Why You Should Regularly Test Your Disaster Recovery Plan

Author Photo

written by craig beam posted on June 1, 2021

You’ve probably insured your company against losses, but none of the insurance policies can recover or replace the data you’ve lost from an outage. You can fully protect your files and documents by leveraging a disaster recovery plan and testing it regularly.

Disaster recovery tests involve IT failure simulations or any business disruption to your recovery plan. The primary objective is to ascertain your level of preparedness to restore your data and operations within a set duration.

This will help you understand how your infrastructure responds if any section of your system becomes unavailable. The insights will guide you in tweaking your disaster recovery plan and fix any vulnerabilities before an actual disruption.

Regular backup testing, verification, and constant data integrity checks eliminate the worry and fear of potential breaches.

Benefits of Regularly Testing Your Disaster Recovery Strategy

Here are the primary reasons why you should test your disaster recovery strategy frequently:

Reduced Software or Hardware Failures

A massive majority of unintentional downtime results from power outages and system failures. Problems like faulty drivers or wiring and network issues are beyond your influence. Sure, you may get top-shelf power surge solutions and advanced backup tools, but if they unfortunately fail, they’ll shut down along with the data.

Regular tests will identify such vulnerabilities, and you’ll create a strategy that ensures the shortest recovery time possible.

Improved Security

The more the days go, the more organizations rely on digital information to conduct daily operations. Threat actors are noticing this and are leveraging advanced tools to access networks, inject a virus, or steal data. Fortunately, investing in disaster recovery testing will help you fight back, and you can almost fully recover. You’ll identify the existing loopholes beforehand and address them before criminals exploit them.


Testing your business disaster recovery plan involves assigning vital tasks to key employees. Any change to these key personnel can change the approach as well. Backup testing makes it easy to stay ahead of the process and any necessary adjustments. It holds every team member accountable for the tasks they handle.

Better Client Service

Nothing beats the disappointment of contacting a company, and the person you’re talking to tells you, “I’m sorry I can’t assist you now. I’m experiencing system issues.” If instead, you would tell how long it takes to restore the system and that your digital assets are safe and protected, there’ll be better communication with customers. Regular backup tests help you ascertain recovery time, leaving you confident in your recovery process and ability to operate during adversity.

Practical Versus Theoretical

You’ve probably encountered the statement, “it looked good on paper.” Your data recovery plan can make sense when you think about it, brainstorm, and vote on the policy, procedure, or process. But after implementation, you may come across new unforeseen holes. You might discover redundancies, inefficiencies, and plain ignored steps.

Reduced Downtime

An hour or two of downtime could cost you big. The period may seem short but could lead to immense losses, particularly during peak business hours. On average, network downtime can cost your business up to $5,600 per minute. Quality replication solutions and backup let you keep the losses as low as possible, and you’ll achieve business continuity. Regular backup tests offer a clear view of the risk environment, allowing you to adjust your plan appropriately.

Error Prevention

Data backup systems improve by the day, but the risk of human error remains constant. Provided a human being operates the system, the chance of mistakes is inevitable. The error can be anything from accidentally deleting a crucial file, entering incorrect details, or clicking an inappropriate button. While it’s hard to avoid these mishaps entirely, testing can identify the potential errors and design the best remedy before the actual human factor unfolds.

Meet Consumer Expectations

The modern-day consumer is exceptionally demanding. This group of buyers expects available services around the clock and zero disruptions. The longer you take to recover, the higher the risk of losing more customers to your active rivals. The high consumer expectations shouldn’t put you out of business, and you can use it to your advantage. Testing will help you keep the recovery time as low as possible, and your customers might not even notice the outage.

Client Retention

In today’s highly connected world, it’s harder and costlier to acquire a new customer than retain the current ones. It’s also twice as difficult to recover a customer who switched brands due to an IT failure. Regular data backup tests can keep your architecture functional, hence retain customer trust and confidence in your brand.

How Frequently Should You Test Your Data?

Most organizations have robust data backup solutions and practical testing strategies but take many months or even years before testing their infrastructure. This can be risky, especially in the current threat landscape where cybercriminals advance their tools to compromise company data. So it would help to take the shortest time possible to test your data.

The time taken between two successive data backup tests depends on your confidence level. Your IT functions should conduct regular data backup and recovery tests based on your operations schedule and comfort level. The process shouldn’t cost your productivity and must also be done regularly to stay ahead of the constantly evolving vulnerabilities.

Your IT team or professional service provider should adequately document the processes and show proof of the process, findings, and recommendations. Another critical best practice is to simulate a complete data backup failure at least once a year. During this period, have all your IT resources working on a more robust backup system.

The Bottom Line

Backup testing is a vital component of your business continuity strategy. Even with all the proper controls to keep your business operational after a disaster or attack, the risk is still imminent, and you’ll be better placed if you prepare for an unfortunate occurrence.

Data backup testing places you in that exact adversary situation, only that this time it’s a simulation. You’ll go through the different steps of your business continuity plan to understand its strengths and weaknesses and use the insights to buffer your current system against breaches and attacks.

Backup testing can be challenging, especially if your industry isn’t IT-related. Fortunately, MicroXpress offers a complete suite of email archiving, disaster recovery, and backup solutions to keep businesses of all sizes functional.

Reach out for apt guidance to create a secure data backup system.

Skip to toolbar