Technology drives just about everything we do, so when it suddenly stops working, all hell breaks loose. Technicians make fast, impulsive decisions to get things back up and running as quickly as possible. And while quick reactions are good in certain types of emergencies -- like when you realize you haven’t bought the boss a gift for his birthday the next day -- it rarely helps in IT emergencies.

So if you want to keep your cool and your computers back online immediately after a disaster, avoid making stupid mistakes like...

Not having a disaster recovery plan

Given how many different types of disasters occur every year, you’d think more businesses would be prepared for them. But according to several recent reports, 33% of companies barely even plan for disasters, and a significant portion of these companies end up like Equifax -- a credit company that’s been the butt of every joke since people found out that the Chief Security Officer was a music major.

If you want your business to survive cyberattacks, storms, and power outages, you have to prepare for them.

So it is imperative that you put a plan in place for dealing with every eventuality. These plans should include emergency contact details, a data recovery process, and evacuation procedures so your employees aren’t running around like headless chickens.

"Google is down! EVERYBODY PANIC!"

Failing to test the plan

After you’ve created a disaster recovery plan, don’t just let it gather dust in some cobweb-filled archive room. Besides, there’s no guarantee it will work just because you’ve written it down on a piece of paper.

That’s why these plans must be tested regularly by IT professionals to make sure you’re able to retrieve your data and your employees know their responsibilities.

Another way you can test your plan is with a tabletop simulation, where you and your employees gather around a table and run through various scenarios like a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. But instead of fighting trolls and ogres, you’re going up against ransomware attackers and Mother Nature. It’s geeky, but it’s more fun than a 2-hour lecture from one of the nerds in Sector 7G.

Sweeping the problem under the rug

One thing you never want to do if your business has been affected by a downtime event is to hide it from the public. Sure, it may be tempting to keep things under wraps when you have an Equifax-esque slip-up, but think about the consequences. What happens when other people find out about the data breach? And what happens when they find out you’ve taken extreme measures to hide it from them?

Well, other than hurling insults at your employees, company, and for some reason, your mother, they’ll probably stop doing business with you...after they’ve sued you, of course.

“Sir, we’re sorry about the accident, but my sister’s waist size had nothing to do with this!”

Reporting accidents and data breaches promptly is the smartest thing you can do. First, you have more control over how the facts are presented, allowing you to minimize the damage. Second, you’ll reassure your clients and make amends early, hopefully reducing -- if not entirely eliminating -- the time you'll have to spend in court.

Trying to do it alone

Disaster recovery and business continuity are rather easy when you know what you’re doing. You just need to draft a detailed plan, set up a backup data center, determine which systems to recover first, ensure backups can be retrieved quickly, and test it at least every month.

If you can manage all that by yourself, then more power to you. But on the off chance that you’re not a certified IT professional with over 10 years of experience maintaining, securing, and recovering computer systems like Red Key Solutions, it might be better to seek the help of a managed services provider.

That’s because they have a team of disaster recovery technicians who’ve dealt with all sorts of crises, from simple downtime issues to bizarre “spontaneous combustion” incidents.

So if you run a business in New York, make sure to give Red Key Solutions a call. We offer world-class disaster recovery services and expert advice to keep you from making IT mistakes that turn problems into crises!

Red Key is a leading cybersecurity company serving New York City, Westchester County, Fairfield County Connecticut, California & beyond. Click here to learn more.