For a business in Florida, a disaster can strike at any time causing severe disruptions. In fact, just 10 months into 2021, Florida has already had 18 weather-related disasters, which resulted in over $1 billion in losses.
The coastal counties are especially susceptible to several types of natural disasters every year, including hurricanes, tropical storms, flooding, tornados, and wildfires. With such a wide array of natural disasters, it’s important for businesses on the peninsula to be ready when they hit.
With businesses in Florida, disasters are unfortunately inevitable. And when they do occur, you only have one chance to properly recover. If your backup site doesn’t work or isn’t updated, you could be putting your business at serious risk.
The recovery of your business depends on the DR (Disaster Recovery) site infrastructure, but there’s no sense in using a poorly maintained and updated site to get your systems back up.
Throughout this blog, we’ll take a look at what’s currently available for businesses in Florida to help with DR (Disaster Recovery) from the state, the current recovery plan, and what can be improved to make businesses 100% ready for any disaster.
Why Do Companies Need Disaster Recovery Planning?
When companies aren’t prepared, data can be lost, breached, and stolen. Outages can happen, and important information and documents can be lost forever.
This can significantly handicap a business, and in some cases, they may never recover. In fact, the University of Texas found that over 90% of businesses that have a huge data loss eventually end up shutting their doors for good.
How Does Florida Help with Corporate Disaster Recovery?
Because Florida constantly deals with disasters, the state does have assistance and plans in place that most local businesses are eligible for.
To start with, businesses are told by the local government to keep up with their Business Continuity Plan so they are better prepared in the event of an emergency. They are also advised to keep up with the latest news and information about incoming disasters. Businesses who want to heed this advice can do so by periodically checking FloridaDisaster.org for updates.
For most coastal Florida counties, evacuation zones have also been designated, as well as safehouses for those who aren’t able to safely leave. However, interior counties do not have such measures readily available.
Other than those options, not a lot is provided by the state to help businesses prepare and recover from disasters that are bound to strike.
Current Recovery Plan for Businesses
A common way for a business to prepare for a disaster is to have a yearly test. And while this is an excellent way to keep up with contingency plans and ensure your business has measures in place in the event something happens, it isn’t the best way to ensure 100% readiness.
While useful, an annual test fails to provide a realistic gauge of what you can expect during a disaster. Priorities for that test (as well as the potential list of disasters) will change with the seasons, leaving gaps in your preparation if you are only testing once per year.
On top of that, current recovery tests are complicated, time-consuming to conduct, and difficult to manage. Not to mention, companies are spending a lot of money on cybersecurity and data protection only for natural disasters to come in and destroy their contingency plans.
IT professionals, in particular, know the wide range of risks to their business — operations can be disabled in the event of natural disaster, ransomware attack, or employee error. Most everyday companies who aren’t particularly technical, however, are left in the dark about these potential issues.
For these reasons, it is imperative to understand that the only way that a business can properly plan for a natural disaster is to have frequent, thorough, and automatic DR testing.
A New Way for Disaster Recovery
As noted above, there isn’t a lot of government assistance for helping a business recover from a disaster.
Losing important data and files, leaving your business as a target for hackers, or not being able to recover your data can leave your business struggling and can even cause it to shut down permanently.
Businesses who experienced actual disaster events found they were faced with 40% downtime on average due to incompatibilities between the DR site and their original production site. This happens because, during normal business operations, your production site is being continuously updated and maintained for the best performance possible. The DR site, however, is static and only gets every once in a while according to your DR plans. This leads to considerable amounts of malfunction and downtime.
With the appropriate DR testing, you can make sure that major disasters have little to no impact on your business.
The first step would be to have your business tested to ensure the DR site really works. To accomplish this, your IT team should run weekly DR drills to prepare you for any disasters you may face. An efficient test should include:
- Turning the DR scenario on in a bubble network
- Thoroughly testing the servers
- Testing the domain controller
- Applications tests
- Database tests
- Web portals tests
- Network connections tests
- Resources tests
This reduces the risk of expensive damage, as it shows a business how to take corrective action before the next disaster hits.
Disasters are bound to happen, especially in places like Florida. And your business needs to be prepared. After all, your company’s entire future can be put at risk just from not having a solid disaster recovery plan, so skipping out on disaster recovery just isn’t worth the risk. As opposed to hoping or assuming nothing will go wrong in your business, you should put effort into getting prepared.
Having a business ready for disaster is both economical in the long-run and logical for businesses to be pursuing. Not to mention, it provides you (the owner) with peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared for any eventuality.
If you want to be 100% disaster-ready, EnsureDR is here for you. Contact one of our sales reps for a demo at 877-418-7005 or by filling out our contact form here.
Don’t wait—invest in recovery validation today.