Business Continuity Testing

Posted by Gregory Wolf on Aug 7, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Business TestingIn the event of a major disaster, could your company continue to do business? When Hurricane Katrina submerged the City of New Orleans beneath nearly 20 feet of water, what happened to area business’ data? Most of it was permanently destroyed.

It only takes a hard rain and a leaky roof to do the same damage in a small office.

Or what about data breaches? In 2019, the cost of data breaches alone could reach $2.1 trillion according to IT Web.

Is your business taking data security and business continuity seriously enough? And how do you know?

Business continuity simply means you can continue to do business during a failure or disaster. In our digi-tech business age, that requires having uninterrupted access to your data. It all starts with creating a business continuity plan (BCP).

Is a BCP necessary?

Consider that an estimated 78 percent of organizations have seen mission-critical applications go down, and 28 percent of those organizations lost data center functionality for more than a week. More than 90 percent of those companies will go out of business within a year according to the National Archives and Records Administration.

The Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council conducted additional research, which found that just 40% of organizations even have a disaster recovery plan, and 23% have never tested it.

Testing is what separates the organization that succeeds during disaster from the ones that falter. After all, you don’t want to find out your BCP didn’t work only after your building has flooded, your system has been hacked, or a zombie army has taken over your city.

Since having a tested strategy is critical to an organization’s longevity, why don’t more businesses test their plan? The general excuses are lack of time, insufficient resources, budgetary limitations, disinterested management, unclear roles and responsibilities, and a lack of immediate revenue results.

While testing is vital, some of those excuses are actually good ones. In fact, it may not be the best idea to have an on-site staff member carry out BCP planning and testing. Studies show a surprising number of employees don’t know a plan exists, don’t understand the potential disaster scenarios, or are engaged in their own rogue IT efforts.

A better approach is to hire an outside IT professional to test your backups for you, making sure they are up to date and working properly. A seasoned technician will test file recovery, virtual machine recovery for those working in online settings, physical server recovery, data recovery, and applications.

Ideally, an IT professional will conduct tests using the live system. Due to the intrusiveness of this kind of testing, however, it may not be feasible. In such cases, the IT technician can test using dummy systems or scenario-based operations test that simulate data loss.

How often should you test? BCP testing is recommended 1-2 times per year. Check with your IT guru to see what testing calendar would work best for your company.

Contact Wolf Technology Group

Don’t settle for a subpar network that costs your company more than it’s worth. Give Wolf Technology Group a call at (833) 482-6435 or contact us online today to get started on building the business network you deserve — for less.

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Topics: Safety & Security