Disaster recovery is pretty self-explanatory, since it involves the recovery of your business operations after a destructive event. These disasters can range from horrible natural disasters to computer viruses.
What they all have in common is that these events reduce the ability of your company of function in the normal manner. While you would think that most large corporations and enterprises pay a great deal of attention to disaster recovery, the fact of the matter is that this isn't the case. Many executives have an overly optimistic mindset when it comes to disaster recovery.
Many of these executives will simply choose to ignore the threat since the likelihood of it occurring is quite low. Business continuity planning involves an approach which is much more comprehensive than disaster recovery, and its basic goal is to ensure that you can keep making money in the event of a disaster. Not only does this include continuing to make money in the event of a major disaster, but it also includes dealing with minor disruptions such as the loss of staff which is critical to the success of the company. Other areas that business continuity considers are issues with supply chain partners as well as challenges that businesses face regularly
However, while there are clear differences between disaster recovery and business continuity planning, one thing that you must keep in mind is that both are closely connected due to the considerations which are common among them. Both BC and DR deal with plans which are related to how employees can communicate during an emergency, as well as the places they will go, and how they can continue carrying out their jobs. These things will vary from one enterprise to another, and will be dependent on many factors, such as the size of the company, and the manners in which it conducts its business.
Disaster Recovery Plan
Some companies, such as large international manufacturing firms, would have mainframes located at remote sites that could restore data within a few days after a destructive event has occurred. They could also establish PBX units, bring back up the company's LANs, and set up temporary call centers while the business takes time to recover. However, the basic point of this article is that neither DR nor BC should be ignored by senior level management. It’s also important to make sure that the human resources and IT teams are not developed in a separate manner from one another.
In this way, the two bear a strong connection with security convergence. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of business continuity and disaster recovery is instantaneous communication. Without rapid communication plans in the face of disaster, any recovery plans which have been made will be ineffective. Both IT management and business leaders should collaborate closely to figure out which plans are necessary for their business, and what business units and structures are the most critical for the enterprise. It is also important to designate the person or group which will be responsible for announcing the discovery.
Here is the good white paper to study for Disaster Recovery Plan that Michigan State University have written. These are the steps in the Disaster Recovery plan.
- Step One – Organize the Project
- Step Two – Conduct Business Impact Analysis
- Step Three – Conduct Risk Assessment
- Step Four – Develop Strategic Outline for Recovery
- Step Five – Review Onsite and Offsite Backup and Recovery Procedures
- Step Six – Select Alternate Facility
- Step Seven – Develop Recovery Plan
- Step Eight – Test the Plan
- Step Nine – Maintain the Plan
- Step Ten – Perform Periodic Audit
After this, the next thing that should be done is that a plan should be developed which involves the process of communicating with and locating employees after a disaster has occurred. When most companies seriously consider both DR and BC, one of the first questions they ask is where should they begin? The answer to this question is a BIA, or Business Impact Analysis. Without taking the time to analyze your business, you won't be able to develop the measures which will allow you to react to an adverse event. Being able to do this effectively is a very important part of allowing an enterprise to survive a disaster.
Business Impact Analysis
The Business Impact Analysis (BIA) will be responsible for finding the areas and operations of the business which are the most crucial, and it measures the effects that an outage on them would have for the enterprise. The bigger the impact would be more and have to spend more money in order to quickly restore either the systems or operations. For example, a company that specializes in stock trading may choose to purchase 100% redundant IT systems so that they can immediately begin handling trades in the event that their primary systems fail. In contrast, a manufacturing firm may choose to wait 24 hours to start shipping again.
The BIA will give companies the ability to generate a restoration sequence that will figure out the portions of the business that should be restored, in order of their importance. There are a number of basics that any plan should cover, and these include developing a plan of contingency that involves a line of succession for the CEO. It is also important to train a group of backup employees to carry out tasks. Designate offsite locations for crisis meetings, as well as plans for communication for the upper level management. Invest in alternate methods of communication in the event that mainstream communications fail.