Table of Contents
A picture of Olivier Samyn and Guillaume Dacier from 26lights.

Protect Your Business: The Importance of a Disaster Recovery Plan

March 10, 2021, was a hectic day.

That was the day OVH data centers in Strasbourg caught fire, causing thousands of websites to instantly go offline.

Firefighters rushed to the scene to put out the flames and get things under control. But the damage was already done.

This is what OVH had to say on the day it happened.

This disaster raised a major issue: Are companies prepared for incidents that can, temporarily or permanently, affect your company’s ability to conduct business and serve customers?

Power outages, cyber-attacks, data breaches and many more can wreak havoc on your business. These disruptions can cripple operations, compromise sensitive data, damage business reputation, and lead to significant financial losses.

The need for strong preparation and protection against these cyber risks has never been more critical, especially in an environment where everything is in the Cloud.

By having a comprehensive, continuously updated Disaster Recovery Plan in place, organizations can minimize the impact of a disaster and ensure the continuity of their operations.

In this article, we’ll explain:

  1. What a Disaster Recovery Plan is
  2. Why it’s important to protect your business
  3. The best practices for crafting a DRP

What is a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)?

A Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is a documented and structured approach to responding to and recovering from disruptive events that could impact your business operations.

It outlines the strategies, procedures, and protocols to ensure business continuity and minimize downtime in the face of various emergencies.

A well-designed DRP goes beyond proactivity; it involves comprehensive planning for both major and minor issues that could disrupt your business.

A well-designed DRP considers all possible scenarios and the resources required to respond to them, including:

  • Personnel
  • Equipment
  • Communication channels
  • Inventory Profile(s)
  • System Restore Commands & Tasks
  • Disaster Recovery Plan Testing
  • And more, depending on the business

Continuous learning and refinement of your DRP are essential to enhance its effectiveness over time. Preparing for the worst allows your business to thrive even in the face of adversity!

a picture of a screen filled up with lines of code.

Why you should (already) have a DRP in place.

Many companies aren’t all that receptive when it comes to protecting their business. It can be costly, time-consuming, and it doen’t get executive approval in some cases.

To ensure business continuity and minimize the impact of a disaster, it is crucial for organizations to have a well-crafted and regularly updated DRP. This plan should encompass all potential scenarios and consider the required resources to take immediate action in case anything happens.

It is essential for:

Minimizing downtime and loss

A robust DRP enables your business to recover swiftly from disruptive events, minimizing downtime and preventing significant financial losses. Time is money, and the longer your systems are down, the more revenue and productivity you stand to lose.

Maintaining customer trust

Customers rely on businesses to keep their data secure and deliver uninterrupted services. By having a solid DRP in place, you keep your ability to continue serve them during unexpected, challenging times.

Compliance with Regulations

Depending on your industry, certain regulations may require you to have a DRP in place. Compliance with these regulations not only helps you avoid penalties and legal issues but also ensures that your business operates ethically and responsibly.

Reassuring Stakeholders

Your investors will sleep better knowing that you proactively prepared a solution for every problem that could impact your business. Since their money is on the line, presenting a solid DRP is essential to reassure them.

What our Tech Lead says about DRP’s

We asked our tech lead Olivier to touch on how we implement such a plan from scratch for our clients. Here’s his answer.

We start with three simple questions:

What would we immediately do IF:

  • Servers are down
  • The system is under a cyberattack
  • Data gets deleted (either intentionally or accidentally)

Based on that, you can establish an exhaustive list of what needs doing and assign people to deal with each task. We help clients list those tasks and organize the response.

By having this list, you’ll have a holistic view on:

  • Who’s supposed to do what
  • Where the information needed to take action is

After that, we’re doing a full inventory of the necessary info to answer the next crucial question:

“What would we have to do if we were to restart everything from scratch?”

Having the answer to that question allows you to assess every worst-case scenario, and be prepared for it.

For us, it’s an iterative process where we assess your current business security processes, then find action items to facilitate decision-making in the event when every second counts.

Building a DRP: Process and Best Practices

Next, we’ll explain the crucial steps to keep in mind for building an effective Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP):

Identify critical assets

We conduct a thorough assessment of your business processes and systems to identify critical assets that must be protected and prioritized for recovery.

Perform continuous risk assessment

We evaluate potential risks and vulnerabilities that could impact your business. This includes assessing internal and external factors such as hardware failures, natural disasters, human errors, and cyber threats.

Define recovery objectives

We establish key recovery metrics like recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs) that aligns with your business’ needs & downtime and data loss for each critical system. These metrics will guide your recovery efforts and help set realistic expectations.

For example, if a critical system goes down, the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) might be four hours. This means the system must be back up and running within four hours. The Recovery Point Objective (RPO) might be two hours, which means the data loss should be no more than two hours’ worth of data. These metrics help guide recovery efforts and set realistic expectations for stakeholders.

Document procedures and responsibilities

Clearly document step-by-step procedures for each recovery strategy and assign responsibilities to specific individuals or teams. This ensures everyone knows their roles and can act swiftly when a disruptive event occurs. Putting contact coordinates and availability of peers tasked to help in case of disruption helps everyone act as quickly as possible.

Regularly test and update the plan

Regular testing and updating of the DRP are crucial to ensure its effectiveness. Conduct simulated disaster scenarios and evaluate the plan’s response to identify any gaps or areas for improvement. Keep the plan up to date as your business evolves and new technologies or potential risks emerge.

Establish communication protocols

Effective communication is key during a crisis. Define communication channels, both internal and external, and establish protocols for notifying stakeholders, employees, customers, and relevant authorities. Ensure there are backup communication systems in case primary channels are disrupted.

Train and educate employees

Your DRP is only as effective as the people who implement it. Provide regular training sessions and educational resources to ensure that employees are familiar with the plan, understand their roles, and know how to respond in an emergency. Encourage a culture of preparedness and emphasize the importance of individual accountability.

Maintain vendor relationships

If your business relies on third-party vendors or service providers, establish strong relationships and agreements that address their role in your DRP. Ensure they have their own robust plans in place and conduct periodic assessments of their readiness to meet your recovery needs.

Document lessons learned

After an actual recovery event or a simulated exercise, take the time to document lessons learned. Identify areas of improvement, adjust your plan accordingly, and share insights with relevant stakeholders. Continuous learning and refinement of your DRP are essential to enhance its effectiveness over time.


A Disaster Recovery Plan is not just something to check off a list; it is a crucial aspect of protecting your business in today’s technology-driven world.

By proactively planning for potential disruptions and having a well-defined strategy in place, you can minimize downtime, maintain customer trust, comply with regulations, and mitigate reputational damage.

Follow the best practices outlined in this article, and regularly test and update your plan to ensure its effectiveness.

Being prepared for the worst allows your business to thrive even in the face of adversity!

So, take the first step today — don’t know where to start to protect your business? You can trust us to set up your Disaster Recovery Plan and safeguard the continuity of your business!

At 26lights, we know that unexpected disruptions in your business can be devastating. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping startups, scaleups, and ambitious SMEs safeguard operations and data with comprehensive disaster recovery planning. Our team of IT and business experts will work with you to identify your critical assets, assess potential risks, and design a tailored plan that meets your unique needs.

Let’s discuss your needs with a coffee!

Do you have a story to tell?

Let's hear your challenges

We love to hear entrepreneur stories and rattle our brains on how to launch them to the highest possible. It’s in our veins since the beginning.

So if you’re in need for guidance about all things tech, business, marketing or human, we’re here to help

Picture of a meeting with a 26lights Growth Partner