Learn how to develop disaster recovery strategies as well as how to write a disaster recovery plan with these step-by-step instructions.
Once your disaster recovery strategies have been developed, you’re ready to translate them into disaster recovery plans. 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. Then, you’ll need to establish recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs). 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.
You’ll want to consider issues such as budgets, management’s position with regard to risks, the availability of resources, costs versus benefits, human constraints, technological constraints and regulatory obligations. Here we’ll explain how to write a disaster recovery plan as well as how to develop disaster recovery strategies. 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. 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. Completed worksheets are used to determine the resource requirements for recovery strategies.Following an incident that disrupts business operations, resources will be needed to carry out recovery strategies and to restore normal business operations. An analysis of the resources required to execute recovery strategies should be conducted to identify gaps. Once your original site has been restored after the disaster, you can simply stop paying for the cloud servers.
This Disaster Recovery Plan will help you establish procedures to recover systems following a disruption. Preparation for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity in light of SOX has two primary parts.
Click on the link below to get the Disaster Planning and Business Continuity Planning Template full table of contents and selected sample pages now and make it part of your Disaster Recovery Planning toolkit. Also, since our DR site is up and running within minutes of the main site being hit by a disaster, chances of data loss are significantly reduced. Even if you have never built a Disaster Recovery plan before, you can achieve great results. For others, information technology may play a more pivotal role, and the Business Continuity Disaster Recovery Plan may have more of a focus on systems recovery.
Good feedback for my Pocket Survival Kit information technology disaster recovery plan template from very good to non-existent, every single member of our team. This policy defines acceptable methods for disaster recovery planning, preparedness, management and mitigation of IT systems and services at Weill Cornell Medical College. The disaster recovery standards in this policy provide a systematic approach for safeguarding the vital technology and data managed by the Information Technologies and Services Department.


The ITS Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) addresses the protection and recovery of WCMC IT services so that critical operations and services are recovered in a timeframe that ensures the survivability of WCMC and is commensurate with customer obligations, business necessities, industry practices, and regulatory requirements. The Disaster Recovery Manager is responsible for maintaining the Recovery Tier Chart , which defines the Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) of all ITS-managed systems. ITS is required to create disaster recovery plans for the IT portion - including services, systems, and assets - of critical business processes.
The IT Disaster Recovery Manager should be part of the ITS representation within the institution's Emergency Management Team . IT DR plans must provide information on Business Impact Analysis, Data Backup, Recovery, Business Resumption, Administration, Organization Responsibilities, Emergency Response & Operations, Training and Awareness and Testing.
ITS must maintain a single, comprehensive electronic inventory of all servers, network equipment, relevant configuration, and model information, and the applications they support. The ITS Disaster Recovery Manager is required to provide DR training and awareness activities at least twice per year. Disaster Recovery traditionally relates to preserving the technology and information critical to an organization by setting up a remote Disaster Recovery location that takes regular backups, This alternate location can then ensure your business's continuity and support business function when calamity strikes. This process turns out to be not only expensive, but also time consuming and recovery time going upto days.
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.
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. Meetings with individual managers should be held to clarify information and obtain missing information.After all worksheets have been completed and validated, the priorities for restoration of business processes should be identified. Traditional disaster recovery is a complex endeavour, involving expensive capacity planning and cutover (switch-over) systems that meet the demands of business.
This Disaster Recovery Plan template describes the IT framework and procedures to be activated in the event of a disaster occurring.
In most organizations, Disaster Recovery Planning is the quintessential complex, unfamiliar task. Disaster Recovery Business Continuity Template (WORD) - comes with the latest electronic forms and is fully compliant with all mandated US, EU, and ISO requirements. A Risk Assessment must be conducted at least every other year to determine threats to disaster recovery and their likelihood of impacting the IT infrastructure. IT Managers are responsible for tracking and reporting on planned and unplanned outage spending related to the recovery and restoration effort. Technological solutions for data availability, data protection, and application recovery must be considered by data gathered by the BIA and CA. All Backup data must be labeled and logged, and are available for use during an emergency within stated recovery time objectives. With our cloud based disaster recovery services, the DR site is up and running immediately, whereas the physical DR site may take much longer time (even a few hours) to take over from the main site in the event of a disaster.
Once this work is out of the way, you’re ready to move on to developing disaster recovery strategies, followed by the actual plans.
Having established our mission, and assuming we have management approval and funding for a disaster recovery initiative, we can establish a project plan.


This process can be seen as a timeline, such as in Figure 2, in which incident response actions precede disaster recovery actions. This information will be used to develop recovery strategies.Recovery StrategiesIf a facility is damaged, production machinery breaks down, a supplier fails to deliver or information technology is disrupted, business is impacted and the financial losses can begin to grow. All Business Continuity Disaster Recovery Planning efforts need to encompass how employees will communicate, where they will go and how they will keep doing their jobs. It describes the IT framework and procedures to be activated in the event of a disaster occurring. The Disaster Recovery Manager is responsible for conducting Business Impact Analyses (BIA) to identify the critical business processes, determine standard recovery timeframes, and establish the criticality ratings for each; at least every other years. Upon completion or update, DR plans must be sent to the Disaster Recovery Manager and ITS Change Manager for review.
During an outage, IT Managers may incur special recovery and restoration costs that are unbudgeted.
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 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. Recovery strategies are alternate means to restore business operations to a minimum acceptable level following a business disruption and are prioritized by the recovery time objectives (RTO) developed during the business impact analysis.Recovery strategies require resources including people, facilities, equipment, materials and information technology. Equipping converted space with furnishings, equipment, power, connectivity and other resources would be required to meet the needs of workers.Partnership or reciprocal agreements can be arranged with other businesses or organizations that can support each other in the event of a disaster. What's more, the myriad interconnected data, application and other resources that must be recovered after a disaster make recovery an exceptionally difficult and error-prone effort.
The Disaster Recovery Manager is responsible for conducting Capability Analyses (CA) to determine ITS's capacity to recover critical IT services that support defined critical business processes and recovery objectives; at least every other years.
Backup strategies must comply with predefined businesses continuity requirements, including defined recovery time and point objectives.
As you can see from The IT Disaster Recovery Lifecycle illustration, the IT disaster recovery process has a standard process flow.
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. Assuming space is available, issues such as the capacity and connectivity of telecommunications and information technology, protection of privacy and intellectual property, the impacts to each other’s operation and allocating expenses must be addressed.
Approved recovery strategies must be tested to ensure they meet required recovery time and recovery point objectives. 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. Therefore, recovery strategies for information technology should be developed so technology can be restored in time to meet the needs of the business. Periodic review of the agreement is needed to determine if there is a change in the ability of each party to support the other.There are many vendors that support business continuity and information technology recovery strategies. The second is to clearly and expressly document all these procedures so that in the event of a SOX audit, the auditors clearly see that the Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan exists and appropriately protects the data and assets of the enterprise.. Recovery strategies must be implemented within a previously agreed upon period of time, generally not more than 180 days after management approval. 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. Other options include provision of technology equipped office trailers, replacement machinery and other equipment.
The availability and cost of these options can be affected when a regional disaster results in competition for these resources.There are multiple strategies for recovery of manufacturing operations.



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