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.
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). 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. Once a specific threat and its associated vulnerability have been identified, it becomes easier to plan the most effective defensive strategy. 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.
And since DR planning generates a significant amount of documentation, records management (and change management) activities should also be initiated. This section defines the criteria for launching the plan, what data is needed and who makes the determination. Those events with the highest risk factor are the ones your disaster recovery plan should primarily aim to address. A section on plan document dates and revisions is essential, and should include dates of revisions, what was revised and who approved the revisions.
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.
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. 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. 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.


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. 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. 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. Business Continuity Planning Process Diagram - Text VersionWhen business is disrupted, it can cost money.
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. 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. 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.
This process turns out to be not only expensive, but also time consuming and recovery time going upto days. This DR Plan includes a 32 page MS Word template and 7 Excel spreadsheets as well as Business Impact Analysis, Damage Assessment Report and Test Report templates. The following section details the elements in a DR plan in the sequence defined by ISO 27031 and ISO 24762. Having established our mission, and assuming we have management approval and funding for a disaster recovery initiative, we can establish a project plan.
If your organisation already has records management and change management programmes, use them in your DR planning.
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. 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. 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. Included with the template are Electronic Forms which have been designed to lower the cost of maintenance of the plan. 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 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. 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. 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. But the critical point is that neither element can be ignored, and physical, IT and human resources plans cannot be developed in isolation from each other. 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. 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. For some businesses, issues such as supply chain logistics are most crucial and are the focus on the plan. 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.. 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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