mistakes that have been costly to other businesses, you should be able to better protect your company from the risks of under-managed IT security and recovery. However, the ideal solution is to work with a cybersecurity third party who can help you get through data verifications, fair security auditing, and robust penetration testing for the good of your company and your IT team. For more information about how to improve and maintain your company’s cybersecurity and disaster recovery plan, contact us today!