The terms disaster recovery and business continuity planning are appeared together so often. It allows businesses to remain operational after an unforeseen event. The objective of both these plans is to limit the risk of data loss. Besides, it will enable a corporation to operate as frequently as possible after an interruption.
However, business continuity and disaster recovery are not the same things. They are related and connected to each other but are not similar.
WHAT IS BUSINESS CONTINUITY?
It is the decision-making and operational tool to ensure the continuity of activities.
To be a useful tool, it must answer a set of questions:
- What are the organization’s critical activities/processes/products?
- What are the issues in the event of an event impacting them?
- What are the needs (qualitative, quantitative) to ensure their continuity and minimize the impacts?
The key to answering them is consistency. According to this logic, the starting point defines what is critical for the organization. Further, it also determines the needs and appropriate strategy.
In practical terms, business continuity means making a plan to ensure that your enterprise is prepared to work continually. It aims to establish a strategy. And to ensures the continuity of activities following a disaster seriously disrupting normal business functioning.
Not all events that bring organizations to their knees are as dramatic as significant hurricanes or floods. Even the effects of a normal storm could deactivate key resources and disrupt your business. An effective business continuity plan allows you to resume operations quickly after a disaster.
Business Continuity Plans still benefit from renewed interest in times of crisis. That is the same in the case, during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. It is essential to put the business continuity plan in place to reduce losses to a minimum. It’s an ideal way to defend these types of crises.
It helps to cover all stages and respect schedules so that the necessary resources, processes, and functions restart as quickly as possible.
WHAT IS A DISASTER RECOVERY PLAN, AND WHAT DOES IT CONSIST OF?
A Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is a documented process for recovering IT and business infrastructure in case of a disaster. Surely, a disaster can occur for a whole host of natural or human-made reasons. For example, a snowstorm, floods, or even acts of terrorism and hacking, as was the case recently with ransomware. All of these examples can be qualified as sinister.
In many instances, when an IT environment experiences serious problems following a disaster, data loss is probably one of the most common consequences. So it is essential to ensure that your data center has at least two back-ups.
DRP is a document that lists the steps to take to rebuild your computer system in case of a crisis. Further, it allows us to restart the applications necessary for a company’s activities. It aims to anticipate and mitigate the devastating effects of a crisis or natural disaster.
Many businesses make DRP plans but ignore or neglect to update annually. For example, when Hurricane Harvey caused unexpected indoor flooding in Houston. Many businesses quickly sank as people struggled to evacuate.
What is the key difference between business continuity and disaster recovery?
Disaster recovery is part of IT business continuity planning. It is all about accessing data after a disaster quickly. There are similarities between business continuity and disaster recovery, as both take into account a variety of unexpected events. That is ranging from cyber-attacks and human error to natural disasters such as flooding. They also aim to keep the business running as frequently as possible, especially for mission-critical applications. However, the key difference between them is when the plan is implemented.
The business continuity plan is more proactive. It generally refers to the processes and procedures that an organization must implement. It ensures the continuity of mission-critical functions during and after a disaster. In simple words, it allows us to keep operations functional during and after the event.
Disaster recovery is more responsive. It includes specific steps that the business must take to resume operations following an incident. Disaster recovery actions take place after the event, and response times can range from seconds to days. Cut to the chase. It focuses on how you come to normal after a disaster.
For example, if a hurricane or flood destroys your office building, the solution to recovering your business might be to allow employees to do remote work. However, this solution only serves as part of the emergency response. You can’t use it for long-term efficiency.
Your disaster recovery solution focuses on ways for employees to get back to the same location. Besides, it also focuses on the replacement of office furniture and equipment.
The development of the BCP and the disaster recovery IT plan generally begins with consultations. After that, the members of both teams carrying out a risk analysis. The organization recognizes the most critical aspects of the business. Besides, it will identify how quickly and to what extent plans should be executed after an incident.