An MSP Playbook for Best Practices in Disaster Recovery Planning and Testing

Do you currently have a disaster recovery plan? 50% of MSPs responded that they had one, but it needs more work. Take advantage of Axcient’s playbook to ensure business continuity for your clients, no matter what.

Robust disaster recovery (DR) includes much more than recovering data. In today’s heightened cybersecurity landscape, DR involves various components, including state and industry regulations, communication with affected individuals and the public, legal consequences, and insurance carrier access and future coverage. Unfortunately, clients are not always aware of the wide-reaching consequences of today’s all too common data breaches.

Disaster Recovery Planning Includes More Than You May Think

As an MSP, it’s your responsibility to keep your clients safe, which means making sure they understand what their DR solution can and cannot do. Disaster recovery planning isn’t as simple as just including backup and disaster recovery (BDR) in their stack. While that is a central piece of the puzzle, there are many factors clients need to consider when determining disaster readiness.

For example, if a client decides to forego Microsoft 365 backup, they need to acknowledge the risk they’re assuming by relying entirely on Microsoft’s limited 14-day retention period. Likewise, regarding cyber liability insurance, clients need to understand the processes, procedures, and solution standards required for the business to receive claim payments. Similarly, clients must be aware of their industry’s compliance standards and choose solutions that meet those expectations.

Put all of these components together, along with step-by-step instructions for what to do after a breach is detected, and you’re on your way to having a disaster recovery plan. Add in regular updates, drills, table reads, and disaster recovery testing, and your clients will be able to recover, restore, and rebound with minimal downtime, cost, or risk to the overall business.

The reality is that a disaster recovery plan is created to protect infrastructure against any event that could cause disruption, including technical glitches, system failures, human error, power outages, and even cyberattacks or data theft.”

It’s Not Just Clients at Risk – It’s MSPs Too

Recent state regulations specific to solution providers may feel like a target on the backs of MSPs. The shift in blame from businesses that suffer data loss to the solution providers responsible for protecting those businesses forces MSPs to take a more vested interest in clients’ security. Now, if a data breach occurs, the incident may become public record, thereby putting your MSP’s reputation and growth potential in jeopardy. You may be forced to pay penalties, follow specific guidelines surrounding communication with affected parties, and report attempted breaches to state officials, even if data loss did not occur.

The transfer of cybersecurity responsibility from businesses to solution providers should encourage MSPs to do the following:

  • Educate clients on the necessity of DR readiness, including the consequences of being underprepared as it applies to both their business and the MSP.
  • Help clients create a DR plan using An MSP Playbook for Best Practices in Disaster Recovery planning and testing.
  • Evaluate your business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solution to make sure it includes these critical capabilities:
    • Free DR testing
    • Anti-ransomware technology
    • Automatic backup verification
    • Pooled flat-fee storage and secure, long-term retention
    • Chain-Free image-based backups
  • Continue educating, helping, and evaluating because cybersecurity is never over. New and quickly evolving threats require regular updates to DR plans, routine DR testing, and developing BCDR capabilities that directly address the latest data loss risks.

How often you should test is determined by your risks and assets. Those at greater risk like to test more frequently (say, every week), those at a moderate risk may test quarterly, and those at a very low risk may only test once a year. However, no matter what category your business is in, you should always test your DR plan.”

Disaster Recovery Planning Best Practices

In Axcient’s playbook, MSPs get the information necessary to put together a robust, comprehensive, and effective DR plan for their clients. Best practices around DR planning and testing are discussed, as well as common pitfalls, sample policies and standards, and additional resources.

Download An MSP Playbook for Best Practices in Disaster Recovery Planning and Testing to get access to…

  • Key elements and components necessary for your clients’ DR plan to run efficiently.
  • Technology options for DR planning and testing, including cloud backup technology for remote and hybrid environments.
  • Insights into how other MSPs are handling DR planning and testing.
  • Considerations for DR testing – how to do it, at what frequency, who to involve, and when to make a change in your DR plan.
  • Complete BCDR with the critical capabilities necessary to restore data with minimal downtime, low total cost of ownership (TCO), compliance, and data management simplicity.

DOWNLOAD the playbook here >>

More Great Stuff From Our Blog:

Check out some other interesting pieces from our blog:  Our previous CEO David Bennett explains why the current cybersecurity landscape means traditional backup is dead, learn how you can ditch pricey on-site appliances with Local Cache for Direct-to-Cloud BCDR. Get the skinny on how we can offer pooled flat-fee data retention and storage with no complicated tiered pricing (Seriously!), or dive into how chain-based backup works and why chain-free is the way to be.

About the Author: Carissa Johnson // Product Marketing Manager, Axcient

Carissa Kohn Johnson AxcientCarissa Kohn-Johnson has a background in healthcare technology and information technology, and is now the Product Marketing Manager for Axcient. She has a lot of MSP Channel experience from planning and attending hundreds of conferences and tradeshows, and found her passion in IT. Carissa is also an elected official in Cary NC, a town chock full of technology-forward people. Connect with her on LinkedIn – perhaps you can contribute to the Axcient blog?

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