The unexpected can happen at any given time; whether it be a fire, flood, power surge, or just faulty equipment, it is essential to have a plan of action to ensure your data is secure and your devices remain somewhat functional. A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is essential in helping prevent these complications even for the smallest of networks. A disaster recovery plan does not need to be overly complicated but will need to cover the primary areas that will need to be quickly running again in case bad luck strikes. With any disaster recovery plan, it is important to first ask yourself a series of questions regarding what your network does, what the potential dangers are, and above all, what can be done to prevent these problems.
Creating backups of your files is one of the most crucial steps in creating a disaster recovery plan. You do not want to realize that this should have been done after a disaster happens! There are several methods of backing up your data one can use such as using online backup services. This will store your relevant data to an off-site location where it is safer. Another method is using a physical backup storage device such as an external hard drive. No matter which form of backup you chose, a schedule should be created that automatically backups your data (having this occur at night is generally the best idea).
Next, documenting critical information regarding your network and devices should be done. Information such as the make, model, and passwords of your devices, account names and passwords of programs and routers, various network settings, and the phone numbers you frequently use such as tech support should be written down and stored in a safe place. By completing this step, if a disaster strikes, you will be able to get back to normal operating conditions of your network in a swift manner.
One area that is commonly forgotten when setting up a disaster recovery plan is planning for the network downtime caused by the unfortunate event that can occur. One must have a plan for how they are going to get by without their home network due to the potential downtime of a few days. Identifying possible alternate sites to house your servers are an example of this. One should also ask themselves how much downtime is tolerable based on their needs, what is the restoration priority, as well as what is their budget for recovery operations?
Finally, a plan for getting back to normal operating conditions should be created. Having a transition plan for moving your data off a loaned PC while your device is being repaired is crucial in this process. While all of these steps help create an optimal disaster recovery plan, this plan will only perform at its best if it is continuously tested and kept up-to-date with the latest information.
Currently, my home network is quite simple. It contains a laptop, wireless router, Xbox, smart TV, and 2 smartphones. While many other individuals have a more complex set-up, my disaster recovery plan is pretty much the same. I back up all of my data on an external website as well as an external hard drive. I also have a list of usernames, passwords, and other information that is important to remember. If a disaster does happen, my downtime would only be a few hours as I transfer my data around and sign-in to all of my accounts.
Since my network only consists of a few internet-ready devices, my Annualized Loss Expectancy (ALE) would be around $3,000. This is the cost for an entirely new network as well as replacing my devices with new versions. My asset value would be $3,000 as well. My Annualized Rate of Occurrence would be meager as I have not had any disasters happen as my risk level is very small. My Mean Time to Restore (MTTR) would be around a few days only due to the fact I would have to wait on COX to come and fix my network. Everything else I would be able to do myself under a few hours. My Recovery Time Objective (RTO) would ideally be less than a day as I need my network for various work and school-related tasks. I also have renter’s insurance and warranties on most of my devices, so my risk mitigation is very high as I practice risk transference as much as possible.
Overall, I find my disaster recovery plan to be adequate for my needs and easy for others to follow. Some changes I could make would be to update my backups more frequently and finish building my PC so I can just use my laptop for school use. This would allow my leisure time to be spent on my PC that has better protection against risk and then leave my laptop designated for safe school use.
“Do You Have a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)?”. Andy O’Donnell. Life Wire. Lifewire.com. Web. 20 March 2017. 28 March 2017.