5 Signs It’s Time To Update Your Disaster Recovery Plan

traffic stoplight sign submerged in water

It’s almost 2023—have you revisited your disaster recovery plan recently? 

If not, it’s past time you think about doing so. One of the most common business continuity mistakes we see businesses make involves misunderstanding what disaster recovery looks like. Your plan isn’t something you can just set and forget. 

It requires regular testing and assessment. Moreover, it needs to keep pace with any changes made to your organization. With that in mind, here are five signs your disaster recovery plan needs an update. 

New Infrastructure

An effective disaster recovery plan encompasses an organization’s entire ecosystem. This means that whenever your infrastructure changes in any way, shape, or form—whether it’s an update, a replacement, or a new deployment entirely—it renders your existing plan obsolete. We advise incorporating policy updates into your maintenance and deployment processes.

Infrequent Testing

At most, you should only go a few months without testing your disaster recovery plan—and even that is stretching it a little.  You must test your disaster recovery plan as often and thoroughly as possible. Because the alternative is just assuming things will work as intended and slamming facefirst into a host of problems that bring your restoration efforts to a screeching halt. 

Ineffective Backups

A good backup strategy possesses the following characteristics: 

  • Multiple independent backup systems. 
  • Air gapping and offsite storage. 
  • Automation. 
  • Seamless data/system restoration. 
  • Retention of older backups. 
  • Comprehensive access controls on backups. 

If that doesn’t sound like yours, you need to go back to the drawing board and rethink how you manage your backups. And once you do, you’ll need to revisit your disaster recovery plan.

Tool, Process, or Policy Fragmentation

Where disaster recovery is concerned, consolidation is your best friend. You need a single set of tools and policies that you can apply to your entire organization. Unfortunately, we more often see businesses with a different approach to disaster recovery for each department—and sometimes multiple strategies and plans within the same department. 

That kind of fragmented, piecemeal strategy is anathema to business continuity. Avoid it at all costs. 

You Tested Your Plan Under Fire—And Found It Lacking

The goal of disaster recovery is simple. You want to minimize your recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO) as much as possible. Put another way, the faster you can recover from an incident, the better. 

Your disaster recovery plan plays a pivotal role here. And if you’ve put it into action during an incident and found it lacking, there are two possibilities:

  • Your RTO and RPO set an impossible, unrealistic standard for your recovery efforts.
  • Your plan is insufficient and needs to be updated. 

Either way, you’ll want to revisit and revise.