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Drawing up strategies for disaster recovery audit, maintenance and continuous improvement are the key final stages in the development of a disaster recovery programme.
Your organisation can continually improve disaster recovery and business continuity activities by monitoring the overall programme and applying preventive and corrective actions, such as periodic reviews of program performance, as appropriate.
Check to ensure that your audit firm has expertise in business continuity and disaster recovery.
So, for example, make sure to audit outsourcing vendors to ensure their capabilities support your organisation's disaster recovery strategies and plans.
These will include risk assessments, business impact analyses (and updates to existing risk assessments and BIAs), plan reviews, plan exercises, contact list updates, and plan training and awareness activities.
Continuous improvement is an ongoing activity that occurs at all points in the DR planning lifecycle, and can be implemented through effective programme management.
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.

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. IBM's planned purchase of The Weather Co.'s data operations may be a bellwether event from which data professionals can learn. Crucial transformer at a nuclear plant in New energy lines that left millions without cent more than. Every family needs an emergency preparedness plan, even though we hope you never need them!
Now, when looking at preparation of disaster recovery audit, maintenance and continuous improvement strategies, ISO 27031 also provides some important recommendations. When applied to disaster recovery, continuous improvement ties together the previously discussed disaster recovery audit and maintenance activities and leverages the results of both to introduce improvements to the process on an ongoing basis. 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. 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. Recovery Point Objective (RPO) describes the amount of data that the organisation could afford to lose in the event of a disaster and is one of the most important aspects of Business Continuity planning.
Any change to ICT services which may affect the disaster recovery capability should be implemented only after the business continuity implications of the change have been assessed and addressed.

Now it is time to map out plans for disaster recovery audit, maintenance and continuous improvement. To ensure a successful Disaster Recovery plan is in place for your organisation it is essential to assess what level of protection is most suited for your requirements and the likelihood of any disaster occurring. As noted in previous articles in this series, disaster recovery strategies and procedures help organisations protect their investments in IT systems and operating infrastructures. It shows where the disaster recovery audit, maintenance and continuous improvement fit into the overall disaster recovery lifecycle and framework. Those events with the highest risk factor are the ones your disaster recovery plan should primarily aim to address. This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged business continuity, cloudcover, disaster recovery, enterprise hosting, virtual data centre services, virtualDCS.
Whether you use an internal audit department or an external auditing firm, be sure to periodically evaluate your disaster recovery programme to ensure it continues to be fit for purpose and compliant with industry standards and company policies.
Define the internal audit plan for IT disaster recovery and document the criteria, scope, method and frequency of audits. When building a disaster recovery maintenance plan, be sure to secure senior management review and approval. Once the disaster recovery project is completed, launch an ongoing process of continuous improvement.

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