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Best Time to Schedule Disaster Recovery Testing

Best Time to Schedule Disaster Recovery Testing

Best Time to Schedule Disaster Recovery Testing

Ensuring Your DR Plan Works with Disaster Recovery Testing

It’s not always possible to prevent worst-case scenarios. From cyber-attacks and technical errors to hurricanes, the possibility of losing your company’s data is a real threat. Having an active disaster recovery (DR) plan in place—and, more importantly, coupled with frequent disaster recovery testing—can protect your business from costly breaches and other compromising situations. With all this in mind, when is the best time to schedule disaster recovery testing?

Why Disaster Recovery Test?

First and foremost, if your company doesn’t regularly conduct disaster recovery testing, now is the time to start investing time and resources. The purpose of disaster recovery testing is to identify flaws in your overarching plan and to ensure that information technology (IT) systems can be relatively quickly restored in the event of a disaster. With regular testing, your company will have already determined and resolved points of failure before they impact your ability to restore operations should an actual disaster occur.

Types of Disaster Recovery Tests

There are typically five types of disaster recovery testing processes that cover various components of your DR plan. These include:

  • Paper Tests: reviewing recovery plan documents
  • Walk-through Tests: walk-through of your entire DR plan
  • Simulation: an IT “fire drill”
  • Parallel Tests: fail-over recovery systems are tested on performing real business transactions while primary systems continue to run full production workload
  • Cut-over Tests: fail-over recovery systems are tested to take over the entire production workload, while primary systems are disconnected

Planning Your Disaster Recovery Test

Disaster recovery tests should be comprehensive enough to check that backups are retrievable no matter what disaster strikes. Verifying the effectiveness and availability of your solutions and processes  increases the likelihood your plan will run smoothly when needed. Ideally, during a disaster, your DR plan should enable your organization to recover data, keep critical applications and services online, meet security and regulatory compliance obligations, and maintain communications.

There’s No Time Like the Present: Scheduling Your Test

Comprehensive disaster recovery testing is critical to reinforcing your company’s IT systems. At the bare minimum, we recommend that your organization schedules disaster recovery testing at least once per year. However, many organizations require quarterly testing or more to feel secure in their recovery plan. If you work with a Managed Service Provider, you can provide proof of your daily backups (e.g., screenshot verification) to ensure that your backups are working. Preparing for disaster should be a regular part of your routine; a little each day goes a long way in terms of giving you the best possible protection.

25% of businesses that close due to a major disaster never reopen. Don’t get caught off guard—contact Atlantic today to learn more about Backup and Disaster Recovery.

James LaPenna
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