Incident Response and Disaster Recovery Tips for Los Angeles Businesses

man and woman sitting at a table discussing plans for disaster recovery for their company

Whether it’s a natural disaster or a cyber attack, Los Angeles businesses need to be prepared for anything. Having a plan in place for how to respond to and recover from an IT incident can help minimize the damage and help your business get back on its feet again.

In this article we will explore threats businesses in Los Angeles face and what they can do to create and implement an incident response and disaster recovery plan.

What Threats Do Los Angeles Businesses Face?

Unfortunately, around 40% of companies never reopen after a disaster, and it’s largely because they don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place to protect their assets.

Los Angeles businesses face a variety of threats, both physical and digital. Knowing these threats and preparing accordingly can help your business stay better protected against them and continue operating.

Physical Threats

California’s Emergency Management Department highlights several natural hazards most common in Los Angeles:

  • Wildfires
  • Earthquakes
  • Flooding
  • Mudslides

Businesses should have an incident response plan for each of these physical threats. For example, if a fire broke out in your building, your onsite servers are likely to become a casualty. They are not portable, and it would not be safe to try to remove them from the building. Your disaster recovery plan should include regular data backups so that copies of your files are stored and restored offsite, and can be accessed even if your onsite servers are compromised. 

Cyber Threats

California is a leading state in tech usage. About 90% of the population is connected to the internet. Hackers know this, making Los Angeles businesses a main target for threat actors seeking to steal your data. Business owners in Los Angeles should watch out for the following cyber threats:

  • Phishing scams
  • Ransomware
  • Malware
  • Denial of Service attacks

Many internal weaknesses can also pose threats to your systems and make it easier for hackers to get in, such as:

  • Weak passwords
  • Internal data leaks
  • Poor system updates
  • Outdated software

While phishing attacks that leverage the above weaknesses may seem like old-hat scams, one in three cyber attacks involve phishing. It’s critical to train your staff on best cybersecurity practices as well as develop a disaster recovery plan that a) eliminates as many weaknesses as possible and b) mitigates the potential damages of attacks.

What Do Incident Response Plans and Disaster Recovery Plans Look Like?

Incident response and disaster recovery go hand-in-hand, but they have unique purposes. Incident response plans are intended to detail the processes a business should follow if an incident occurs. A disaster recovery plan is intended to mitigate the damages of an IT emergency as well as get your systems back up and running.

Here’s what each plan should include:

Incident Response Plan 

  • A list of situations that classify as incidents
  • Detailed procedures for reporting incidents
  • Individual responsibilities during an incident
  • Documentation processes and responsibilities during an incident

Disaster Recovery Plan

  • Inventory of assets
  • Catalog of critical systems and data
  • Backup and recovery procedures
  • Offsite storage and backup locations

It’s important to have both plans in place before an incident occurs, as they can help minimize the disruption to your business and get operations back up and running.

5 Best Practice Tips for Implementing Incident Response and Disaster Recovery Plans

Now that you know what incident response and disaster recovery plans include and why you need them, here are 5 tips for implementing them in your workplace:

1. Prioritize Your Greatest Assets

When creating an incident response plan, it is important to prioritize your greatest assets. What is your most critical data? Which files or programs would be catastrophic if lost? What responsibilities do you have to your clients, customers, and employees under regulatory compliance?

Once you have a good understanding of what needs to be prioritized in your response and recovery planning, you can start developing specific procedures for potential incidents.

2. Train Your Employees

Your employees need to know what to do in the event of an incident or disaster. In a survey by Forbes, only 27% of respondents stated they felt confident and well prepared for an emergency, even though 73% said they were aware of the protocols. While it’s good for employees to know protocols for an emergency, confidence is key to ensuring all steps are executed correctly.

Make sure all of your employees are familiar with your incident response and disaster recovery plan and that they understand their roles and responsibilities. You can help your employees feel prepared through frequent training exercises and drills. These simulations will also help you identify weaknesses or oversights in your plan and improve them.

3.  Perform and Test Regular Data Backups

Your backups are only as good as your ability to restore them. Regular data backups and tests to make sure backups are working properly can give you peace of mind that your data is safe. 

Another great way to secure your data is by having diversity in storage locations. A third-party IT professional can backup your data on offsite secure servers to ensure you always have copies of your critical files.

4. Test Your Incident Response Disaster Recovery Plan

It’s not enough to simply have a disaster recovery plan; you need to ensure that it is effective and will work as intended. Many businesses have a disaster recovery plan, but only 23% of companies actually test their plan.

By regularly testing your incident response and disaster recovery plan, you will find and fix gaps before disaster strikes, while also helping your employees become familiar with the plan.

5. Get Extra Help from an IT Provider

There’s a lot that goes into developing and implementing effective incident response and disaster recovery plans. If you don’t have the internal resources to do it yourself, consider working with an IT provider in Los Angeles who can help you develop and test comprehensive plans that will keep your business open in the event of an incident or disaster.

Ensure Your Business is Secure with Tech Rockstars

No business is immune to incidents or disasters, but having a well-thought-out plan can make all the difference. At Tech Rockstars, we have the experience and expertise to help you develop and implement comprehensive incident response and disaster recovery plans.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you secure your business.