BCP/DRP

Business continuity plan

A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue operating during an unplanned event.

Business Continuity Planning is concerned with keeping business operations running - perhaps in another location or by using different tools and processes - after a disaster has struck.

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Importance of business continuity planning

BCP allows a company to continue to serve customers during a crisis and minimize the likelihood of customers going to competitors. A BCP decreases business downtime, and outlines the steps to be taken before, during and after an emergency in order to maintain the company's financial viability.

The BCP should state the essential functions of the business, identify which systems and processes must be sustained, and detail how to maintain them. It should take into account any possible business disruption.

Elements of a business continuity plan

According to business continuity consultants, a BCP should contain the following items:

  • Initial data, including important contact information, located at the beginning of the plan
  • Revision management process that describe change management procedures
  • Purpose and scope
  • How to use the plan, including guidelines as to when the plan will be initiated?
  • Policy information
  • Emergency response and management
  • Step-by-step procedures
  • Checklists and flow diagrams
  • Schedule for reviewing, testing and updating the plan

Disaster Recovery Plan

DRP is a plan for business continuity in the event of a disaster that destroys part or all of a business's resources, including IT equipment, data records and the physical space of an organization. Disaster Recovery Planning is concerned with restoring normal business operations after the disaster takes place.

Stages of a Disaster Recovery Plan

The goal of a DRP is to resume normal computing capabilities in as little time as possible.

  • Understanding an organization's activities and how all of its resources are interconnected.
  • Assessing an organization's vulnerability in all areas, including operating procedures, physical space and equipment, data integrity and contingency planning.
  • Understanding how all levels of the organization would be affected in the event of a disaster.
  • Developing a short-term recovery plan.
  • Developing a long-term recovery plan, including how to return to normal business operations and prioritizing the order of functions that are resumed.
  • Testing and consistently maintaining and updating the plan as the business changes.

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