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Binomial PlanBuilder for Business Continuity (Bank Edition) Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan preparation and maintenance for banks.
Disaster recovery scenarios are part of a business continuity plan; including recovery of interrupted business functions. The Technology Recovery Planner will develop, plan and document the systems in accordance with Bank policy and standards. Most organisations, even small ones, have some kind of plans in them in the form of templates, policies and so on.
Tools aim to help banks and everything about disaster recovery replication in this free essential guide. Its interface is simplified and designed to be accessible for even those who aren’t disaster recovery experts. In this article Barbara shares her thinking on how to develop a good business continuity plan.
BCP testing is required once a year, and IT disaster recovery Every bank must submit its test plan for the year to BNM in January each year, and submit a report of the testing within one month after the testing.
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Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and Disaster Recovery (DR) are used together so often that people often begin to forget that there is a difference between the two. In day to day lingo, BCP refers to plans about how a business should plan for continuing in case of a disaster. The definitions are so ingrained in daily (consultant) life that we now refer to DR as IT-DR.
If you think practically, a BCP is a plan that allows a business to plan in advance what it needs to do to ensure that its key products and services continue to be delivered (technicality: at a predefined level) in case of a disaster, while a DR allows a business to plan what needs to be done immediately after a disaster to recover from the event. Your impact analysis, your business continuity strategy and business continuity plans are a part of BCP. If you use these definitions of BCP and DR, you would probably end up having a practical and effective BCMS for your organisation. Let us assume a practical scenario in an organization, where the IT team is the one that is really worried about data backup and recovery.
Testing of BCMS, which is ‘BCM Exercising’ in BS 25999 and ‘Exercising and Testing’ in ISO 22301 has not changed much. Both the standards want us to conduct tests that are consistent with the scope and objectives of BCMS and based on appropriate scenarios.
If you are implementing business continuity in your organization, look elsewhere for tips and tricks on how to test it. My belief is that for an organization to be certified on a business continuity standard, you need to have some tests that are mandatory. The internal audit, management review and ‘Improvements’ (Corrective and Preventive actions) sections have minor improvements with a few points added in some parts.
The run and maintain part of the BCMS, which an organization has to implement continuously leaves a lot to be desired. Author cmkPosted on July 15, 2012Categories BCMSTags BCMS, BS25999, Business Continuity, ISO 22301, ISO 22301 vs. Determining choices, which was a part of Understanding the organization in BS 25999 is now a part of strategy, A wise strategy.
The business continuity response part of BS 25999 which included incident response and continuity plans, gets a makeover with a section in ISO 22301 called ‘Establish and implement business continuity procedures’.
ISO 22301 wants you to articulate your objectives, and has a hilarious statement “define the external and internal factors that create the uncertainty that gives rise to risk” Please write to me if you comprehend that statement.
A subtle change, which I find is an improvement is that ISO 22301 asks us to list down all the activities, functions, etc, first and then ‘establish the parts of the organization to be included in the BCMS’. ISO 22301 never asks us to define our ‘key products and services’ something BS 25999 is very bold about (pun unintended). To implement, you might not have to do any major changes to your documents, but more to your thought process. We move ahead to another new term introduced in ISO 22301, which is missing in BS 25999, but is present in Singapore’s SS540, ‘MBCO’ Minimum Business Continuity Objective. So far, the new ISO 22301 seems to be better researched and provides for a better understanding of business continuity, especially with the terms of MBCO and RPO added in the definitions.
Author cmkPosted on June 22, 2012Categories BCMSTags BCMS, BS 25999, Business Continuity, ISO 223015 Comments on ISO 22301 – How different is it from BS 25999?
Keep yourself informed – Keep yourself informed of all the news available before, during and after the bandh.
Keep your clients informed – Always ensure that you inform your client of would be disruptions to the services. Reach early, leave late – Although this is a good habit to cultivate normally as well, during a bandh, it is imperative that the key personnel involved reach early to the premises.
Define risky areas in the city – Identify key hotspots in the area where the protests are expected to be more severe.
After all these, the employee may reach the premises and may not be allowed inside due to protests happening right outside the place of work.

These tips should help you reasonably handle organized strikes and bandhs, unless, of course, the business continuity managers are the ones protesting! Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. A well-conceived disaster recovery plan can only work if the company holds regular drills to test its effectiveness. In the meantime, he implemented a $350,000 three-point disaster recovery plan completed Mountain Inc. Such systems should also be capable of automating both data protection workflows and, more importantly, disaster recovery processes.
You will hear wise sounding words like, “We have a DR in place, but not a BCP” If you want to stick to pop culture, you can stop reading now. So, a BCP tells your business the steps to be taken to continue its key product and services, while a DR tells your business the steps to be taken to recover post an incident. The problem, however, is that they will receive no data from business about esoteric terms like ‘criticality of activities supporting key products and services’.
A plan to continue business processes (Including support processes like IT) and a plan to respond to and recover from incidents (Emergency Management) and you should be good. Tests like emergency evacuation, or data backup and restoration tests should probably have been considered as mandatory in ISO 22301, but sadly, they are missing.
The content of the sections under ‘leadership’ are not drastically different from what BS 25999 expects from the top management. This section, like leadership, has mainly grouped logically, the sections of ‘Provision of resources’ competency of BCM personnel, awareness trainings and documentation requirements into one. Not only does this section include both incident response and plans, it also includes ‘Warning and communication’ and ‘recovery’.
The last section of the blog will cover the parts where the organization goes from BCMS being a project to being a run-and-maintain. This forces us to think of the entire organization first and then to move on to establishing the scope. I assume that the word ‘establish’ in ‘establish the parts of the organization to be included in the BCMS’ to be the key word here. She makes funky presentations and tries to convince her clients that the standard is the best thing since sliced bread.
We will also try to analyze if you need to do anything different to get yourself compliant to ISO 22301. In BS 25999, MTPD is defined as “duration after which an organization’s viability will be irrevocably threatened if product or service delivery cannot be resumed.” In ISO 22301, MTPD takes the exact same definition of MAO.
The purpose could be to remove the clouds over what is classified as an event or an incident. With the exception for duplicate definitions for MAO and MTPD, it makes more sense than BS 25999.
Activate your plan – If you have a plan written for the possibility of people not being able to reach the workplace, just activate it on D-day.
Keeping your clients informed, keeping your employees informed and ensuring that the information reaches all stakeholders is critical. If you have chosen the definition that BCP is for business and DR is for IT, and at some point in time some smart big shot asks you to decide if you want to go for a BCP or a DR, how do you choose? It may sound a bit weird, but after the first 500 times, you sort of start getting used to it and start preaching it as well. Roughly translated, it means the others will run to IT in case of disaster and say: “What do you mean you cannot recover it. If you are in IT and the business is not responding for a BCMS, use the tactic shown above to have a minimalist practical plan.
More focus on exercising, reviewing and improving a BCMS will add a lot of value to ISO 22301. Although there is a sub-section for documented information, there is no comprehensive list of documents that an organization is required to have. It is just that we do not have competent persons and hence our documentation is commensurate to that. There is a very nice addition in incident response which asks you to ‘identify impact thresholds that justify initiation of a formal response’. In the first step, you are asked to document the organizations activities, functions, services, products, partnerships, supply chains, relationship with interested parties, and the potential impact related to a disruptive event.
BS 25999, however, asked us to list the scope first and then identify the key products and services within the scope of the BCMS.
When I ‘establish’ i try to identify what is ‘key’, which may or may not be how the authors of ISO 22301 intended.
If the standard has been a much awaited standard the presentations get funkier and the noise made for clients to implement it reaches cacophony levels. Most of these changes are to enable an organization to better interpret the wordings of the standard. My guess is that ISO has introduced two definitions for consultants to be able to confuse clients and make things more complex than they usually are.

However, the definition itself “occurrence or change of a particular set of circumstances” does not provide more clarity, though there is are examples mentioned in 4 notes to the definition. You are free to protest against government policy and you are free to organize strikes and bandhs.
Start the work from home, start the work from alternate city, declare a holiday and work on an off day. Communicate with the employee, ask them to travel prepared with the necessities for an over night stay. Miscreants generally do not bother with casual dressed people as they assume they are just going for a joyride.
I think these definitions must have started off as a practical joke played by mischievous IT staff on their organization, or maybe it was some consultant trying to wiggle out of a situation where he forgot to make a BCP for IT. Ask the business “What will happen if this application crashes and is not recoverable?” This becomes the applications RTO. There are vague generalities where we need to ensure that the tests are risk free and the reports contain outcomes, recommendations and actions to implement. If you are an auditor, you will need to spend time on the exercising part to ensure that the organization has really thought through the testing and exercising bit.
The only reference is ‘documented information required by this organization’ and ‘documented information determined by this organization as being necessary for the effectiveness of the BCMS’. If you would follow the business impact analysis of ISO 22301, you will only ‘setup prioritized timeframes for resuming the critical activities that support key products and services’ . It basically asks the implementing organization to list down all the resources that would be required to implement a particular strategy. This will solve the confusing bit “When do I declare a disaster?” that is not addressed in BS 25999. There have been interesting additions (MAO, RPO, MBCO), some of which are welcome additions while some are uncalled for. This should hopefully resolve the doubts over the three part definition of MTPD in BS25999 (RTO, minimum level upon resumption and time required for full recovery). This might not work every time, but it does reduce the probability of the employee being stopped and his vehicle vandalized.
This part does not add any specific value and could have been mentioned in the exercising and testing section itself.
There is a little note below it which mentions that the documentation will differ from organization to organization based on various factors including the competence of persons!
Also, the plans in ISO 22301 cannot be as per the organization’s fancy, they need to have a set of topics that are mandated. I was expecting more clarity on how to identify key products and services, not confuse us further. Prima Facie, these definitions looks like they will impact the BIA methodology for the better.
This essentially means that when an ISO 22301 auditor conducts and audit, he will grill the top management on these aspects, and they are all at one place in ISO 22301, unlike BS 25999 where they are scattered across different sections. An organization’s BCMS documentation may vary based on size, type and complexity of activities, processes, products and services, but how will they be dependent on the competence of persons? How will this be audited? You will have a list of dependencies, timeframes, etc, but you would not have the RTO, RPO, MTPD or MBCO.
It is always better to activate continuity plans than let your employees take the risk of trying to reach the worksite. I consider post incident reviews to be very important and feel they should not have been sidelined. In case you want to get certified on ISO 22301, and have skipped this step (formally of course, informally, everyone had to do this step to begin a proper BCMS anyway), it is time to bring out the excel sheets and list all this down.  There is a bit about identifying ‘internal and external issues’ without getting into the details, which lacks clarity, but I am prepared to ignore it as ISO 22301 has got a great starting point. Armed with this data they create a plan to recover these key applications and services (provided and supported by IT) within the RTO and RPO. Perhaps, there is a new ISO standard planned for business impact analysis that they want us to buy.
Contact your employees in various locations in the city to keep yourself up to date with the situations at regular intervals.
Calling this a business continuity plan is not the right thing to do, hence the IT calls it a DR plan.
It is then free to make statements like “We have a DR, but not a BCP” to the half-read consultant and get away by showing this document as a BCP to the untrained auditor (believe me there are plenty of those around). The auditor sees some calculation of RTO and RPO and accepts the plan as a BCP, thus obfuscating the definitions further.

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