Disaster strikes when you least expect it, and it’s increasingly been shown that organizations can no longer afford to believe that such emergencies won’t happen to them.

Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) planning has become a major priority for companies, but a number of them are still lacking the strategy necessary to ensure that their operations can continue in the event of a disaster. A 2016 survey by ITProPortal found that nearly half of respondents don’t have a comprehensive BCDR plan. Let’s take a look at the top tips that you should follow to build a solid BCDR plan:

1. Analyze Environments and Threat Tolerance

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When creating a BCDR plan, leaders must start by looking at their critical environments and analyzing the risks they might face.

Prioritizing consequences will be a significant part of your continuity planning effort, as it provides necessary guidance to how much certain assets should be protected and what systems must be recovered first. The speed of response for these individual systems also will be a key factor in the costs associated with the fault or disaster. Leaders must take a critical look at their infrastructure and determine what items are necessary for their operations and what resources could wait to be restored.

2. Align With Business Standards

This one should be self-explanatory, but it’s easy for organizations to skip this step during BCDR planning because there are so many other factors to consider. TechTarget contributor Paul Kirvan noted that industry standards will provide a great framework for your strategy and will increase your chance of passing a future audit. Aligning the BCDR plan with this guidance helps maintain compliance requirements and establishes a solid starting point to rein in the plan’s scope.

Find out more about ISO 22301 Business Continuity Management System standard

3. Exercise, Revise and Exercise Again

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Once the strategy has been created, businesses cannot become complacent. Instead, they must regularly exercise their continuity plans to have peace of mind that those plans will fulfill their intended purpose. Your testing might depend of the type of organization, amount of turnover and any process changes that have occurred since the last evaluation.

CIO contributors Kim Lindros and Ed Tittel noted that leaders can use tabletop exercises, structured walk-throughs and simulations to test specific disaster scenarios, identify gaps and ensure that staff understand what to do. It will be important to include new employees on the test team to detect lapses in information that experienced members might overlook. Organizations cannot let the plan go stale and should revise it at least annually.

Learn how to create an efficient Business Continuity exercise with ContinuityLink

4. Have the Proper Systems in Place

The biggest thing a business can do is to have the proper systems in place that will ensure that operations will continue in the event of a disaster. Organizations should also have backup solutions to streamline recovery efforts and restore assets quickly. With these types of tools, users will be able to reduce damage and serve customers during the recovery process.

Continuity planning should be a major priority for businesses. By having the proper systems in place, aligning with business standards, analyzing threat tolerance and testing the strategy, organizations can create a solid business continuity and disaster recovery plan that will see them through a variety of disaster scenarios and help them recover quickly.

Source: Wester Jounalism

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