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Natural and manmade disasters underscore the challenges of seamless disaster recovery in the real world. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of IDG Media Pvt. Learn how to develop disaster recovery strategies as well as how to write a disaster recovery plan with these step-by-step instructions. Formulating a detailed recovery plan is the main aim of the entire IT disaster recovery planning project. Once this work is out of the way, youa€™re ready to move on to developing disaster recovery strategies, followed by the actual plans. Once you have identified your critical systems, RTOs, RPOs, etc, create a table, as shown below, to help you formulate the disaster recovery strategies you will use to protect them. Youa€™ll want to consider issues such as budgets, managementa€™s position with regard to risks, the availability of resources, costs versus benefits, human constraints, technological constraints and regulatory obligations. Once your disaster recovery strategies have been developed, youa€™re ready to translate them into disaster recovery plans. From Table 2 you can expand the high-level steps into more detailed step-by-step procedures, as you deem necessary. In addition to using the strategies previously developed, IT disaster recovery plans should form part of an incident response process that addresses the initial stages of the incident and the steps to be taken. Note: We have included emergency management in Figure 2, as it represents activities that may be needed to address situations where humans are injured or situations such as fires that must be addressed by local fire brigades and other first responders.
The following section details the elements in a DR plan in the sequence defined by ISO 27031 and ISO 24762. Important: Best-in-class DR plans should begin with a few pages that summarise key action steps (such as where to assemble employees if forced to evacuate the building) and lists of key contacts and their contact information for ease of authorising and launching the plan. In parallel to these activities are three additional ones: creating employee awareness, training and records management.
They haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory lately, but the guys in suits surrounding the President of the United States are still ready to take a bullet to protect the leader of the free world. National Geographic doesn’t spill all the secrets, but what they let us in on is still pretty cool. The United States Secret Service can’t afford to underestimate the enemy in their mandate to protect the man, protect the symbol and protect the office of the President of the United States. Within the Washington HQ is the National Threat Assessment Team, Intelligence Division, Counterfeit Research Unit, Electronic Crime Branch, and Tracking Center.
The Secret Service got into the protection business in 1901, following the assassination of President William McKinley. When President Truman was staying across the street from the White House at Blair House in November of 1950, two Puerto Rican nationals attacked, killing one service agent. Letters are loaded into the Forensic Information System for Handwriting (FISH), then analyzed for fingerprints and eventually immersed in a chemical bath to expose the sender’s DNA. The agents whisked away the president in Air Force One, which is practically a flying bunker.
To make sure agents are capable of responding on instinct to any scenario, they train at a hidden site in Beltsville, Md., that features bombing, sniping, and other threat contingencies.
An obstacle course, among other rigorous tests, proves that an agent in training can meet the physical demands of the job. Agents have to prove proficiency with their weapons, usually a .357 SIG Sauer Magnum, every month. When agents catch a counterfeiting ring, the service re-creates the bust in a training environment in order to pass on tactics and techniques to the new guys. Dirty money funds serious threats such as illegal arms trading, drug trafficking, and terrorism. The Counterfeit Research Unit used to only see 100 cases a year; by 2013 they have over 600.
After Kennedy’s assassination, the service completely overhauled its training methods, increased its numbers, and created a new threat-tracking system. Since 1 in 4 presidents has been attacked — and 1 in 10 have been killed — agents keep a tight bubble, even hiding in the bushes on the White House lawn.
Each of the 14,000 seats, more than 100 entrances, and all the air ducts and catwalks in LSU’s stadium were meticulously inspected.
The USSS and local law enforcement meet regularly to discuss plans, so that execution in any situation becomes second nature to everyone involved. All the plants and seat pads were sniffed by Belgian Malinois, which have extremely sensitive noses. Before the president arrives, the Baton Rouge airport is shut down, and snipers take their positions. After the speech, the president shook hands with people — who the agents vetted before his arrival. The Service also started protecting presidential candidates after Robert Kennedy was killed during his bid for the White House in 1968.
Candidates want to seem accessible, but the Service finds ways, like this armored banner, to discreetly guard them.
The agents monitor crowds for strange behavior during unplanned campaign stops, which often become chaotic and loud. After two such close calls, the Service tightened their bubble of protection even more, although John Hinckley Jr. After a gunman fired an assault weapon outside the White House during Clinton’s presidency, agents asked the president to stop jogging on the National Mall.
Presidents get very little privacy, and their detail is privy to most of their personal information. Privacy versus protection will always be a delicate balance for the USSS, but their mission is preventing attacks against the most powerful individual on earth. Business Continuity is the methodology used to ensure your organizations critical services and functions persist and function day-to-day.
RackTop Enterprise Backup & Recovery (EBR) is the perfect solution for backing up your IT infrastructure.
RackTop EBR-L is provided as a local only backup solution which enables the user to store data backups on site and restore data after an IT failure. RackTop EBR is not like other backup products that just create copies of your data, EBR enables the key functions of Business Continuity from records management to disaster recovery.
All fields requiring your specific company information are easy to locate and contain helpful tips and information making the template simple to use. High quality content that will meet your organisations administrative, operational and audit requirements.
Save time with the pre-formatted template; fill-in the blanks and you’re ready to start your risk assessment!
You will enjoy that our template is designed in a logical and flowing manner, making it simple to modify to your specific requirements.
The objective of this assessment is to ensure that the overall risk to the organization and its operations is managed appropriately on an ongoing basis. If you want to easily and quickly perform a high quality threat and risk assessment , this template is your solution! The conclave can be considered the oldest ongoing method for succession planning and is considered a plan to manage the gap that has arisen by the departure of the Pope. Wikipedia describes succession planning as the process for identifying and developing internal people with the potential to fill key business (leadership) positions. Business Continuity Management (BCM) Planning is the process of highlighting operational risks that can cause damage to the business, and then taking steps to mitigate those risks. Any mature BCM practice will find resource (staff) planning a foundation block to operate the business when crisis strikes.

Today’s companies are facing higher resources demands because of globalization, 7×24 operations, reliance on technology and automation, and not to mention demanding customers who want more for less.
Having appropriate staffing when you are dealing with operational situations that impact the delivery of products and services is key to your customers, who can directly impact the bottom line if you lose them.
Consider key positions and employees with ‘one of a kind’ skill sets when undertaking a business impact or risk assessment.
A good business continuity plan has identified both primary and back-up resources for given positions within the plan required in meeting the work flow to carry out the business deliverable. Without staff available for these functions, your organization would be unable to effectively deliver it products and service to customers or meet its business objectives.  In this step it is beneficial to assess current and future needs based in the organization considering three to five-year business plans. Step 2:  Identify Position Capabilities For any critical staffing positions, an inventory of the required competencies needed to successfully identify alternate staff from either internal or external sources should be developed. Resource planning for business continuity can include a combination of training and developing existing staff within your organization, or use of external resources. Step 4: Employee Succession Action Plan Once the succession planning strategies have been inventoried, the next step is getting organized. Succession action plans can take many forms but a  written plan is best to effectively manage the process with tasks and times lines (including decision points) to meet the desired goal. To operationalize the continuity plan and validate functionality in meeting the required performance levels. The planned or unexpected loss of employees within critical staffing positions can introduce risks and business impacts both operationally and financially. Advance resource planning introduces time to develop appropriate strategies so when such events occur, it promotes the safeguarding of organizational business interests by accelerated response and recovery times in meeting internal or external customer service level agreements.
Round out your business continuity plan with cloud-based services and get protection against costly disruptions and downtime.
Without a business continuity plan, natural and man-made threats—from leaky pipes and power outages to tornadoes and fires—put your business at constant risk of losing valuable data, revenue and customers. Your company’s communications technology must be a key component of your business continuity plan. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) combines the best of replication, cloud and virtualization technologies, delivering customized and comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery solutions that provide everything you need to ensure your data, applications and communications are safe, secure and there when you need them. It is in these plans that you will set out the detailed steps needed to recover your IT systems to a state in which they can support the business after a disaster. Then, youa€™ll need to establish recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs). Here wea€™ll explain how to write a disaster recovery plan as well as how to develop disaster recovery strategies. Areas to look at are availability of alternate work areas within the same site, at a different company location, at a third-party-provided location, at employeesa€™ homes or at a transportable work facility.
Youa€™ll need to identify and contract with primary and alternate suppliers for all critical systems and processes, and even the sourcing of people.
Be prepared to demonstrate that your strategies align with the organisationa€™s business goals and business continuity strategies.
Procedures should ensure an easy-to-use and repeatable process for recovering damaged IT assets and returning them to normal operation as quickly as possible.
This process can be seen as a timeline, such as in Figure 2, in which incident response actions precede disaster recovery actions. The next section should define roles and responsibilities of DR recovery team members, their contact details, spending limits (for example, if equipment has to be purchased) and the limits of their authority in a disaster situation. During the incident response process, we typically become aware of an out-of-normal situation (such as being alerted by various system-level alarms), quickly assess the situation (and any damage) to make an early determination of its severity, attempt to contain the incident and bring it under control, and notify management and other key stakeholders. Based on the findings from incident response activities, the next step is to determine if disaster recovery plans should be launched, and which ones in particular should be invoked. A section on plan document dates and revisions is essential, and should include dates of revisions, what was revised and who approved the revisions. Once the plan has been launched, DR teams take the materials assigned to them and proceed with response and recovery activities as specified in the plans. Located at the end of the plan, these can include systems inventories, application inventories, network asset inventories, contracts and service-level agreements, supplier contact data, and any additional documentation that will facilitate recovery. These are essential in that they ensure employees are fully aware of DR plans and their responsibilities in a disaster, and DR team members have been trained in their roles and responsibilities as defined in the plans. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Abraham Lincoln created the United States Secret Service (USSS) to deal with the influx of counterfeit money after the Civil War — a move ironically made just hours before he was assassinated on April 14,1865.
In a secret room, a joint operations team watches every entrance to the White House, along with the First Family and vice president.
Voice analysts listen to all phoned-in threats for accents, speech impediments, or other nuances that could identify a potential enemy. So investigators focus on whether those making threats are capable of carrying them out through travel or obtaining weapons. Bush spoke at LSU during the 2004 presidential election campaign, weeks of planning went into mitigating risks — and he wasn’t even leaving the States. Business Continuity is not just about recovering from a major adverse disaster it is getting through the day-to-day hurdles. This solution is perfect for recovering your critical IT infrastructure in case of damage to the entire site. Step by careful step, word by word, paragraph by paragraph, and page by page, our template empowers you to effectively document and understand your business risks. Listed in order of priority and aligned to the risk tolerance and objectives listed previously.
Each treatment plan lists example potential causes, potential consequences, existing control measures, and suggested additional control measures.
To clarify, the conclave has been the process for selecting the Pope (CEO of the church) for centuries since the Roman Catholics church was established and led to the appointment of Pope Francis I late last week.
Like a business without a president or CEO, the church without Pope and the papal direction provided, unfavorable risks may present themselves which may impact operations. Regardless of your business, your employees both management and operational staff are essential to the existence of your business. Burnout of inexperienced staff who are challenged with keeping up, and with the retirement of the ‘Baby Boomers’, the resource gap can widen, and the talent gap can strike your organization quickly leaving your unprepared.
Your essential staff (and replacement strategies if they leave) is an organizational strength, but can also be a weakness if they are not available for whatever reasons to deliver their work.
Succession planning for day to day business or continuity planning can be achieved by four simple steps. It should be noted that critical staffing positions can be found at all levels of the organization from the CEO to the customer call center.
Resources identification strategies can include networking and social media sites for targeting candidates who are seeking career renewals (job seeking).
In the papal conclave methodology, choosing from all the global Cardinals brings focus to those with the appropriate skill sets to be considered as potential candidates. Considering the business continuity plan, identifying and naming such individual (both primary and alternates (back-up)) is mandatory to the success of operationalizing the plan when needed. Developing succession plans as part of a business continuity program can improve the capability of your business to address staff related risks including the collateral risks that occur when key employees leave an organization. Organizations can ensure that their mission-critical data and applications are protected through Cloud Computing, Data Backup and Storage services. For businesses that must maintain regulatory compliance, we’ll provide the necessary tools to adhere to all government and industry regulations for record retention and disaster recovery for essential data.
To give your organization the best shot at success during a disaster, you need to put a current, tested plan in the hands of all personnel responsible for carrying out any part of that plan.

Then consider site security, staff access procedures, ID badges and the location of the alternate space relative to the primary site. Key areas where alternate suppliers will be important include hardware (such as servers, racks, etc), power (such as batteries, universal power supplies, power protection, etc), networks (voice and data network services), repair and replacement of components, and multiple delivery firms (FedEx, UPS, etc). Then define step-by-step procedures to, for example, initiate data backup to secure alternate locations, relocate operations to an alternate space, recover systems and data at the alternate sites, and resume operations at either the original site or at a new location.
Here we can see the critical system and associated threat, the response strategy and (new) response action steps, as well as the recovery strategy and (new) recovery action steps.
If staff relocation to a third-party hot site or other alternate space is necessary, procedures must be developed for those activities. This section should specify who has approved the plan, who is authorised to activate it and a list of linkages to other relevant plans and documents. If DR plans are to be invoked, incident response activities can be scaled back or terminated, depending on the incident, allowing for launch of the DR plans. The more detailed the plan is, the more likely the affected IT asset will be recovered and returned to normal operation. And since DR planning generates a significant amount of documentation, records management (and change management) activities should also be initiated. With RackTop EBR-SC you can also transfer your operations to a Continuity of Operations (COOP) facility using backups provided by RackTop out of our Secure Cloud. All the more reason to plan ahead in order to overcome obstacles and ensure the health of your business.
My past experiences with succession planning, have always been associated with the organization’s top talent, which is usually considered at the VP and CEO level. Also the metrics for tracking and measuring performance for the position must be defined.  Having this information in hand when selecting candidates these positions will aid in setting expectations regarding responsibilities and performance required to be successful.
This approach been pre-planned from for centuries so on demand ‘papal succession’ selections can occur within days so as not to impact ‘church’ business. This can be a simple plan if the position competencies and candidates are plentiful, or more detailed if the skill sets and experience needed are more complex and fewer in numbers. Preplanning also allows the organization the needed time to identify key employees and the risk they pose if they were longer available.
Let the experts at Windstream review your business continuity plan and fill in any gaps with our wide array of cloud-based services. And our Unified Communications and Hosted Voice services are ideal for organizations whose daily operations are contingent on phone communication. The lack of a plan doesn't just mean your organization will take longer than necessary to recover from an event or incident. This section defines the criteria for launching the plan, what data is needed and who makes the determination. Technology DR plans can be enhanced with relevant recovery information and procedures obtained from system vendors. If your organisation already has records management and change management programmes, use them in your DR planning.
If you don’t already have a secondary site we can help you with establishing a COOP location for you to continue your critical operations during an actual disaster event.
My current experience has shown me that succession planning needs to be applied to lower management staff that one day will become emerging senior leaders and should be prepared for advancement or promotion into newer challenging roles.
You could go out of business for good.How Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery Plans DifferBusiness continuity (BC) refers to maintaining business functions or quickly resuming them in the event of a major disruption, whether caused by a fire, flood, epidemic illness or a malicious attack across the Internet.
Included within this part of the plan should be assembly areas for staff (primary and alternates), procedures for notifying and activating DR team members, and procedures for standing down the plan if management determines the DR plan response is not needed. Check with your vendors while developing your DR plans to see what they have in terms of emergency recovery documentation.
You are right but think about the little obstacle that could get you like a virus, an disgruntled employee or a hard drive failure. It's actually just one part of a complete business continuity plan, as a BC plan looks at the continuity of the entire organization. Do you have a way to get HR, manufacturing, and sales and support functionally up and running so the company can continue to make money right after a disaster?For example, if the building that houses your customer service representatives is flattened by a tornado, do you know how those reps can handle customer calls?
A BIA identifies the impact of a sudden loss of business functions, usually quantified in a cost.
Such analysis also helps you evaluate whether you should outsource non-core activities in your BCP, which can come with its own risks.
The BIA essentially helps you look at your entire organization's processes and determine which are most important.Why Business Continuity Planning MattersWhether you operate a small business or a large corporation, you strive to remain competitive. It's vital to retain current customers while increasing your customer base - and there's no better test of your capability to do so than right after an adverse event.Because restoring IT is critical for most companies, numerous disaster recovery solutions are available. Being able to handle any incident effectively can have a positive effect on your company's reputation and market value, and it can increase customer confidence.First, Create a Business Continuity PlanIf your organization doesn't have a BC plan in place, start by assessing your business processes, determining which areas are vulnerable, and the potential losses if those processes go down for a day, a few days or a week. People generally like to share "war stories" and the steps and techniques (or clever ideas) that saved the day. Their insights could prove incredibly valuable in helping you to craft a solid business continuity plan.Then, Test Your Business Continuity PlanYou have to rigorously test a plan to know if it's complete and will fulfill its intended purpose.
Some organizations incorporate drills and disaster role-playing into the structured walk-through. Any weaknesses should be corrected and an updated plan distributed to all pertinent staff.It's also a good idea to conduct a full emergency evacuation drill at least once a year. This type of test lets you determine if you need to make special arrangements to evacuate staff members who have physical limitations.Lastly, disaster simulation testing can be quite involved and should be performed annually. For this test, create an environment that simulates an actual disaster, with all the equipment, supplies, and personnel (including business partners and vendors) who would be needed. The purpose of a simulation is to determine if you can carry out critical business functions during the event.During each phase of business continuity plan testing, include some new employees on the test team.
Once that job is complete, some organizations let the plan sit while other, more critical tasks get attention. Bring key personnel together at least annually to review the plan and discuss any areas that must be modified.Prior to the review, solicit feedback from staff to incorporate into the plan. Ask all departments or business units to review the plan, including branch locations or other remote units. If you've had the misfortune of facing a disaster and had to put the plan into action, be sure to incorporate lessons learned.
Many organizations conduct a review in tandem with a table-top exercise or structured walk-through.How to Ensure Business Continuity Plan Support, AwarenessOne way to ensure your plan is not successful is to adopt a casual attitude toward its importance.
That means senior management must be represented when creating and updating the plan; no one can delegate that responsibility to subordinates. In addition, the plan is likely to remain fresh and viable if senior management makes it a priority by dedicating time for adequate review and testing.Management is also key to promoting user awareness. If employees don't know about the plan, how will they be able to react appropriately when every minute counts?
Although plan distribution and training can be conducted by business unit managers or HR staff, have someone from the top kick off training and punctuate its significance.
It'll have a greater impact on all employees, giving the plan more credibility and urgency.Kim Lindros is a full-time content, online curricula and classroom training developer with a background in project management.
She has also contributed to several books on Windows technologies and applications and IT certification. Ed Tittel is a full-time freelance writer and consultant who specializes in Web markup languages, information security and Windows OSes.

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