Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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Disaster Recovery Plan: Definition, Importance & Steps!

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Cybercrimes and security breaches have become more prevalent than ever. This is why it’s important for organizations to build data recovery and protection strategies.

That’s exactly where a disaster recovery plan comes into the picture.

It helps an organization quickly handle all the IT interruptions, reduce downtime, and minimizes financial and reputational damages.

In short, a disaster recovery plan (DRP) provides you with a clear roadmap to recovery! Want to learn more about DRPs and how to create them? Let’s go!

What is a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)?

A disaster recovery plan is a document that covers how an organization can resume work after a disaster strikes. This plan is used in all aspects of the organization that rely on informational technology (IT).

A disaster could be anything from application failure, cyber-attack, power outage, communication failure to natural disaster, building disaster, city-wide disaster, national disaster, or multinational disaster.

A disaster recovery plan (DRP) specifies what exactly the organization needs to do in order to minimize the effects of the disaster – so that it can continue its mission-critical operations.

Before creating a DRP, an organization first analyzes the business processes and continuity needs. Then, it performs a risk analysis (RA) and a business impact analysis (BIA) and sets recovery objectives.

People often get confused between a disaster recovery plan and a business continuity plan. Yes, a disaster recovery plan is a crucial part of a business continuity plan, but the two plans aren’t the same!

Disaster Recover Plan VS Business Continuity Plan: What’s The Difference?

A business continuity plan (BCP) is mainly focused on keeping the business operations running – despite any hurdles and interruptions. Whereas, a disaster recovery plan is about overcoming these interruptions.

Let’s take an example.

A business continuity plan might include a complete backup production server that is similar to your active production server. This server can be used as soon as a disaster strikes, so there are no disruptions in service.

On the other hand, a disaster recovery plan might just include a data backup server that can store copies of all the critical data. A disaster recovery plan is less resource-intensive than a business continuity plan.

Now that you know what a disaster recovery plan is and how it’s different from a business continuity plan, let’s understand why you should create a disaster recovery plan in the first place.

Why You Should Create a Disaster Recovery Plan?

The need to drive superior customer experience and business growth fueled the use of information technology (IT) by organizations. The use of IT, however, increases infrastructure complexity and other risks.

Due to this complexity, organizations have to go through frequent outages, system breakdowns, cyber-attacks, and more. The impact of these outages and unplanned downtime is extremely high.

So, if you want to make your hybrid multi-cloud system resilient, you have to create a disaster recovery plan which includes integrated strategies for data protection and recovery, advanced technologies, etc.

A few more reasons why a business should create a comprehensive disaster recovery plan include:

  • To lower disruption and damage.
  • To limit the extent of economic impact caused by the interruption.
  • To set alternative modes of operation in advance.
  • To provide smooth and rapid restoration of service.
  • To train employees with emergency procedures.

Creating a disaster recovery plan involves many steps! These steps might be different for different organizations, but here are the basic disaster recovery plan steps:

How to Create a Disaster Recovery Plan? (Steps)

Step 1: Assess The Risk

The first thing you need to perform is risk assessment (RA) and business impact analysis (BIA), as it will help you identify many potential disasters and interruptions.

Carefully analyze each functional area of the organization, and try to determine the consequences of disasters. Don’t forget to consider the infrastructure and geographical risk factors during risk analysis.

A good disaster recovery plan is the one that’s created by evaluating the risks beforehand. This allows business operations to continue for the customers, while IT addresses the disaster and its consequences.

Step 2: Evaluate Critical Needs

The next thing you need to do is evaluate the critical needs of every department and establish priorities accordingly. Here are some of the details that you need to include.

  • Special security procedures.
  • Guarantee of compatibility.
  • Availability, cost & duration.
  • Hours of operation.
  • Termination conditions.
  • What constitutes an emergency.
  • Non-mainframe resource requirements & personnel requirements.
  • Service extension negotiation process.
  • Other contractual issues.

Step 3: Set Objectives of The Disaster Recovery Plan

Now, create a list of all the mission-critical operations and then identify which equipment, data, and applications are required to support these operations.

Then, determine each function’s recovery time objective (RTO) based on the cost of downtime! RTO is essentially the target amount of time in which an application can be offline without a negative business impact.

You also need to determine the recovery point objective (RPO), which is the duration in which you must solve any application issues. This is basically the quantity of data that the organization can afford to lose.

Step 4: Create The Document, Test & Revise

Once you’ve collected all the data (required inventory, procedures for system recovery, master vendor list, schedule for data backup, etc.), write it down in your disaster recovery plan in a structured manner.

Next, establish a procedure and criteria for testing the plan. This helps in ensuring that the organization has adopted the right backup procedures and facilities, and identifying areas that need improvement.

Lastly, test the plan based on the criteria and procedure you’ve set. You can conduct full interruption tests, simulation tests, checklist tests, parallel tests, etc.

Yes, it can be cumbersome and exhausting to draft a solid disaster recovery plan and that’s why there are so many people out there who are struggling with this task.

However, that doesn’t change the fact that a disaster recovery plan is one of the most valuable documents. Fortunately, we’ve something that will help you create a disaster recovery plan seamlessly – Bit.ai.

After getting familiar with Bit.ai, your perception that creating a disaster recovery plan is tough will change forever. Bit is all action-oriented and easy to use, so you can create the best documents ever.

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