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Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning

Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and Disaster Recovery Planning (DRP)
work hand in hand to provide an organization with the means to continue and recover business operations when a disaster strikes.
Natural Disasters
– Fires and Explosions
– Earthquakes
– Storms (snow, ice, hail,etc)
– Floods
– Hurricanes, Typhoons, and cyclone
– Volcanoes and lava flows
– Tornadoes
– Landslides
– Avalanches
– Tsunamis
– Pandemics
Man-made disasters
– Accidents
– Crime and Mischief
– War and terrorism
– Cyber attacks/cyber warfare
– Civil disturbances
can affect businesses in a lot of ways:

– Damage to business buildings
– Damage to business records
– Damage to business equipment
– Damage to communications
– Damage to public utilities
– Damage to transportation systems
– Injuries and loss of life
– Indirect damage: suppliers and customers

Business Continuity Planning (BCP)
deals with keeping business operations running – perhaps in another location or by using different tools and processes- after a disaster has struck
Disaster Recovery Planning (DRP)
deals with restoring normal business operations after the disaster takes place
Identification of critical business functions
the Business Impact Assessment (BIA) and Vulnerability Assessment identify these function
Identification of possible disaster scenarios
the planning team identifies all the likely man-made and natural disaster scenarios, ranked by probability and impact to the organization
People who understand the organization’s critical business processes
a rapid spread of a new disease for which few people have natural immunity
Continuity of Operations (COOP)
a blended approach of BCP and DRP into a single mission: Keeping the organization running after a disaster
Business Continuity Planning (BCP)
Project team has to make and understand some basic definitions and assumptions

– Senior Management Support
– Senior Management Involvement
– Project team membership

Business Continuity Planning (BCP)
this project typically has four components

– Scope
– Determination
– The Business Continuity Plan
– Implementation

Scope Creep
what happens when a project’s scope grows beyond the original intent
Business Impact Assessment (BIA)
describes the impact that a disaster is expected to have on business operations
Quantitative impact
generally financial, such as loss of revenue or output production
Qualitative impact
has to do with the delivery of goods and/or services
Business Impact Assessment (BIA)
needs to perform the following tasks well:

– Perform a Vulnerability Assessment
– Carry out Criticality Assessment
– Determine the Maximum Tolerable Downtime
– Establish recovery targets
– Determine resource requirements

Vulnerability Assessment
helps get a handle on obvious and not-so-obvious weaknesses in business critical systems.
Vulnerability Assessment
used to determine the impact – both quantitative and qualitative – of the loss of critical business function
Quantitative Losses

– Loss of revenue
– Loss of operating capital
– Loss because of personal liabilities
– Increase in expenses
– Penalties because of violations of business contracts
– Violations of laws and regulations

Qualitative Losses

– Service quality
– Competitive advantages
– Customer satisfactions
– Market share
– Prestige and reputation

Critical Support Areas
business functions that, if lost, would cause irreparable harm to the business by jeopardizing critical business processes or the lives and safety of personnel
Quantitative Losses
include an increase in operating expenses because of any higher costs associated with executing the contingency plan
Maximum Tolerable Downtime (MTD) or Maximum Tolerable Period of Disruption (MTPD)
the maximum period of time that a critical business function can be inoperative before the company incurs significant and long-lasting damage
Maximum Tolerable Downtime (MTD) or Maximum Tolerable Period of Disruption (MTPD)
a measure of the longest period of time that a critical business function can be disrupted without suffering unacceptable consequences, perhaps threatening the actual survivability of the organization
Recovery Time Objective (RTO)
is the maximum period of time in which a business process must be restored after a disaster
Recovery Point Objective (RPO)
the maximum period of time in which data might be lost if a disaster strikes
Resource Requirements
a listing of the resources that an organization needs in order to continue operating each critical business function.
Virtual Tape Library (VTL)
disk based storage. A hot pluggable RAID array, you could take these disks and send them offsite
An organization with two or more processing centers can consider replicating data from one location to another
Remote backup
data can be backed up to a remote processing center.
Off Site Media Storage
purpose is to ensure that up to date data is available in the event that systems in the primary data center are damaged
Software Escrow agreements
the software vendor sends a copy of its software code to a third-party escrow organization for safekeeping.
Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs)
used to provide electric power during prolonged power outages.
Continuity and Recovery documentation
must exist in hard copy in the event that its unavailable via electronic means
Cold Site
an empty computer room with environmental facilities
Warm site
a computer room with computers and communications links already in place
Hot site
a site equipped with the same computers as the production system, with application changes, operating system changes, and even patches kept in sync with their live production system counterparts
Reciprocal Site
agreeing with another company to share your space or their space should a disaster strike
Hot Site
provides the most rapid recovery capability, but it also costs the most because of the effort required to maintain its rediness
Senior Management’s approval
is needed so that all affected and involved employees in the organization understand the importance of emergency plannin
Salvage Team
primarily concerned with the restoration of a facility and its return to operational readiness
Structured Walkthrough
a team approach to the checklist. Business and technology experts get together to walk through the BCP plan documents.
all the designated recover personnel practice going through the motions associated with a real recovery.
Parallel test
involves performing all the steps of a real recovery. Includes loading data onto recovery systems without taking production systems down.
Interruption test
the ultimate test of the ability for a disaster recovery system to perform properly in a real disaster, but it’s also the test with the highest risk
Organizational analysis
understanding the organization is the key to creating a BCP and DRP plan
Operational Level Agreement (OLA)
internal in departments within the organization
the initial gathering and assessment of the information related to the incident

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