In the coming months, the enterprise would work quickly to set up a facility in Oklahoma City that could easily replicate the work taking place in Round Rock should the facility suffer through a disaster like a tornado. Once this work is out of the way, you’re ready to move on to developing disaster recovery strategies, followed by the actual plans. Once you have identified your critical systems, RTOs, RPOs, etc, create a table, as shown below, to help you formulate the disaster recovery strategies you will use to protect them.
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.
Procedures should ensure an easy-to-use and repeatable process for recovering damaged IT assets and returning them 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. 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.
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. 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. The more detailed the plan is, the more likely the affected IT asset will be recovered and returned to normal operation. 23 miles south in the city of Round Rock, the executives of a major computer company sat at headquarters and faced a sobering reality: had the storm been just a little closer, the multi-billion dollar company could have been knocked offline for days…or worse. Technology DR plans can be enhanced with relevant recovery information and procedures obtained from system vendors. During this time we discuss your organization's disaster recovery concerns, and how a disaster recovery plan can help your organization stay in business in the event of a disaster. After the survey is performed, steps can be taken to developed a comprehensive plan that eliminates vulnerabilities, and improve processes related to data protection related issues.
It’s may sound silly, but some IT departments pretend that data backups are a legitimate substitute for an actual disaster recovery plan. A true disaster recovery solution for your organization or your clients should address a wide range of issues. It goes without saying that every company, regardless of size, needs a concise business continuity plan in case of an emergency. The processes driving comprehensive disaster recovery planning and security protection are both offensive and defensive. Regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley and ISO might seem to influence the actions of only public companies, but even private midsize firms are well advised to establish and maintain compliance. We have just the download you need to create a world class plan and assure you leave no stone unturned.
After you develop DR plans, disaster recovery awareness and testing strategies ensure the plan works and that everyone knows their role within it. Once you have drawn up a detailed disaster recovery plan, the next stages in the project are twofold: to prepare and deliver disaster recovery awareness and training programmes so all employees are prepared to respond as required by the plan in an emergency, and to to carry out disaster recovery testing to ensure the plan works properly and that DR teams know their roles and responsibilities. Perhaps the most important strategy in raising disaster recovery awareness is to secure senior management support and funding for DR programmes. The most important strategy in disaster recovery testing is simply to test, test and test again. Based on the size and complexity of your IT infrastructure, disaster recovery testing activities should address recovery of hardware, software, data and databases, network services, data centre facilities, people (for example, relocation of staff to an alternate site), and the business. Basic disaster recovery testing begins with a desktop walk-through activity, in which DR team members review DR plans step by step to see if they make sense and to fully understand their roles and responsibilities in a disaster. The next kind of test, a simulated recovery, impacts specific systems and infrastructure elements.

Operational exercises extend the simulated recovery test to a wider scale, typically testing end-to-end recovery of multiple systems, both internal and external, the associated network infrastructures that support connectivity of those assets, and the facilities that house primary and backup systems. Build confidence throughout the organisation that resilience and recovery strategies will satisfy the business requirements. Demonstrate that critical ICT services can be maintained and recovered within agreed service levels or recovery objectives regardless of the incident. Demonstrate that critical ICT services can be restored to pre-test state in the event of an incident at the recovery location.
Provide staff members with an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the recovery process.
Verify that ICT DR plans are synchronised with the ICT infrastructures and business environment.
Once your DR plans have been tested and your awareness and training plans have been initiated, the next steps are to initiate a maintenance programme and initiate an audit and review programme.
Once your disaster recovery strategies have been developed, you’re ready to translate them into disaster recovery plans.
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. 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. And since DR planning generates a significant amount of documentation, records management (and change management) activities should also be initiated.
Sadly, almost half of all businesses that suffer a significant interruption without a disaster recovery plan in place never reopen. If your organisation already has records management and change management programmes, use them in your DR planning.
Things to ConsiderWhile the importance of emergency planning may seem self-evident, it may get put on the back-burner in the face of more immediate concerns.
If you don't have a disaster recovery plan or haven't updated yours recently, now is the time to take this critical step to protect your business. In essence, the sooner a firm moves toward regulatory compliance, even if it is not an immediate necessity, the easier that transition will be compared to the future, when a company may be larger and more complex. The changing regulatory environment makes comprehensive data protection and disaster recovery essential.
Your messages should be informative and educational and should reinforce the company’s commitment to IT DR activities. These tests are highly complex, and provide a higher level of risk compared to other tests, as multiple systems will be affected.
Before you reach the actual test, there’s a lot of work that needs to be completed, such as researching the systems to be tested, researching existing recovery procedures, identifying test scripts (if any), creating and approving test scripts, coordinating with other IT departments and business units in the company, and coordinating with external vendors and service providers. 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.
From phones and database access to sales support and account maintenance, they implemented a robust disaster recovery solution that protects not just their business, but their customers as well. Companies that have a plan in place will benefit when the customers of companies that are shuttered look for new vendors or service providers. Every disaster recovery plan starts with a complementary visit by a systems engineer to perform a preliminary site survey.
For business owners and managers, being prepared can mean staying in business following a disaster.

Planning for the unthinkable will help you sleep better at night while less-prepared competitors are lying awake.
In reality effective security is an enabler, much like the Internet and network capability, that facilitates a company’s move to the better resource deployment and improved operational performance.
This is where investment in disaster recovery is critical and where different on-premises and off-premises solutions can be applied. Disaster recovery testing will ensure that all your efforts to provide recovery and resilience will indeed protect critical IT assets. Corrective measures are taken to restore service as quickly as possible following a disaster. Business contacts, sales leads, calendars, marketing plans, financial records, customer information and correspondence are all stored on computers throughout the office. Protecting your Information AssetsNetGain Networks provides disaster recovery & planning consulting services designed around the unique aspects of your organization.
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. Disaster Recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) solutions are gaining customer adoption, predominantly from small and midsize organizations. Knowing the types of disasters that effect telecommunications within your company and taking appropriate action ahead of time – will minimize your exposure. Make sure your company has a telecommunications data and voice disaster recovery plan in place, tested and ready to implement should any disaster occur. This section defines the criteria for launching the plan, what data is needed and who makes the determination. Check with your vendors while developing your DR plans to see what they have in terms of emergency recovery documentation.
Learn how to develop disaster recovery strategies as well as how to write a disaster recovery plan with these step-by-step instructions. The cost of a DR Plan should be balanced against the tolerance for system downtime – the less downtime that can be tolerated, the more it will cost to create an appropriate response. Then define step-by-step procedures to, for example, initiate data backup to secure alternate locations, relocate operations to an alternate space, recover systems and data at the alternate sites, and resume operations at either the original site or at a new location. Formulating a detailed recovery plan is the main aim of the entire IT disaster recovery planning project.
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. 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. Then, you’ll need to establish recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs). 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. Here we’ll explain how to write a disaster recovery plan as well as how to develop disaster recovery strategies. 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.
Areas to look at are availability of alternate work areas within the same site, at a different company location, at a third-party-provided location, at employees’ homes or at a transportable work facility.

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