Mother Nature is not to be toyed with, especially if your company is in an area that’s known to have hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, fires, or any other major natural disasters. Californians know this well enough since, in recent years, the state has been rattled by quakes, floods, and wildfires.
And yet, not every business seems to be prepared. This is often true for small businesses that can’t afford a well-detailed disaster recovery plan. Still, this often means that if a natural disaster reaches your location, it may bring your business to its knees.
And the only way to get back up is to have a disaster recovery strategy in place. Planning and communication can help you and your employees overcome the struggles and strive. For this, you first have to take care of the core structure of your business, which often revolves around IT infrastructure.
In today’s article, we’ll discuss some of the most important IT support strategies that work well for small businesses.
1. Have a Disaster Recovery Plan
No one likes to think about bad times when everything is running well, but this is exactly when you have to. To create a solid disaster recovery plan, you have to conduct risk analysis and understand what could go wrong and how.
Here are a few things to include in your planning:
- How to protect and restore on-site servers that are essential for business operations
- How to run and safely store back-ups that can be accessed remotely or directly from your office
- How to reduce downtime even when communications don’t work
- Set your priorities straight and create a core team of employees who are 100% necessary for recovery and rebuild
- Create an emergency plan for your essential IT employees and share it with the entire team. This way, if a disaster hits, everyone will know what to do.
- Discuss a communication plan in a scenario where email, chats, and phones are not available.
Plus, every member of your team should know where emergency kits are in the building and how to use them.
2. Protect On-Site Servers
Most businesses have at least one central unit (server) running essential operations on-site. This way, if the communication fails (for various reasons), the business can keep going with as little downtime as possible.
Plus, on-site servers are perfect for storing local copies of backups, especially the ones containing essential data and tools. But, for this to be a lifeline during a natural disaster, you have to implement a few technical changes such as climate control for the room, backup power supply, secure access to the room, and so on.
Side note: You also need to have a well-designed data backup plan to make sure that, if a disaster were to strike unexpectedly in the following hours, your data would be safe.
3. Use a Secure Cloud Service
Cloud services allow you to store and access essential digital items and tools when your on-site location is not available. For instance, a reliable business partner like USWired can provide Californian businesses with secure cloud services and remote IT support to keep things going.
This way, even if you can’t have employees in the office or use the local infrastructure, everyone who is able can connect to the cloud from a remote location.
4. Backup Power Supply
Any business needs a reliable backup power supply system that can kick in whenever needed. However, generators and UPSs (Uninterrupted Power Supplies) are not exactly cheap, so not every business can afford to power up all operations.
Even so, if you are located in an area where natural disasters are common, it’s a good idea to get a system that would keep up the core of the business. Most small businesses can make do with a medium-sized generator and several UPS units to keep the servers and a few devices up.
5. Have a Solid Security System
A good security system is one of the steps you need to take to protect your business regardless of the eventuality of a natural disaster. But it does help to have extra layers of protection when some of your systems and devices are down.
Sadly, natural disasters attract all sorts of unwanted attention because they leave businesses and organizations vulnerable in the face of cyberattacks. And it doesn’t have to be a hurricane or a quake – we saw the same pattern when the first lockdowns and social distancing rules came out.
With more anxious people looking for information and working from home, ill-intended actors have plenty of opportunities to infiltrate and pry open doors that would’ve been inaccessible during regular times.
So yes, a multilayered security system is a necessary part of a business’s disaster recovery plan.
While it’s not fun to think about all the things that could go wrong, it is essential for a business’s survival.
Plus, you don’t just protect your business; you also show care for your employees and your customers. A quick recovery, especially after a natural disaster, is the best way to show your support.