IT Disaster Recovery Plan Checklist: Know Your Disaster Recovery Steps

The world can be an unknown place, and as small business owners, you must be ready for anything and plan for the unexpected. An IT disaster recovery plan (DRP) is the best place to start because it ensures you’ll have access to everything you need to continue conducting business if something happens. But where do you begin, and what do you need to do to get started? We’ve pulled together everything you need to know about IT disaster recovery plans, from what they are to how to make one, and we’ll even give you a downloadable IT disaster recovery plan PDF to help make your life a little easier. 

What is an IT Disaster Recovery Plan Checklist?

An IT disaster recovery plan checklist is just what it sounds like – a list to ensure you have crossed all your t’s and dotted all your i’s when it comes to disaster preparedness. The DRP checklist serves as a practical tool to help businesses outline the crucial steps for recovering their IT systems and data in case of disaster. It acts as a roadmap, efficiently guiding businesses through the recovery process and minimizing downtime.

Eight Benefits of a Disaster Recovery Plan

  • Minimized downtime
  • Improved disaster response
  • Enhanced data protection
  • Reduced business disruption
  • Increased employee confidence
  • Improved compliance
  • Reduced risk and financial loss
  • Enhanced reputation

Basic Steps to Small Business Disaster Recovery Planning

Small business disaster recovery planning is vital for keeping your company safe. Here are four basic steps to keeping your small business safe from disasters.

Plan for Any Scenario

Disasters come in many forms – human error, fires, floods, hacking attacks, and more. Each one is very different. The impact of a deleted file versus a cybercriminal holding your data for ransom are two totally different outcomes – but you must be prepared for both. Your disaster recovery plan should cover every possible scenario that could impact your business and the best way to react and respond to those disasters.

Get the Right People in the Right Place

Who will your employees look to when a disaster happens? Who will jump into action to implement your DRP? Who will communicate with your customers and investors regarding the situation? These are the people who will ensure your DRP goes off without a hitch and ensure the execution of every aspect of the plan. Once you know who these people are, include them in creating the DRP. This way, they’ll fully understand their role and what’s expected of them during what can be a very hectic time.

Test and Update Your Plan Regularly

Testing your disaster recovery plan gives you confidence that it will work when needed and helps you identify weaknesses or gaps in the plan. With this information, you’ll be able to equip your business—and your people—better if a disaster impacts your business. Plus, understanding all possibilities and knowing you have your bases covered for any scenario will give you the ultimate peace of mind.

Keep Your Plan Safe and Available

Your disaster recovery plan isn’t just something for your business to talk about—it should be formally documented. We highly recommend having a physical copy in case something ever happens to your servers and you cannot access the document. Also, the last thing you would want is to have your people scramble around the business premises searching for the plan, so make sure you keep a copy in a safe but accessible location.

Types of IT Disasters to Prepare For

Here’s a breakdown of some common IT disasters you should consider in your plan:

  • Natural Disasters: Floods, fires, earthquakes, and other natural disasters can damage physical IT infrastructure and disrupt power supplies.
  • Hardware and Software Failures: Equipment malfunctioning, software bugs, and system crashes can lead to data loss and system downtime.
  • Human Error: Accidental data deletion, configuration errors, and even malware introduced through employee actions can have significant consequences.
  • Cybersecurity Threats: Cyberattacks like ransomware, phishing scams, and malware infections can compromise data security and disrupt operations.
  • Power Outages and Network Failures: Power outages or internet connectivity disruptions can prevent users from accessing critical systems and data.
  • Physical Security Breaches: Theft of laptops, servers, or other IT equipment can lead to data loss and security breaches.

Our IT Disaster Recovery Plan Checklist

This checklist is a starting point to help you build a customized IT disaster recovery plan (DRP) for your business. Remember to tailor it to your specific needs and update it regularly.

Download Our Free IT Disaster Recovery Plan

IT Disaster Recovery Companies, Like Us, Are Here for You

A thorough disaster recovery plan covers all aspects of your business. If you feel overwhelmed, please know that we’re here to help. We can help you with everything from conception and deployment to monitoring and springing into action when an unexpected event occurs. Contact us—we’re here for you.