Disaster Recovery Planning for Municipal Governments

Municipal governments are tasked with protecting citizen and operational data, rain, shine, or complete catastrophe.

Natural and cyber catastrophes, such as flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, and malware infections, can decimate government systems, halting service delivery and putting valuable data at risk for corruption or loss. Municipal governments are responsible for protecting data and restoring systems in the event of a disaster, so what are the best courses of action?

First, organizations should have an effective disaster recovery plan (DRP) in place to restore the functionality of critical systems and infrastructure and protect data. The DRP should include:

  • Prioritized systems and processes for recovery
  • A comprehensive inventory of hardware and software
  • Defined tolerance for downtime and data loss
  • Identified backup personnel
  • A streamlined communication plan

Organizations should also maintain off-site backups to ensure citizen information is always available and secure. Backups should include copies of email data and preferably follow a 3-2-1 backup rule, which dictates that organizations maintain three copies of data, two of which are backed up to different media (e.g., cloud, disk, or tape), and one of which is housed off site. Having multiple backups makes data recovery seamless and reliable. Municipal governments should sincerely consider cloud solutions for their data backups, as these can be more cost effective than physical data centers to maintain.

With a comprehensive DRP and airtight backup procedures, municipal governments will be well on their way to strategically abating the risk of service delays, streamlining communication and decision-making, ensuring the security of data, and minimizing stress when disaster strikes.