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Defining the 'disaster' in disaster recovery


When business owners think about disaster striking their companies, their minds tend to go toward natural disasters. This is not an incorrect assumption – floods, hurricanes and tornados do strike businesses and need to be planned for, but they constitute a very small subset of what is actually considered a business “disaster.” So, what other events should you incorporate into your recovery plan?

The three most common types of disasters are hardware failure, mechanical failure and human error.

Hardware failure

As much as we want to believe that today’s hardware is perfect, there is no device with a flawless track record. Some common instances of hardware failure include:

  • Network outage
  • Power loss
  • Memory errors

All of these can result in minor to catastrophic loss of data, especially when a critical device is involved. While maintaining regular backups is a critical part of disaster recovery, it’s often not enough – and a lot of small businesses choose to outsource their IT infrastructure, as well.

Mechanical failure

Mechanical failure typically occurs when an external event causes a piece of hardware to malfunction. Some typical mechanical failure scenarios include:

  • HVAC issues, such as a leaky air conditioner
  • Temperature problems, such as an overheated server room
  • Internet outage due to the physical environment, such as a construction worker cutting an internet cable

While still serious, mechanical failures tend not to be nearly as catastrophic as the full-on damage associated with a natural disaster.

Business Resumption plan.png


Human error

Employees are arguably the biggest liability with which a business must grapple. Humans make errors no matter how cautious we try to be, and sometimes the smallest action can carry a large consequence. As a managed services provider, MyITpros has seen things like:

  • Incorrect system changes without backups
  • In-house errors caused by overworked or rushed IT technicians
  • User accidents, such as hitting the wrong key and deleting something critical

Proactively preventing human error is extremely hard, which is why putting together a reactive disaster recovery plan is so important. Additionally, business owners should work to consistently strengthen their recovery processes and focus on user education to minimize in-house error.

As farfetched as a natural disaster or any of the other examples detailed above may seem, no business is 100% immune to IT mishaps, which makes both prevention efforts and recovery planning crucial. MyITpros believes so strongly in fortifying companies that we’ve created a free business resumption plan template for you to download today!

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