With cyberattacks, natural disasters and political crises escalating around the world, business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are more important than ever. Organizations need to have a well-established BCDR plan that includes detailed procedures for maintaining operations during and after a disruptive event. Ideally, this involves having multiple backup locations for information systems and other vital data.
The “how” and “when” of a BCDR strategy are also key. A company needs to determine which functions are most critical and how long they can remain offline before the need for an emergency plan becomes urgent. This is where a business impact analysis (BIA) comes in, which identifies possible disruptions and how each could impact different departments. Having failover technologies, such as disk mirroring, in place is another way to ensure a more resilient infrastructure.
A robust BCDR plan should also include detailed chain of command procedures, including contact lists, equipment and system diagrams, training and awareness documentation, as well as detailed risk assessment guidelines. These should be easily accessible to all staff members, updated regularly and distributed to remote units. It’s a good idea to create a dedicated crisis management team, which will be responsible for activating the BCDR plan in a crisis.
Specialized software, called business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) products, can help companies create their plans. These applications are typically based on industry best practices, such as ISO 223XX and the Business Continuity Institute’s Good Practices Guidelines.