Disaster recovery risk assessment and business impact analysis (BIA) are crucial steps in the development of a disaster recovery plan. To do that, let us remind ourselves of the overall goals of disaster recovery planning, which are to provide strategies and procedures that can help return IT operations to an acceptable level of performance as quickly as possible following a disruptive event. Having established our mission, and assuming we have management approval and funding for a disaster recovery initiative, we can establish a project plan.
A disaster recovery project has a fairly consistent structure, which makes it easy to organise and conduct plan development activity.
Adapted with permission from the BCM Lifecycle developed by the Business Continuity Institute. As you can see from The IT Disaster Recovery Lifecycle illustration, the IT disaster recovery process has a standard process flow. Following the BIA and risk assessment, the next steps are to define, build and test detailed disaster recovery plans that can be invoked in case disaster actually strikes the organisation’s critical IT assets. Detailed response planning and the other key parts of disaster recovery planning, such as plan maintenance, are, however, outside the scope of this article so let us get back to looking at disaster recovery risk assessment and business impact assessment in detail.
Working with IT managers and members of your building facilities staff as well as risk management staff if you have them, you can identify the events that could potentially impact data centre operations.
Supply chain disruptions present a key risk, said Susan Young, MBCI, a risk management professional with a London-based insurance company. A BIA attempts to relate specific risks to their potential impact on things such as business operations, financial performance, reputation, employees and supply chains.

BIA outputs should present a clear picture of the actual impacts on the business, both in terms of potential problems and probable costs. 2C Consulting’s Barnes said a key aim of the BIA should be to define the maximum period of time the business can survive without IT.
IBM's planned purchase of The Weather Co.'s data operations may be a bellwether event from which data professionals can learn. The organization via the Disaster Declaration Officer can request for a disaster declaration from the Crisis Management Team with a preliminary damage assessment from the Damage Assessment Team. Business as Usual is a unique supplier of Business Continuity products and services, we are based in the Dorset and Hampshire region although have clients across the country.
Our approach to Business Continuity Management comprises of four phases, each with a number of associated activities. Putting BS 25999 in place will not only help organizations with the management of current operations but also with future growth. Pressure is growing on smaller and medium sized businesses to ensure they have business continuity plans in place, following police warnings that firms are unprepared for a terrorist attack. But, before we look at them in detail, we need to locate disaster recovery risk assessment and business impact assessment in the overall planning process. The speed at which IT assets can be returned to normal or near-normal performance will impact how quickly the organisation can return to business as usual or an acceptable interim state of operations.
Such plans provide a step-by-step process for responding to a disruptive event with steps designed to provide an easy-to-use and repeatable process for recovering damaged IT assets to normal operation as quickly as possible.

The results of the BIA should help determine which areas require which levels of protection, the amount to which the business can tolerate disruptions and the minimum IT service levels needed by the business. Disaster Declaration is the process to activate the BC, DR or CM plan after a disaster or emergency had occurred. A formal announcement by pre-authorized personnel that a disaster or severe outage is predicted or has occurred and that triggers pre-arranged mitigating actions (e.g.
Business as Usual has the skills and experience to assist companies to implement effective and workable solutions and plans for Business Continuity, Disaster recovery and Risk Management.
The BIA identifies the most important business functions and the IT systems and assets that support them. For example, in the Lloyd's insurance market in London, all businesses depend on a firm called Xchanging to provide premiums and claims processing. Those events with the highest risk factor are the ones your disaster recovery plan should primarily aim to address.

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    Author: SimPle
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