A disaster recovery plan is a documented, approach with instructions to deal with unplanned incidents. This plan involves the precautions to be taken by an organization, so as to reduce the effects of a disaster. Disaster recovery planning is done to enable a company to operate or resume its mission-critical functions.
The increasing dependency on information technology by organizations for running their operations has resulted in a disaster recovery plan to be increasingly associated with the recovery of information technology data, assets, and facilities.
The first step involved, before generating a detailed plan includes a business impact analysis (BIA), risk analysis (RA), establishment of the recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO).The disaster recovery strategy, starting at the business level, should determine the applications suited to the company’s requisites. When the RTO explains the target amount of time a business application can be down, RPO describes the previous point in time when an application must be recovered.
Recovery strategies talk about an organization’s plan to respond to an incident, and disaster recovery plans talk about how an organization should respond to a disaster. There are certain issues, which must be kept in mind while determining a recovery strategy for an organization.
All strategies undertaken must align with the company’s goals. So the strategy formulated must be approved by the management. Once approves, it is changed into disaster recovery plans.
A risk analysis and business impact analysis help the planning team to determine the focal point for their resources. It works by identifying the impacts of disruptive events and also generating the recovery time objective and recovery point objective. The risk analysis identifies possible threats and vulnerabilities capable of disrupting the operation of systems and outlines its potential intensity, without further damaging the systems.
The steps involved in a disaster recovery plan include the following:
Determining the scope of an activity
Collecting necessary network infrastructure document
Identifying the most serious threat, and the most valuable assets
Learning the previous history of such unexpected incidents and their recovery measures
Understanding the present disaster recovery strategies
Tieing up with an emergency response team
Getting approval of the disaster recovery plan by the management
Testing the plan for its effectiveness
Updating the plan when needed
Implementing the disaster response audit
The recovery team members should be made aware of their roles and responsibilities and it should be clearly mentioned in the plan. The plan then specifies, in detail, the incident response and recovery activities. Other elements of the plan include the listings below.
A Statement of intent and disaster recovery policy statement;
Geographical risks and factors
Media dealing tips
Financial and legal information
Testing the Disaster Recovery Plan
Testing a disaster recovery plan helps in identifying the deficiencies and providing opportunities to solve, thus identified problems, before the actual occurrence of the disaster. Testing proves that the plan, put forward is effective, efficient and up to date. Testing disaster recovery plan takes time and resource.
It can be done in a number of ways. In a plan review, the team will look for missing elements. As far as a tabletop test is concerned, it goes down step by step to examine if the disaster recovery team members are aware of the duties they are to perform during an emergency. A polished tested plan ensures foolproof results during the time of disaster.
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