Business Continuity is a proactive collaboration between business executives and technology professionals designed to ensure that mission-critical functions can continue during and after a disaster.
To prevent downtime and data loss, businesses of all sizes require data backup and a comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery plan.
For more information on how ECC IT Solutions can protect your critical business systems, applications and data, give us a call or fill out the form below for a complimentary IT Needs Assessment. Learn how to develop disaster recovery strategies as well as how to write a disaster recovery plan with these step-by-step instructions.
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. Disaster recovery risk assessment and business impact analysis (BIA) are crucial steps in the development of a disaster recovery plan. In disaster recovery (DR) planning, once you've completed a business impact analysis (BIA), the next step is to perform a risk assessment.
An excellent document to assist you in preparing a risk assessment comes from the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). This chart identifies natural and man-made disasters that could adversely impact an organization. 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. 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. 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.
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.
The more detailed the plan is, the more likely the affected IT asset will be recovered and returned to normal operation.


Those events with the highest risk factor are the ones your disaster recovery plan should primarily aim to address. Anywhere, anytime recovery - Recover critical data in seconds over a Local Area Network connection or the Internet at the push of a button. The information technology (IT) disaster recovery plan may include data backup, remote and off-site data storage, server maintenance and data recovery services.
The technology professionals at ECC IT Solutions can help you better prepare for planned and unplanned disruptions through more proactive data backup, enhanced security and a well-designed disaster recovery plan. Formulating a detailed recovery plan is the main aim of the entire IT disaster recovery planning project. 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. 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. 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.
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. By contrast, man-made events are those in which an individual or multiple persons may be held accountable for contributing to the event(s) that caused the disaster. The strategies you define for risks can next be used to help design business continuity and disaster recovery strategies. Technology DR plans can be enhanced with relevant recovery information and procedures obtained from system vendors. Many people dread at the thought that their valuable data could be lost but we can help you recover your data even if your system doesn't boot into windows or worse still if it is infected by virus or the machine simply doesn't turn on. Having established our mission, and assuming we have management approval and funding for a disaster recovery initiative, we can establish a project plan.


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.
The iTech business continuity service involves either recommending technology solutions to support an existing Business Continuity plan, or providing guidance in building a plan from scratch.
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. A disaster recovery project has a fairly consistent structure, which makes it easy to organise and conduct plan development activity.
This process can be seen as a timeline, such as in Figure 2, in which incident response actions precede disaster recovery actions. 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.
This includes potential damage the events could cause, the amount of time needed to recover or restore operations, and preventive measures or controls that can mitigate the likelihood of the event occurring. As you can see from The IT Disaster Recovery Lifecycle illustration, the IT disaster recovery process has a standard process flow.
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 document is Special Publication 800-30, Risk Management Guide for Information Technology Systems.
Check with your vendors while developing your DR plans to see what they have in terms of emergency recovery documentation.
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.



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