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8 Steps Toward Effective Disaster Recovery

Disasters are increasing in frequency and costing more than ever before. When was the last time you updated your plan?

Cynthia Harvey

December 20, 2023

8 Slides

This year has had no shortage of disasters that have affected IT teams. In fact, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the first 10 months of the year saw 25 climate or weather events that caused $1 billion or more in losses in the United States alone: 1 drought, 2 floods, 19 severe storms, 1 tropical cyclone, 1 wildfire, and 1 winter storm. By comparison, the average number of billion-dollar disasters in a year is 8.1.

Looking beyond the US, the year has seen floods in China and Libya, hurricanes in Mexico and the Caribbean, and earthquakes in Morocco, Turkey, and Syria. Plus, we’ve had wars in Ukraine, the Middle East, Sudan, and Ethiopia.

As if all that weren’t enough, organizations also face the risk of outages from cyberattacks, equipment failure, or regular old human error. The Uptime Institute reports that most organizations have had some sort of downtime in the past three years. In addition, those outages are becoming more expensive. Two-thirds of outages result in losses of $100,000 or more.

Against this steady drumbeat of bad news, many organizations are revisiting their disaster recovery plans. Many recognize that experiencing a disaster isn’t a matter of if -- it’s a matter of when.

Now is actually a very good time for companies to re-think plans that they’ve made previously. The pandemic changed a lot of things about where, when, and how work gets done. With more employees working remotely more often, companies may need to change their backup strategies. Organizations are also relying more heavily on public cloud computing services. That means they need to consider the ramifications of disasters and outages not only in places where their own facilities are located but also where their providers are located. And the pandemic also resulted in a dramatic increase in cyberattacks. Companies need to be particularly prepared to deal with ransomware and data breaches.

If your organization is updating your disaster recovery plans or perhaps creating them for the first time, where should you start? The following slides highlight eight steps you should take to become better prepared for the next major incident.

About the Author(s)

Cynthia Harvey

Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek

Cynthia Harvey is a freelance writer and editor based in the Detroit area. She has been covering the technology industry for more than fifteen years.

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