Would You Be Prepared If Your SCADA System Failed Tomorrow?
What do your SCADA disaster recovery plans look like? If they are outdated or don’t exist, let us explain why having a well thought out plan for when disaster strikes can be beneficial in more than one way.
As we know, SCADA systems offer monitoring and control of many vital systems across various industries. However, SCADA systems are not immune to internal and external “attacks”, such as cyber-attacks, equipment failures, natural disasters and human error. One disaster situation could see your SCADA systems and critical operations come to a screeching halt, which is not ideal for companies who provide essential services. Therefore, having a plan in place relieves some of the worries and can also benefit your company in many other ways.
Minimised Downtime The obvious main benefit of having a disaster recovery plan in place is having the ability to quickly respond and ensure that your control systems and critical operations are back up and running as soon as possible. In the unfortunate event that a disaster does occur, the recovery process may still take some time, but this process is much timelier than having no disaster plan for your control systems and having to start from scratch.
System Improvements Creating a disaster recovery plan allows you to analyse existing systems, run potential threat scenarios, schedule the maintenance of critical systems and seek innovative solutions to mitigate failures or downtime. Innovative solutions, such as automated back-ups, system redundancy, preventative maintenance and automated systems failure testing can potentially save companies a lot of money in the long run.
Developing Accurate Documentation and Procedures The process of creating a disaster recovery plan for a SCADA system involves documenting the current state of the system and updating relevant procedures. This extensive range of documentation, drawings and procedures can significantly improve the maintainability and reduce whole of life costs.
Meet regulatory standards and client expectations In our fast-paced society, clients expect nothing short of perfection and reliability. Having a disaster recovery plan in place, allows companies to maintain a high level of service, regardless of the circumstances. If your company provides an essential service to a vast number of customers, such as the utility industry, your clients can be heavily affected by downtime. As a result, this can lead to a degraded reputation and the potential loss of customers. Reducing the risk of downtime and data loss means your clients can rest assured they will receive adequate service even if a disaster occurs. As a result, investing in disaster recovery planning is one of the priorities when it comes to sustainable customer retention.
At SAFEgroup Automation (SGA) we have experienced engineering consultants who can help review (or develop) your disaster recovery plans to ensure that you and your team have an extensive plan, the know-how and support (and the backups!) to safeguard your critical SCADA assets.