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.
BIAs are built on a series of questions that should be posed to key members of each operating unit in the company, including IT. 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.


Next, the risk assessment examines the internal and external threats and vulnerabilities that could negatively impact IT assets. Those events with the highest risk factor are the ones your disaster recovery plan should primarily aim to address.



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