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Disaster Recovery Plan
A disaster recovery plan is a documented process for recovering and protecting your business IT infrastructure in the event of a disaster. Basically, it gives a clear picture of the various measures to be taken before, during and after a disaster.
Disasters are natural or man-made disasters. Examples are industrial accidents, oil spills, flooding, fires, nuclear explosions/nuclear radiation and acts of war, etc. Other types of man-made disasters include the more cosmic scenarios of catastrophic global warming, nuclear war, and bioterrorism, while natural disasters include earthquakes. , floods, heat waves, hurricanes/cyclones, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, tornadoes and landslides, cosmic and asteroid hazards.
Disaster cannot be eliminated, but proactive preparation can mitigate data loss and operational disruptions. Organizations need a disaster recovery plan that includes a formal plan that considers the impact of disruptions on all core business processes and their dependencies. A phased plan consists of precautions to minimize the effects of a disaster so that the organization can continue operating or quickly resume critical functions.
The disaster recovery plan should be prepared by the Disaster Response Committee, which includes representatives from each critical department or area of the department. The committee must have at least one representative from management, IT, risk management, records management, security and building maintenance. The committee is tasked with developing a schedule to establish a reasonable deadline for the written plan. It is also responsible for identifying critical and non-critical departments. A process for determining the critical needs of a department is to document all the functions performed by each department. Once the primary functions have been identified, operations and processes are prioritized: essential, important and non-essential.
Disaster recovery planning usually involves analyzing business processes and business continuity needs. Before creating a detailed plan, an organization often conducts a business impact analysis (BIA) and risk analysis (RA) and determines a recovery time objective (RTO) and a recovery point objective (RPO). RTO describes the amount of time a business application can be down, usually measured in hours, minutes, or seconds. The RPO describes the time at which the application should be restored.
The plan should define the roles and responsibilities of the disaster recovery team members and outline the criteria for implementing the plan, but there is no one right type of disaster recovery plan and no one size fits all disaster recovery. plan. There are basically three basic strategies in any disaster recovery plan: (a) preventive measures, (b) exploratory measures, and (c) corrective measures.
a) Preventive measures: tries to prevent the disaster from happening. These measures are aimed at identifying and reducing risks. Designed to mitigate or prevent an event from occurring. These measures may include data backup and off-site storage, use of surge protectors, installation of generators and routine inspections.
(b) Detection measures: These measures include the installation of fire alarms, the use of up-to-date anti-virus software, employee training, and the installation of server and network monitoring software.
c) Corrective measures: These measures are aimed at repairing or restoring systems after a disaster. Remedial actions may include preserving critical documents in the disaster recovery plan.
The plan should include a list of first-level contacts and individuals/departments within the company who can declare a disaster and activate DR operations. It should also include an outline and content that defines the exact procedures to be followed in the event of a disaster. At least 2-4 potential DR sites should be made available with hardware/software that meets or exceeds the current production environment. DR best practices indicate that DR sites should be at least 50 miles from an existing production site to meet Recovery Point Objective (RPO)/Recovery Time Objective (RTO) requirements.
The recovery plan should provide for initial and ongoing training of employees. The rebuild and rescue phases of the recovery process require skill. Your initial training can be accomplished through professional seminars, specialized in-house training programs, judicious use of consultants and vendors, and individual studies tailored to the needs of your department. Minimal training is required to assist professional restorers/renovators and others with little knowledge of your data, importance level, or general operations.
The entire documented design should be fully tested and all test reports should be logged for future reference. This testing should be treated as a live run and with sufficient time. After the testing procedures are completed, an initial “dry run” of the design is performed by performing a structured walk-through test. The test provides additional information on any additional steps that may be required, changes to inefficient procedures, and other appropriate adjustments. These only become apparent when an actual dry run test is performed. The design will then be updated to correct any issues identified during the test. Initially, the plan is tested in stages and after normal business hours to minimize disruption to the overall operation of the organization. As the plan continues to be refined, future tests will take place during regular business hours.
After the disaster recovery plan is written and tested, the plan is submitted to management for approval. It is the ultimate responsibility of senior management to ensure that the organization has a documented and tested plan. Management is responsible for establishing policies, procedures and responsibilities related to comprehensive contingency planning and for annually reviewing and approving the contingency plan, documenting the reviews in writing.
Another important aspect that is often overlooked is the frequency with which DR plans are updated. An annual update is recommended, but some industries or organizations require more frequent updates due to evolving business processes or faster data growth. To remain relevant, disaster recovery plans must be an integral part of all business analysis processes and must be reviewed at every major company acquisition, every new product launch, and every new system development milestone.
Your business will not stay the same; businesses grow, change and reorganize. An effective disaster recovery plan should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that it reflects the current state of the business and meets the company’s goals. Not only should it be reviewed, but it should be tested to be successful if implemented.
When things do go wrong, it’s important to have a robust, targeted and well-tested disaster recovery plan. Without a disaster recovery (DR) plan, your organization is at extreme risk of lost business, hacking, cyber attacks, loss of confidential data, and more.
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