Why do you need to plan?In addition to: • Reducing the disruption of business operations • Minimizing the chaos of an event • Protecting facilities, equipment, assets Small businesses play a key role in the Nebraska economy and in local communities! Business Continuity Planning is the way an organization can prepare for and aid in disaster recovery.
In layman's terms, a Business Continuity Plan or BCP is how an organization guards against future disasters that could endanger its long-term health or the accomplishment of its primary mission. Disaster Recovery Plans are generally part of a larger, more extensive practice known as Business Continuity Planning.
According to a Network World article dated May 16, 2007, between 2,000 and 4,000 Cisco routers went down for approximately 7 hours in the NTT East Network in Japan. While Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans (DRP & BCP) often focus on bridging the gap where data, software, or hardware have been damaged or lost, one cannot forget the vital element of work force that composes much of any organization. Both types of disasters need to be considered when creating a Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans. Disaster Planning is the process of creating a road map for what to do in a response to a declared disaster or a regional disaster. Just as a disaster is an event that makes the continuation of normal functions impossible, a disaster recovery plan consists of the precautions taken so that the effects of a disaster will be minimized, and the organization will be able to either maintain or quickly resume mission-critical functions. Typically, disaster recovery planning involves an analysis of business processes and continuity needs; it may also include a significant focus on disaster prevention.
With the template is a 3 page Job Description for the Disaster Recovery Manager.  The Disaster Recovery Plan Template PREMIUM Bundle contains 11 additional key job descriptions. Conduct a Business and IT Impact Analysis - Knowing the IT and enterprise operational dependencies, mission-critical vs. Conduct a Risk Assessment - What is the probability that something will happen, and what does it mean when it does? Calculate the cost of downtime - Armed with these figures, management will be able to determine an acceptable amount of downtime and data loss.
Position Disaster Recovery Business Continuity as a competitive necessity - Positioning Disaster Recovery Business Continuity in this way helps to illustrate downtime as an opportunity for competitors to capture market share. Define multiple options - Management does not respond well when presented with a problem or just a single solution; they want alternatives. Define Metrics - Metrics should be tied to the Business and IT Impact Analysis and the Risk Assessment marked by business process criticality, Recovery Time Objective (RTO ) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO), and the supporting operational budgets.  Define what IT must have to succeed in attaining the desired level of Disaster Recovery Business Continuity preparedness. Define non-catastrophic risks - It is important that management not only understands that risk exists, but also that they are aware of the forms it can take. Combine Disaster Recovery Business Continuity with mandated requirements - Marry the notion of disaster recovery with other IT initiatives such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS. Planning for employees, business partners and customers makes up the most critical aspect of business recovery planning, Janco Associates says.
A plan for disaster recovery and business continuity that helps operations get up and running quickly or keeps them up and running with a minimal loss of data, information and productivity is a necessity.
Even if organizations do have a business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place, they can still face problems. Nearly every aspect of business today is expected to be available continuously without interruption, regardless of the circumstances. Lost revenue: Even the loss of a single mission-critical service, such as e-mail or web connectivity, can cost some companies millions of dollars in revenue. Customer confidence: When a company experiences an interruption in services or suffers a loss of data, customers can lose confidence in that firm’s viability in a crisis and its ability to meet their needs and protect their personal information. Compliance penalties and fines: Government regulated businesses found to be in a state of noncompliance could be subjected to lawsuits, fines and penalties. Staff confidence and effectiveness: As technology becomes an even greater part of business operations, users have come to rely more and more on services and technologies to do their jobs. In addition to the direct costs of lost productivity, long-term damage can result in low staff morale and confidence in the organization, extending the monetary damages well into the future, even after services have been restored.
The ISO Standard defines the Information and Communication Technology (ITC) Requirements for Business Continuity (IRBC) program that supports the mandate for an infrastructure that supports business operations when an event or incident with its related disruptions affects the continuity of critical business functions. Plan - Establish a Disaster Recovery Business Continuity policy with objectives, metrics, and processes relevant to managing risk and improving the enterprise's Information and Communication Technology ability and readiness to operate at the level defined within the parameters of the enterprise's overall disaster recovery and business continuity objectives. Do - Implement and operate the Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity policies, procedures, controls, and processes. Check - Assess and monitor the performance metrics as defined within the Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity policy metrics and communicate the results to the management of the enterprise. There are two components that are critical for this process: Service Level Expectations and Recovery Time Standards. There is an expected service level that the business relies on to assess the 'up time' required for specific business functions. When there are disruptions in the service and the expected service levels are at risk, another metric standard is used: recovery time. Recovery times are closely monitored during recovery process.  Working in a framework which understands roles and responsibilities not only allows management to understand the difference between service levels and recovery times, but solidifies the involvement and value with our IT with the business units that it serves. Percent of total applications covered by a Disaster Recovery Business Continuity strategy - Could include hot sites, high availability systems, quick ship requirements, etc. Number  of months since the last Disaster Recovery Business Continuity Plan “Maintenance Cycle” - Ideally, this should not exceed three to four month.
In disaster planning when a pandemic occurs the data center exists but people often are in separate locations.
In this age of business operations, software applications and electronic data are the life blood of the enterprise.
Protecting business means protect ongoing access to functional applications, servers and data; traditionally that means backing up data. The right way to evaluate the quality of your system and data protection is to evaluate the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO). The best way to ensure a fast recovery is to have replacement equipment standing by at an off-site location with the necessary software and configuration to quickly transfer users and data. Restoring to this remote data center from backup tapes will likely take too long, assumes that the tapes were not affected by the original problem and still leaves the risk of only recovering old data.
Continuous updates of the application and OS configuration (without this, recovery may fail after a patch or an upgrade). A best practice for disaster planning and business continuity is a technique, method, process, activity, incentive, or reward that is believed to be more effective at restoring the operation of an enterprise after a disaster or enterprise interruption event occurs.
Focus on operations - people and process that drive the enterprise are the primary issues that DRP and BCP are controllable. Train everyone on how to execute the DRP and BCP - People are the front line when it comes to supporting the enterprise. Have a clear definition for declaring when a disaster or business interruption occurs that will set the DRP and BCP process into motion - There needs to be a clear processes for allocating resources based on their criticality and availability requirements.
Integrate DRP and BCP with change management - Changes are inevitable in any sizable environment.
Focus on addressing issues BEFORE they impact the enterprise - When you are aiming to operate at the speed of business, after-the-fact fixes do not make the grade. Validate that all technology is properly installed and configured right from the start - a technology solution that is properly implemented in terms of its hardware, firmware, and software will dramatically reduce problems and downtime in the future.
Monitor the processes and people to know what critical - many of today’s enterprises are experiencing a capacity crisis as they reach the limits of reduced budgets, older facilities and legacy infrastructures. The DRP template includes everything needed to customize the Disaster Recovery Plan to fit your specific requirement. In a survey of 253 enterprises that had to activate their recovery plans Janco has identified the reasons why recovery is not successful. The most common issue and occurring in 62% of all recovery plans are errors in the plan itself. How information is disseminated can make or break an enterprise after an event has occurred. A crisis event is any situation that threatens the integrity or reputation of your company. Just because someone is a CEO does not mean that they will be an effective media spokesperson.
The number one priority for a spokesperson in a crisis is to communicate information clearly and effectively to those affected by it. If your organization is at the heart of a crisis where people have been killed, it is almost certain that your top executives will face the media. At the start of the event, before all the facts are know, it is easy to over-estimate the scale of a crisis. A major part of the disaster recovery planning process is the assessment of the potential risks to the organization which could result in the disasters or emergency situations themselves. There are many potential disruptive events and the impact and probability level must be assessed to give a sound basis for progress. Drying Objects - Air dry objects indoors if possible and use portable fans to move the air. Mold Prevention and Cleanup - Exposure to molds can have serious health consequences such as respiratory problems, skin and eye irritation, and infections. Broken Objects - If objects are broken or begin to fall apart, place all broken pieces and detached parts in clearly labeled, open containers. Paper Materials - Documents, books, photographs, and works of art on paper are extremely fragile when wet; use caution when handling. Office Furniture - Furniture finishes and painting surfaces may develop a white haze or bloom from contact with water and humidity.


Metal Objects - Rinse metal objects exposed to flood waters, mud, or silt with clear water and dry  immediately with a clean, soft cloth.
There are plenty of partial, outdated, or ineffective disaster and business continuity plans out there - why is it so difficult to get it right? Data collection - How do you collect the data for the disaster and business continuity plan in the first place? Categorization - If you want to categorize the information in the disaster and business continuity plan, you have to create the taxonomy (or hierarchical categorization) for the industry data.
Manageability - Any extensive technology disaster and business continuity plan is a large and complex data store. Maintenance - As soon as you have finished the disaster and business continuity plan, you have to start updating it. Statistics tell us that facility floods are the fourth most common cause for an organization to abandon its facility and invoke its off-site recovery process.
Janco’s observations of organizations rallying support from staff to attend an alternative recovery site are peppered with business resumption success and staff morale negativity. It’s apparent to me that to keep morale high and retain staff throughout the work around, efforts to restore the lost facility must be concentrated so that staff can return to the facility as quickly as possible.
Many organizations simply do not have the luxury of being able to move to an alternative recovery site following a physical. These questions, answered accurately, will in some circumstances negate the requirement to invoke a third party recovery center and reduce the disruption surrounding the impact of the incident. Make sure that you consider out-of-hours disaster response as well as the time when the facility is in use. In this situation the organization is at high risk, largely due to the good intentions of others who make attempts to help: and inadvertently make matters worse. It could be argued that the probability of a facility incident may be low, the risks and associated impacts are very high and making sure that an incident plan is created should be a priority. The plan needs to pre-engage the correct resources, expertise and capability to assist you and your team in dealing with the incident. Further ramifications to consider may be damaged documents, IT equipment, and critical process equipment to name just a few of the essential items that may need to have to be restored, so that operationally you can resume. Seldom do we find an organization that has a property restoration specialist, document restoration specialist or IT restoration specialist within their talent pool and so these services need to be found in advance: this is the only way that your company can ensure that it will have priority response following an incident.
A major business continuity event will likely require the mobilization of more than a skeleton on-call group.
Notification processes and tools, whether automated or manual, must be tested in advance to provide an indication of their effectiveness.
Key networks, communication channels, databases, servers and systems must be brought online as quickly as possible.
If business continuity planning includes changes to end user access methods, changes to security or server location settings, or any other systemic changes that might affect end users, the likely workaround for these issues should be pre-populated in a support knowledge base. Most business resumption plans include the sequential resumption of key business services.
For protection, consider crawling under a table or desk and remain there for at least 60 seconds.
Stay away from windows, mirrors, overhead fixtures, filing cabinets, bookcases, and electrical equipment. The Disaster Recovery Business Continuity template can be purchased as an individual item or bundled with job descriptions and or the Security Manual Template. Disaster Recovery Business Continuity Template (WORD) - comes with the latest electronic forms and is fully compliant with all mandated US, EU, and ISO requirements. Included with the template are Electronic Forms which have been designed to lower the cost of maintenance of the plan. It’s essential to plan thoroughly to protect yourself from the impact of potential crises – from fire, flood or theft to IT system failure, restricted access to premises or illness of key staff. This planning is very important for businesses since they often lack the resources to cope easily in a crisis. Business Continuity Management is based on the principle that it is the key responsibility of an organisation’s directors to ensure the continuation of its business operations at all times and this necessitates having suitable plans, processes and practices in place to meet most eventualities.
A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is something that your stakeholders, including your clients, will expect you to have, and your insurer will almost certainly want you to provide as part of your responsibility toward risk management. Our experts have helped many companies to assess critical aspects of their processes and to develop structured BCPs.
It is critical be to know that your business applications and data are still safe in the event of a disaster.
Smoke detectors, safety procedures, insurancePreparednessmeasures help usanticipate the responseneeds of an event.Ex. Procedures to save lives and propertyRecovery procedureshelp us restart businessprocesses in the shortand long-term.Ex.
According to some estimates, up to 40% of small businesses, which experience a disaster, never reopen their doors. If the unexpected does happen, your business continuity plan may be the difference between your business recovering or failing from the event.
It is an arrangement agreed upon in advance by management and key personnel of the steps that will be taken to help the organization recover should any type of disaster occur. BCPs take into account disasters that can occur on multiple geographic levels-local, regional, and national-disasters like fires, earthquakes, or pandemic illness. While Disaster Recovery plans, or DRPs, often focus on bridging the gap where data, software, or hardware have been damaged or lost, one cannot forget the vital element of manpower that composes much of any organization.
DR plans should be well practiced so that the key players are familiar with the specific actions they will need to take should a disaster occur. A building fire might predominantly affect vital data storage; whereas a pandemic or epidemic illness is more likely to have an effect on staffing. A disaster recovery plan describes how an organization is to deal with potential disasters.
Being able to inform management about an enterprise’s risk exposure will help give them a clearer picture of the liability of not having a plan. The cost of downtime includes items like lost sales, loss of market share, employee productivity, enterprise reputation, and even customer confidence. While making it clear that doing nothing is not an option, having multiple solutions is vital.
While earthquakes and tornadoes do pose a threat, disruptive events often come in the form of much more commonplace events.  Things like power outages and IT failure tend to be the causes for downtime. Here the emphasis is on the idea that some Disaster Recovery Business Continuity technologies, like Virtualization, can aid in initiatives such as server consolidation. Depending on the nature of the outage, you may need to figure out how and where people can continue working. What happens if you don’t have local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN) connectivity for an extended period of time? Tools and technologies are available to help mitigate various forms of disaster and to help keep downtime to a minimum. When a disaster strikes - whether a natural disaster or technological failure – enterprise management expect operational services and technologies to still function. Avoiding this downtime with a business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place is a clear benefit. When those services or technologies become unavailable, even for short periods of time, users suffer major productivity losses. This process can be done via an audit, a test of the plan, or an actual execution of the plan via a post event analysis session. In order for that to happen there needs to be awareness training for what is expected when the Disaster Recovery Business Continuity Plan is activated.
The Disaster Planning and Business Continuity Planning processes need to make the user and business operating experience is as similar as possible so that the work environment is the same in the remote site (often home) as in the office. When they are unavailable due to a disaster or outage, business is slowed or stopped altogether. These metrics define how long you think it will take you to get back online and how current the data has to be.
The best practice includes a remote data center with servers, storage, networking equipment and internet access. The idea is that with proper processes, checks, and testing, a desired outcome can be delivered with fewer problems and unforeseen complications.
Implementing a planning and recovery environment is an ideal time to define an approach based on ITIL best practices that will address the process and people issues effectively. A staff that has not been properly trained in the use of the DRP and BCP when an event occurs will we hindrance.
This will define the “rules of the road” for who does what and when while minimizing the factors that can negatively impact enterprise operations. Proper initial configuration can also save time and reduce issues with upgrades, hot patches, and other changes. This is often due to the plan not being kept up to date (47%) and the unavailability or inaccurate passwords (34%). These situations can be any kind of accident, fire, flood or man made disaster that could be attributed to your company. One thing to remember that is crucial in an event is tell it all, tell it fast and tell the truth. In these circumstances a message from the very top is essential – not to do this will be seen as cold and uncaring.


You need to make a cold, hard assessment of the gravity of situation – from an external perspective, in order to properly assess its seriousness. It is necessary to consider all the possible incident types, as well as and the impact each may have on the organization's ability to continue to deliver its normal business services. In the case of disk drives or other electronic storage devices - inventory all of them and label them. Sunlight and heat may dry certain materials too quickly, causing splits, warping, and buckling. The use of protective gear, including a respirator with a particulate filter, disposable plastic gloves, goggles or protective eye wear, and coveralls or a lab coat, is therefore essential.
Do not attempt to repair objects until completely dry or, in the case of important materials, until you have consulted with a professional conservator. These problems do not require immediate attention; consult a professional conservator for treatment. There is no one single source for everything you need, particularly if you are trying to integrate relevant external information such as support dates, power consumption, etc. For example, OS version numbers are often conflicting; vendors change their product names or renumber versions over time, etc. This alone is a significant task, there are many ways to slice and dice the universe of technology products, and no standards have been defined within the IT industry to define this information in a consistent manner. A spreadsheet is insufficient for storing and managing rich structured data for thousands of products and vendors. The Information Technology industry is constantly changing, which means that your work is never done. In reality what is described in this statistic as a flood, is more often than not an escape of water or liquid, which is considerably different to a flood: and impacts of both to a facility differ significantly. In some instances it became apparent that staff felt a real sense of loss, which was not sympathetically dealt with by management. In these cases disaster recovery plans should include the external expert support of a specialist company that will aid the internal recovery and incident team to mitigate against secondary damage, administer triage to the affected areas and expedite the correct equipment, methods and manpower to restore their facility as quickly as possible to a suitable working environment, so that service can be resumed. Dealing with an incident within the first few hours may reduce the total time of the disruptive event by weeks.
The plan needs to address emergency responses in dealing with the disruption, care and consideration of staff, communication and associated contingency’s as a bare minimum. This is important because, as is often the case, organizations are sometimes one of many in one location that have been affected by the same event at the same time, be it a storm, water mains flood in the street or wide area incident such as a river flood. Up-to-date contact information for all staff must be maintained and be accessible by support management from remote locations. Knowing what percentage of technicians are able to respond to an incident is a basic requirement. Informing the support organization of the current state of the business infrastructure, expected future actions, and unexpected issues that arise will allow them to convey this information to expectant business users, reducing uncertainty and allowing for better business planning.
Each plan is developed with the specific needs of the company in mind, while implementing best practice from across the sector.
BCPs should be live and evolving strategies that are adjusted for any potential disasters that would require recovery; it should include everything from technological viruses to terrorist attacks.
A building fire might predominantly affect vital data storage; whereas an epidemic illness is more likely to have an affect on staffing. Most enterprises have some sort of Disaster Recovery Business Continuity plan, including off site storage and data replication. Making management see that the “disaster” in disaster recovery covers a lot more than natural disasters is beneficial to IT ’s cause. The concept of Disaster Recovery Business Continuity investment as a means of helping the data center improve efficiency and reduce cost is a powerful one. For a brief period of time, everyone may need to work remotely, but you will need to have these contingency plans ready, along with automatic notification to tell employees to work at home.
National Fire Protection Agency, 35 percent of businesses that experience a major fire are out of business with three years. National Archives and Records Administration, 80 percent of companies without well-conceived data protection and recovery strategies go out of business within two years of a major disaster.
Otherwise, recovery plans can be easily derailed when new software and hardware is added or upgraded without testing the potential consequences of changes to business technology. If 0-4 hours recovery time is acceptable, then disaster recovery and business continuity should be started at least one to two hours prior to the maximum recovery (four hours). In the short term, outages result in data loss, employee and customer frustration and lost revenue.
Best practices can also be defined as the most efficient (least amount of effort) and effective (best results) way of accomplishing a task, based on repeatable procedures that have proven themselves over time for large numbers of people. It is important to identify risks across people, process, and technology so that appropriate countermeasures can be implemented. It can also be a situation where in the eyes of the media or general public your company did not react to one of the above situations in the appropriate manner. Textiles, leather, and other "organic materials will also be severely affected by exposure to water and should be allowed to air dry.
Every vendor delivers this information in different formats, different frequencies, and different vehicles - ranging from data sheets to websites to release notes.
If you go through a massive effort to produce a disaster and business continuity plan for a single business function, the value of that investment is lost if you cannot keep it up to date. Concerns about managing the impacts on personal lives and daily routines caused by the relocation to the recovery site are also common.
However, as a minimum, it must be both available and accessible by those providing technical support. The ultimate goal is to help expedite the recovery of an organization's critical functions and manpower following these types of disasters. So, if having everyone work at home is not the best option for your business, recovery vendors can provide interim workplaces such as prefabricated mobile offices or buildings designed specifically for use in times of crisis.
Backup tape and storage testing services can help ensure that critical data will be available after a major outage. In the worst-case scenario, your business may not have access to any of these vital services. That’s why experts like Janco Associates recommend routine system checkups, as well as longer-term business continuity and resilience planning services. The long term penalties of an outage can affect a business for a lifetime; lost records, transactions and accounting files can even put a business at risk of regulatory violations. If a business relies on tape backup alone, restoration is easy only for the simplest failure, and only if everything goes perfectly. This not only helps reduce downtime, it also delivers better performance and a faster ROI through better and wiser use of IT assets. You should also make sure that vendors provide an appropriate level of support including proactive features such as critical patch analysis and change management support. When a situation arises the first thing you should do is contact your CEO and the chief of your public relations department. Shaped objects, such as garments or baskets, should be supported by gently padding with toweling or unlinked, uncoated paper. In order to be fully effective at disaster recovery, these plans are recommended to be regularly practiced as well as outlined.
This sort of advanced planning can help an organization minimize the amount of loss and downtime it will sustain while simultaneously creating its best and fastest chance to recover after a disaster. Companies must consider all these facets of their organization as well as update and practice their plan if they want to maximize their recovery after a disaster. Ideally, says Janco Associates, backups should be performed off site, preferably at a facility far away from everyday operations. LAN and WAN contingency plans can include services such as remote data access so critical information can be managed and administered from any location. If a hard disk fails and all the backup tapes are good and the staff is practiced at doing the repair and restore, then you might be able to simply buy a replacement part and get things up within a couple of hours – though the data will be from last night’s backup. The sooner you get those two organizations involved the sooner you can implement this plan. Moderate light exposure (open shades, leave lights on in enclosed areas) can also reduce mold and mildew.
Wet books and papers should also be air dried or kept in a refrigerator or freezer until they can be treated by a professional conservator.
A fail over system for e-mail is also highly recommended, who note that keeping in touch with partners and customers can make all the difference in remaining in business. If the problem is more complicated and involve s a replacement server for instance, you will probably need a day or two to get new hardware in place before you even begin to recover. Remove heavy deposits of mold growth from walls, baseboards, floors, and other household surfaces with commercially available disinfectants.
These solutions can be activated in seconds, but keep in mind that these systems need to be in place prior to an outage. Follow manufacturers' instructions, but avoid splattering or contact with objects and wallpapers as disinfectants may damage objects.



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