A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a guide for maintaining IT continuity in the event that a business’s resources are destroyed. A thorough DRP includes plans for recovering IT hardware and equipment, data records, and the physical space in which the IT infrastructure is stored. Examples of disasters for which a DRP would be useful include those that are natural, such as fires and floods, as well as those that are man-made, such as hacking or equipment failure.
What does a DRP include?
The goal of a disaster recovery plan is to maintain normal IT capabilities or resume them when needed as quickly as possible. This means a DRP should include measures for preventing possible disasters as well as monitoring and responding to them when they do happen. They should also contain measures for evaluating the cause of the disaster afterward and implementing further preventative measures.
The components of a DRP should include a statement of all service-level agreements (SLAs) and recovery time objective (RTO)/recovery point objective (RPO) goals, an inventory of existing technology resources, and a description of each person’s roles and responsibilities in the recovery process. They should also include up-to-date information about the most recent data backup: where it exists, when it was last updated, and how it can be restored. Finally, a DRP should identify any dependencies and influences on other parts of the broader business continuity plan, such as public relations, compliance, or finance.
Disaster recovery plan steps
Â Developing a DRP has several stages, including (but not limited to):
- Identifying the ways an organization’s activities and resources are interconnected
- Assessing an organizationâ€™s vulnerabilities including operating procedures, physical space and equipment, data integrity, and contingency planning
- Analyzing how all levels of the organization would be affected in the event of a disaster
- Developing a short-term recovery plan, including goals for downtimes and temporary support measures
- Developing a long-term recovery plan, including how to return to normal business operations and prioritizing the order of functions that are resumed
- Testing and consistently maintaining/updating the plan as the business grows and changes