Enough tech-based disasters have made the news in recent years for Los Angeles RIAs to take a serious look at their IT disaster recovery planning.
Thanks to industry regulations, most if not all financial services professionals have some sort of plan in place, but that is only half the battle.
The other half involves reviewing the systems for mistakes that could bring everything tumbling down if left unchecked.
Below are some of the more common disaster recovery plan problems, and what can be done to address them.
Failure to Test
New IT disaster recovery plans should be tested at least twice a year, given the growing sophistication of cyber-criminals. These tests need to account for all types of potential threats, not only the ones that are the most anticipated. An ironclad firewall, for example, is of little use if a natural disaster strikes.
Not Organizing Data
Not all data is mission-critical, and failure to prioritize can leave important files vulnerable while non-essential data is strongly protected. When disaster strikes, prioritization is essential, so RIAs need to safeguard their critical information first before taking care of their incidental files.
Applying a “One Size Fits All” Approach
Solid disaster recovery requires a customized approach. A plan that meets the needs of one RIA may fall short when it comes to another. Any financial services company looking to emerge from a disaster with minimal losses needs to tailor every aspect of their plan to the firm’s infrastructure.
Forgetting About Outlying Data
Despite attempts at centralization, essential data can end up in several different places: desktop PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and even portable media like USB drives. The growing popularity of BYOD policies has effectively decentralized data in many companies. RIAs must ensure that all devices capable of storing data are backed up offsite on a regular basis so that recovery can be done quickly and easily in the event of a crisis.
Forgetting to Involve all Key Personnel
IT disasters impact an entire company, so all department heads need to be involved in the recovery plan. A common mistake is to confine the plan details to the IT personnel, who are expected to do most of the recovery work. They may be the ones who restore the systems, but everyone has a role to play in getting the firm fully operational once more.
The Bottom Line
With the right IT disaster recovery plan in place, Los Angeles RIAs can withstand all kinds of disasters without lengthy downtime and loss of data. There are several new technologies on the market today that make recovery quicker and more affordable than before.
For an extra layer of data security, companies can outsource their IT requirements to a reputable colocation center with state-of-the-art disaster recovery platforms in place.
Does your company have a disaster recovery plan in place? Has it ever fallen short of expectations? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free guide, Investing in High Net Worth Clients: The LA Investment Advisor's Guide to Using Technology to Manage and Grow Your Firm.