Disaster recovery risk assessment and business impact analysis (BIA) are crucial steps in the development of a disaster recovery plan. Once your disaster recovery strategies have been developed, you’re ready to translate them into disaster recovery plans.
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.
Here we’ll explain how to write a disaster recovery plan as well as how to develop disaster recovery strategies. The next section should define roles and responsibilities of DR recovery team members, their contact details, spending limits (for example, if equipment has to be purchased) and the limits of their authority in a disaster situation. These are essential in that they ensure employees are fully aware of DR plans and their responsibilities in a disaster, and DR team members have been trained in their roles and responsibilities as defined in the plans. This section defines the criteria for launching the plan, what data is needed and who makes the determination. Technology DR plans can be enhanced with relevant recovery information and procedures obtained from system vendors. The Morlock Foundation Effective Communications is:One of the most importantingredients in Emergencymanagement. Copyright © 2012 Best Template Collection, All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners. 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. In addition to using the strategies previously developed, IT disaster recovery plans should form part of an incident response process that addresses the initial stages of the incident and the steps to be taken.
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. This process can be seen as a timeline, such as in Figure 2, in which incident response actions precede disaster recovery actions. During the incident response process, we typically become aware of an out-of-normal situation (such as being alerted by various system-level alarms), quickly assess the situation (and any damage) to make an early determination of its severity, attempt to contain the incident and bring it under control, and notify management and other key stakeholders.


Here we can see the critical system and associated threat, the response strategy and (new) response action steps, as well as the recovery strategy and (new) recovery action steps. If your organisation already has records management and change management programmes, use them in your DR planning. Your business plan is one of your most important tools in planning for the future of your business. The Morlock Foundation Organization is: Is the other importantingredient in Emergencymanagement. 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.
Having established our mission, and assuming we have management approval and funding for a disaster recovery initiative, we can establish a project plan. Note: We have included emergency management in Figure 2, as it represents activities that may be needed to address situations where humans are injured or situations such as fires that must be addressed by local fire brigades and other first responders. It is in these plans that you will set out the detailed steps needed to recover your IT systems to a state in which they can support the business after a disaster. Based on the findings from incident response activities, the next step is to determine if disaster recovery plans should be launched, and which ones in particular should be invoked.
This section should specify who has approved the plan, who is authorised to activate it and a list of linkages to other relevant plans and documents. Included within this part of the plan should be assembly areas for staff (primary and alternates), procedures for notifying and activating DR team members, and procedures for standing down the plan if management determines the DR plan response is not needed. 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. A disaster recovery project has a fairly consistent structure, which makes it easy to organise and conduct plan development activity. The following section details the elements in a DR plan in the sequence defined by ISO 27031 and ISO 24762. A section on plan document dates and revisions is essential, and should include dates of revisions, what was revised and who approved the revisions.


If DR plans are to be invoked, incident response activities can be scaled back or terminated, depending on the incident, allowing for launch of the DR plans.
Check with your vendors while developing your DR plans to see what they have in terms of emergency recovery documentation.
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. Important: Best-in-class DR plans should begin with a few pages that summarise key action steps (such as where to assemble employees if forced to evacuate the building) and lists of key contacts and their contact information for ease of authorising and launching the plan.
Once the plan has been launched, DR teams take the materials assigned to them and proceed with response and recovery activities as specified in the plans. The more detailed the plan is, the more likely the affected IT asset will be recovered and returned to normal operation. 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. Located at the end of the plan, these can include systems inventories, application inventories, network asset inventories, contracts and service-level agreements, supplier contact data, and any additional documentation that will facilitate recovery. And since DR planning generates a significant amount of documentation, records management (and change management) activities should also be initiated. Learn how to develop disaster recovery strategies as well as how to write a disaster recovery plan with these step-by-step instructions. Those events with the highest risk factor are the ones your disaster recovery plan should primarily aim to address. Formulating a detailed recovery plan is the main aim of the entire IT disaster recovery planning project.
Once this work is out of the way, you’re ready to move on to developing disaster recovery strategies, followed by the actual plans.



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