Disaster Recovery and Response | What SMEs Need to Know

July 9, 2024

Are you concerned about the seemingly ever-increasing occurrences of natural disasters, global conflicts, cybercrime, and other forces that could hurt your business? It’s time to ensure your disaster recovery, business continuity, and incident response plans are in order.  

Business continuity hinges on robust disaster recovery and response strategies. As business leaders and decision-makers in the IT space, understanding the nuances of these strategies is crucial. We’ll delve into the essentials of disaster recovery planning, the 4 C’s of Disaster Recovery, and more.

What is Disaster Recovery Planning

Disaster recovery planning is the cornerstone of ensuring your business can bounce back after an unexpected event, whether it’s a cyberattack, natural disaster, or system failure. A well-crafted disaster recovery plan (DRP) outlines the processes and procedures your organization will follow to restore critical functions and minimize downtime.

Defining Business Continuity

Business continuity goes hand in hand with disaster recovery. While disaster recovery focuses on restoring IT systems, business continuity encompasses maintaining all essential functions during and after a disaster. A holistic approach ensures that your business operations can continue with minimal interruption, safeguarding revenue and reputation.

Read more about Business Continuity principles

The 4 C’s of IT Disaster Recovery

The 4 C’s of Disaster Recovery are core principles of physical disaster recovery (i.e. fire, flood, natural disasters). However, the concepts are also directly applicable to your information technology environment.


Effective communication is the most important element of disaster recovery. Ensure that all team members are informed about the situation, their roles, and the actions they need to take. Clear, timely communication helps prevent confusion.


Disaster recovery requires coordination across various departments and teams. Establish a chain of command and clear procedures for coordination to ensure a unified response. Clear assignments streamline efforts and help avoid duplication of work.


Maintaining business continuity is the ultimate goal of disaster recovery. Develop plans to keep critical business functions running during and after a disaster. This includes having backup systems, alternative work locations, and contingency plans in place.


Collaboration between internal teams and external partners is essential for effective disaster recovery. Foster a culture of collaboration and ensure that everyone understands the importance of working together. Collective effort enhances your organization’s resilience.

How to Write a Disaster Recovery Plan

Here are the key steps to writing a disaster recovery plan:

1. Risk Assessment: Identify potential risks and their impact on your business. This includes both external threats (e.g., cyberattacks, natural disasters) and internal threats (e.g., system failures, human error).

2. Critical Functions Identification: Determine which business functions are critical and prioritize their recovery. This helps allocate resources efficiently during a disaster.

3. Recovery Strategies: Develop strategies for restoring critical functions. This includes data backup and restoration processes, alternative communication methods, and temporary workspace arrangements.

4. Plan Development: Document the procedures and assign responsibilities. Include contact information, resource lists, and detailed recovery steps.

5. Testing and Training: Regularly test your plan through drills and simulations. Provide training to ensure that all team members are familiar with their roles and responsibilities.

More advice on writing your Disaster Recovery Plan


Downtime can be costly, both financially and in terms of reputation. Even a few hours of downtime can disrupt operations, erode customer trust, and result in significant revenue loss. A solid disaster recovery plan minimizes downtime, ensuring your business can quickly resume normal operations.

Identify your tier – The 7 Tiers of Disaster Recovery

Data Loss

Data is the lifeblood of modern businesses. Losing critical data can be catastrophic, leading to operational disruptions, legal complications, and loss of customer trust. Implementing robust data backup and storage solutions is vital to protect your business from data loss.

In the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) State of Ransomware and Disaster Preparedness white paper, they reported 60% of organizations surveyed said they had experienced unrecoverable data in the prior 12 months. This was a 17% increase year-over-year.1

There is no one right answer for every business when considering where to store and backup data. Dewpoint’s pillars of evaluating a business’ environment for storage include:

  • Defining your goals: What are the business needs, goals, and outcomes regarding data storage?
  • Assessing your applications: Where are applications hosted? What is their current state? Are there anticipated changes in the near future?
  • Evaluating total cost of ownership: Consider capital expenditures versus operational expenditures, owning or subscribing, etc.

Incident Response Planning

Incident response planning is about being prepared to act swiftly and effectively when a disaster strikes. This involves having a dedicated incident response team, clear communication channels, and predefined procedures for different types of incidents. A well-orchestrated incident response can significantly reduce the impact of a disaster.

Download our free incident response plan template here

Data Backups

Regular data backups are a fundamental aspect of disaster recovery. Ensure that your backups are frequent, secure, and easily accessible. Consider using cloud storage solutions for additional security and convenience. Additionally, test your backup and restoration processes regularly to ensure they work as intended.

Speak with an expert about Cloud Strategy and Migration

Get Started

By investing time and resources into comprehensive disaster recovery and response planning, you can safeguard your business against unforeseen disruptions. If you’re looking for expert guidance to develop or enhance your disaster recovery plan, our team is here to help. Contact us today for a consultation and ensure your business is prepared for any eventuality.

Dewpoint, an award-winning, Michigan-based technology firm, has been helping businesses prepare for, stay ahead of, and respond to IT challenges for over 27 years. From IT security to infrastructure management to automation, cloud migration, and beyond, Dewpoint has long been a trusted technology resource for businesses.


  1. The State of Ransomware and Disaster Preparedness: 2022

Contact Us