Today, disaster recovery plans encompass every type of automated system, including mainframes, midrange computers open systems, desktop devices, and perhaps even PDAs (personal digital assistants). The classical scenarios of fire, flood, earthquake, tornado, sabotage, and other disasters still apply. At the 100,000-foot level we can split disasters into three categories: natural causes, human error, and intentional causes. I think it's safe to say that most of the people initially tasked with responsibility for a disaster recovery plan by their organizations will not really know where to start.
Drawing up strategies for disaster recovery audit, maintenance and continuous improvement are the key final stages in the development of a disaster recovery programme.
Now, when looking at preparation of disaster recovery audit, maintenance and continuous improvement strategies, ISO 27031 also provides some important recommendations.
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. As noted in previous articles in this series, disaster recovery strategies and procedures help organisations protect their investments in IT systems and operating infrastructures. 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. 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.
Those with on-premises infrastructure will often invest in additional disaster-recovery tools, such as remote backups, archives, etc.
Indeed, the responsibility to maintain the integrity of the business in the event of a natural disaster, catastrophic human error, major system failure, or even a terrorist attack can be a daunting task at first glance.


There are career advantages from the visibility you will receive; after all, for many companies disaster recovery planning is a board-of-directors-level issue. Disaster recovery’s principal mission is to return IT operations to an acceptable level of performance as quickly as possible following a disruptive event. It shows where the disaster recovery audit, maintenance and continuous improvement fit into the overall disaster recovery lifecycle and framework. 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.
However, for small businesses, disaster recovery may be deemed costly or an unnecessary expense.Disaster recovery is an important aspect of business continuity. These and other events have changed and colored our definition of disasters to the point where they have perhaps permanently altered our very psychology as a nation.
The impact of such disasters, however, is intensified today when they take enabling technologies with them and potentially affect millions of people. A fourth category can also be added called acts of God as a catch-all for disasters that defy classification (the legal term for this is force majeure). That fact needs to be reflected in our recovery plans today, because routers, for example, now do more than only data. In the meantime, learn everything you can from the consultant, first and foremost because it broadens your skill set and makes you more valuable, even on other non-disaster-recovery-related projects and, second, so that you can become the flag bearer for the disaster recovery project in Phase II - not the expensive consultant.
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.
At the same time, we are reintroducing tried and tested disaster recovery planning fundamentals.
The consultants will make the compelling point that disaster recovery is important, presenting all the reasons management needs to fund and endorse the project. Protecting your Information AssetsNetGain Networks provides disaster recovery & planning consulting services designed around the unique aspects of your organization.


Now it is time to map out plans for disaster recovery audit, maintenance and continuous improvement.
Every disaster recovery plan starts with a complementary visit by a systems engineer to perform a preliminary site survey. 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. You have to phase out what you have and replace it with equipment having fault-tolerant or disaster-resistant characteristics.
For business owners and managers, being prepared can mean staying in business following a disaster. Naturally, from a fiscal standpoint, it makes sense to build disaster recovery into your organization's budget, and with monthly subscriptions that range from less than $100 to a few hundred dollars for a cloud-based DR solution, it’s more affordable than you may realize.Disaster Recovery Concepts to Implement in Your BusinessOne reason why many small businesses skip over disaster recovery is a lack of understanding of its basic concepts.
The concepts of disaster recovery may have a technical nature, but aren’t as complex as one may believe.The recovery time objective, or RTO, is the maximum desired length of time between an unexpected failure or disaster and the resumption of normal operations and service levels.
The RTO defines the length of time that is allowed to pass between system failure and repair before the consequences of the service interruption become unacceptable.The recovery point objective, or RPO, is the maximum amount of data allowed to be lost, measured in time.
It will outline several disaster scenarios, define the detailed responses to each while aiming to keep impact to a minimum.
If you’re maintaining a data center, maintain an off-site failover device to monitor your system health and reroute traffic in real-time, to another data center if your data center experiences failure.ConclusionIn the end, businesses are far safer implementing disaster recovery plans in their operations. It ensures synchronization of data and backups across distributed infrastructure to keep your business continually running smoothly in the event of hard drive failure, or any other number of IT disasters. The benefit of a investing either in infrastructure or a monthly subscription – in the case of SME-oriented cloud services – to protect yourself from disaster is definitely worth the investment compared to the potential loss of revenue and the damage to your reputation as a result of downtime or online security issues.



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Comments

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