Business Continuity Planning & Disaster Recovery
In general, disaster recovery refers to specific steps taken to resume operations in the aftermath of a catastrophic natural disaster or national emergency. A similar definition can be applied in the technological world. In information technology, such steps may include restoring servers or mainframes with backups, re-establishing private branch exchanges (PBX) or provisioning local area networks (LANs) to meet immediate business needs.
Business continuity describes the processes and procedures an organization must put in place to ensure that mission-critical functions can continue during and after a disaster. In this sense, the concept is interchangeable with disaster recovery plan (DRP). Business continuity, however, also addresses more comprehensive planning that focuses on long term or chronic challenges to organizational success. Potential business continuity problems may include the illness or departure of key team members, supply chain breakdowns, catastrophic failures or critical malware infections.
Business continuity / Disaster Recovery Plans come in various forms, each reflecting the corporation’s particular set of circumstances. The following are some of the general step required to develop and implement a plan.
Policy Statement (Goal of plan, reasons and resources Business Impact Analysis (how does a shutdown impact the business financially and otherwise) Identify Preventive Steps (can disaster be avoided by taking prudent steps) Recovery Strategies (how and what you will need to recover) Plan Development (Write plan and implement plan elements) Plan buy-in and testing (very important so that everyone knows the plan and knows what to do) Maintenance (continuous changes to reflect current situation)
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