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Records Management for SMEs – Disaster Recovery Guide

Disasters come in many shapes and forms, can you handle one if it happens to you?

Is Disaster Recovery on your to-do list? Possibly Disaster Recovery has not even made it onto your to-do list.

Running a business can be quite a challenge, particularly if you are an SME trying to juggle a to-do list with a million tasks with a small staff complement and a limited operational budget.

Regardless, it is important to add it to your to-do list and move it on up your list with all due haste.


Acknowledge the Possibility of a Disaster

You cannot prevent or recover from a disaster if you do not first acknowledge the possibility of a disaster. Disasters come in many shapes and forms and degrees of severity and they are a reality of doing business.

The sooner you realise things can and do go wrong the sooner you can take action to mitigate the risks and put a plan, however simple, in place to help you recover should the unthinkable occur.


Types of Disaster

There are two broad categories of disaster that could affect your business.


Natural Disasters

Natural disasters that could affect your business include floods, hail, fires, pests or even illnesses. While there is often little you can do to avoid these types of disasters you can still take some precautions and have a plan to recover.


Man-Made Disaster

The most common form of disaster that could affect your business are man-made disasters. These disasters may be due to deliberate malicious or criminal actions or unintentional actions such as accidents or carelessness.

These types of disasters include:

  • Hacking, cybercrime and computer viruses
  • Theft and vandalism
  • Espionage and data breaches
  • Intentional or accidental fires and flooding
  • Software and hardware malfunctions or crashes
  • Data corruption
  • Load shedding or prolonged power failures
  • Economic unrest
  • Protests and strikes
  • Wars

As already mentioned, disasters can vary in severity and their ability to disrupt, damage or even close your business varies. A single hard drive failure among hundreds may be disruptive while a war could close your business permanently. Of course if that single hard drive contains your most important Records it could also put you out of business.

The point is, you don’t know what might happen or how severe it might be. So the point is to prepare for anything, prepare for the worse and have a plan in place to follow if and when a disaster strikes.

The better prepared you are the lower the impact of a disaster is likely to be.


The Four Ds of Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery is best addresses in four basic stages:

  1. Disaster Prevention
  2. Disaster Preparation
  3. Disaster Response
  4. Disaster Recovery

Making sure you have taken the time to consider these stages will go a long way to handling all but the most unlikely disasters.

For more information about the Four Ds of Disaster Recovery read: “How to Improve Your Disaster Recovery Ability”.


Read more SME related articles: Records Management for SMEs – What You Need to Know about Cyber Crime

Read the previous articles: Records Management for SMEs – The Truth about Records Management



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