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Download the Disaster Recovery Plan template to capture all of the information that describes the organization’s ability to withstand a disaster as well as the processes that must be followed to achieve disaster recovery.

Use this guide to:

  • Prevent the loss of your organization’s resources (hardware, data, and physical assets)
  • Minimize downtime related to IT
  • Keep the business running in the event of a disaster

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Disaster Recovery Plan Template Overview

The network security policy template applies to all IT personnel in the organization. For any non-IT, personnel, Human Resources, and real estate-related disasters refer to the Business Continuity Plan.

This policy document includes:

  • Purpose and Goal of a Network Security Policy
  • Disaster Recovery Teams & Responsibilities
  •  Data and Backups
  •  Communicating During a Disaster
  • Addressing a Disaster
  • Related Standards, Policies, & Processes
  • Definitions and Terms


How to Use the Disaster Recovery Plan Policy Template

The goal of this policy is to protect your organization in the event of a disaster. In the event of a disaster, the first priority is to prevent the loss of life. Before any secondary measures are taken, the organization will ensure that all employees and any other individuals on the organization’s premises are safe and secure.

After all individuals have been brought to safety, the next goal will be to enact the steps outlined in this DRP to bring all organizational groups and departments back to business-as-usual as quickly as possible.

This template is 15 pages long and contains an auto-fill feature for fast completion.

Disaster Recovery Policies Apply to the Following Frameworks


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Departmental disaster recovery planning

Disaster recovery planning involves the process, policies, and procedures that enable delivery of critical technical services to Indiana University in the event of natural or man-made disaster.

Disaster recovery (DR) is an integral part of the overall business continuity program . While business continuity is concerned with continuation of the business of the university, disaster recovery or information technology business continuity is focused on the continued operation and function of technology to support those business functions.

A disaster recovery program ensures the technology that supports the business of the university will continue to function after an event occurs. Which departments and offices should think about DR? Any that use any form of IT, including email, to conduct business.

The purpose of this document is to help departments form a disaster recovery plan. Many services hosted by university departments are key in conducting daily university business; as such, plans for these services to provide continued functionality in the event of disaster is paramount.

Developing your disaster recovery plan

We have provided a strategy template to use in developing your departmental disaster recovery plan. Prioritizing your services from most critical to least critical is key to developing a useful plan, which should c learly define the steps and equipment needed to bring these critical services back online.

These steps should include who to contact, where backup data is stored and where new equipment should be sourced from if replacement is required.

Storing your disaster recovery plan

Indiana University’s IU Ready service should be used for storing your DR plan and business continuity plan (BCP).

The IU Ready service, found on One.IU , helps university administration understand the resources and dependencies needed to help your department recover from a major disaster, and provides a centralized location for storing these documents in a secure off-site location.

Auditing your disaster recovery plan

Regulary auditing your DR plan to reflect changes in your services is important to ensure that those tasked with bringing these services back up are working with the correct information. Changes to services such as IP address, VLAN, Administrator access and firewall settings should be updated as soon as these changes are made to the system.

It is also important to audit access to the IU Ready plan and its documents to reflect changes in staffing, contact information, and administrative access. Outdated information in your DR plan could result in additional down time.

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Disaster Recovery Plan Template

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  • Disaster Recovery Plan Template Basic

This  Disaster Recovery Plan Template was designed to assist you in the development of your Disaster Recovery Plan.  This Disaster Recovery Plan Template was developed using the following resources. You are free to edit the  Disaster Recovery Plan Template as you see fit. The objective of a disaster recovery plan is to ensure that you can respond to a disaster or other emergency that affects information systems and minimize the effect on the operation of the business. This topic provides you with guidelines for the kind of information and procedures that you need to recover from a disaster. When you have prepared the information described in this topic, store your document in a safe, accessible location off site.

  • California Preservation Program.  Disaster Plan Template, 2005.
  • Council of Superior Court Clerks of Georgia, Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan , 2008.
  • Fortson, Judith . Disaster Planning and Recovery: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians and Archivists . New York: Neal-Schuman, 1992.
  • Jones, Virginia A. and Kris E. Keyes.  Emergency Management for Records and Information Programs.   Prairie Village, KS: ARMA, 2001.

You can download this Disaster Recovery Plan Template for free using the links below:

Microsoft Word 97-2003: Click Here

Microsoft Word 2010: Click Here

Adobe PDF:  Click Here

Section 1. Major goals of this plan

The major goals of this plan are the following:

  • To minimize interruptions to the normal operations.
  • To limit the extent of disruption and damage.
  • To minimize the economic impact of the interruption.
  • To establish alternative means of operation in advance.
  • To train personnel with emergency procedures.
  • To provide for smooth and rapid restoration of service.

Section 2. Personnel

Section 3. Application profile

Use the Display Software Resources (DSPSFWRSC) command to complete this table.

Section 4. Inventory profile

Use the Work with Hardware Products (WRKHDWPRD) command to complete this table. This list should include the following:

  • Processing units
  • Workstation controllers
  • Personal computers
  • Spare workstations
  • Air conditioner or heater
  • System printer
  • Tape and diskette units
  • Controllers
  • I/O processors
  • General data communication
  • Spare displays
  • Humidifier or dehumidifier

Section 5. Information services backup procedures

  • Daily, journal receivers are changed at ________ and at ________.
  • On ________ (day) at ________ (time) a complete save of the system is done.
  • All save media is stored off-site in a vault at ________ (location).
  • It is recommended that all personal computers be backed up. Copies of the personal computer files should be uploaded to the server on ________ (date) at ________ (time), just before a complete save of the system is done. It is then saved with the normal system save procedure. This provides for a more secure backup of personal computer-related systems where a local area disaster could wipe out important personal computer systems.

Section 6. Disaster recovery procedures

For any disaster recovery plan, the following three elements should be addressed.

Disaster action checklist

  • Notify senior management
  • Contact and set up disaster recovery team
  • Determine degree of disaster
  • Implement proper application recovery plan dependent on extent of disaster (see Section 7. Recovery plan–mobile site)
  • Monitor progress
  • Contact backup site and establish schedules
  • Contact all other necessary personnel–both user and data processing
  • Contact vendors–both hardware and software
  • Notify users of the disruption of service
  • List teams and tasks of each
  • Obtain emergency cash and set up transportation to and from backup site, if necessary
  • Set up living quarters, if necessary
  • Set up eating establishments, as required
  • List all personnel and their telephone numbers
  • Establish user participation plan
  • Set up the delivery and the receipt of mail
  • Establish emergency office supplies
  • Rent or purchase equipment, as needed
  • Determine applications to be run and in what sequence
  • Identify number of workstations needed
  • Check out any off-line equipment needs for each application
  • Check on forms needed for each application
  • Check all data being taken to backup site before leaving and leave inventory profile at home location
  • Set up primary vendors for assistance with problems incurred during emergency
  • Plan for transportation of any additional items needed at backup site
  • Take directions (map) to backup site
  • Check for additional magnetic tapes, if required
  • Take copies of system and operational documentation and procedural manuals.
  • Ensure that all personnel involved know their tasks
  • Notify insurance companies

Recovery start-up procedures for use after a disaster

  • Disaster notification numbers ________ or ________
  • Disaster notification number: ________This telephone number is in service for disaster notification after business hours, on weekends, and during holidays. Please use this number only for the notification of the actual disaster.
  • Provide _________ with an equipment delivery site address (when applicable), a contact, and an alternate contact for coordinating service and telephone numbers at which contacts can be reached 24 hours a day.
  • Contact power and telephone service suppliers and schedule any necessary service connections.
  • Notify _________ immediately if any related plans should change.

Section 7. Recovery plan-mobile site

  • Notify _________ of the nature of the disaster and the need to select the mobile site plan.
  • Confirm in writing the substance of the telephone notification to _________ within 48 hours of the telephone notification.
  • Confirm all needed backup media are available to load the backup machine.
  • Prepare a purchase order to cover the use of backup equipment.
  • Notify _________ of plans for a trailer and its placement (on ________ side of ________). (See the Mobile site setup plan in this section.)
  • Depending on communication needs, notify telephone company (________) of possible emergency line changes.
  • Power and communications are prearranged to hook into when trailer arrives.
  • At the point where telephone lines come into the building (_________), break the current linkage to the administration controllers (_________). These lines are rerouted to lines going to the mobile site. They are linked to modems at the mobile site.The lines currently going from _________ to _________ would then be linked to the mobile unit via modems.
  • This could conceivably require _________ to redirect lines at _________ complex to a more secure area in case of disaster.
  • When the trailer arrives, plug into power and do necessary checks.
  • Plug into the communications lines and do necessary checks.
  • Begin loading system from backups (see Section 9. Restoring the Entire System).
  • Daily saves
  • Weekly saves
  • Plan a schedule to back up the system in order to restore on a home-base computer when a site is available. (Use regular system backup procedures).
  • Secure mobile site and distribute keys as required.
  • Keep a maintenance log on mobile equipment.

Mobile site setup plan

Attach the mobile site setup plan here.

Communication disaster plan

Attach the communication disaster plan, including the wiring diagrams.

Electrical service

Attach the electrical service diagram here.

Section 8. Recovery plan-hot site

The disaster recovery service provides an alternate hot site. The site has a backup system for temporary use while the home site is being reestablished.

  • Notify _________ of the nature of the disaster and of its desire for a hot site.
  • Request air shipment of modems to _________ for communications. (See _________ for communications for the hot site.)
  • Confirm in writing the telephone notification to _________ within 48 hours of the telephone notification.
  • Begin making necessary travel arrangements to the site for the operations team.
  • Confirm that all needed tapes are available and packed for shipment to restore on the backup system.
  • Prepare a purchase order to cover the use of the backup system.
  • Review the checklist for all necessary materials before departing to the hot site.
  • Make sure that the disaster recovery team at the disaster site has the necessary information to begin restoring the site. (See Section 12. Disaster site rebuilding).
  • Provide for travel expenses (cash advance).
  • After arriving at the hot site, contact home base to establish communications procedures.
  • Review materials brought to the hot site for completeness.
  • Begin loading the system from the save tapes.
  • Plan the schedule to back up the hot-site system in order to restore on the home-base computer.

Hot-site system configuration

Attach the hot-site system configuration here.

Section 9. Restoring the entire system

To get your system back to the way it was before the disaster, use the procedures on recovering after a complete system loss in the  Backup and Recovery , SC41-5304-06.

Before You Begin:  Find the following tapes, equipment, and information from the on-site tape vault or the off-site storage location:

  • If you install from the alternate installation device, you need both your tape media and the CD-ROM media containing the Licensed Internal Code.
  • All tapes from the most recent complete save operation
  • The most recent tapes from saving security data (SAVSECDTA or SAVSYS)
  • The most recent tapes from saving your configuration, if necessary
  • All tapes containing journals and journal receivers saved since the most recent daily save operation
  • All tapes from the most recent daily save operation
  • PTF list (stored with the most recent complete save tapes, weekly save tapes, or both)
  • Tape list from most recent complete save operation
  • Tape list from most recent weekly save operation
  • Tape list from daily saves
  • History log from the most recent complete save operation
  • History log from the most recent weekly save operation
  • History log from the daily save operations
  • The  Software Installation  book
  • The  Backup and Recovery  book
  • Telephone directory
  • Modem manual

Section 10. Rebuilding process

The management team must assess the damage and begin the reconstruction of a new data center.

If the original site must be restored or replaced, the following are some of the factors to consider:

  • What is the projected availability of all needed computer equipment?
  • Will it be more effective and efficient to upgrade the computer systems with newer equipment?
  • What is the estimated time needed for repairs or construction of the data site?
  • Is there an alternative site that more readily could be upgraded for computer purposes?

Once the decision to rebuild the data center has been made, go to Section 12. Disaster site rebuilding.

Section 11. Testing the disaster recovery plan

In successful contingency planning, it is important to test and evaluate the plan regularly. Data processing operations are volatile in nature, resulting in frequent changes to equipment, programs, and documentation. These actions make it critical to consider the plan as a changing document. Use thes checklists as your conduct your test and decide what areas should be tested.

Table 3. Conducting a recovery test

Table 4. Areas to be tested

Section 12. Disaster site rebuilding

  • Floor plan of data center.
  • Determine current hardware needs and possible alternatives. (See Section 4. Inventory profile.)
  • Square footage ________
  • Power requirements ________
  • Security requirements: locked area, preferably with combination lock on one door.
  • Floor-to-ceiling studding
  • Detectors for high temperature, water, smoke, fire and motion
  • Raised floor

Include a copy of the proposed floor plan here.

Section 13. Record of plan changes

Keep your plan current. Keep records of changes to your configuration, your applications, and your backup schedules and procedures. For example, you can get print a list of your current local hardware, by typing:

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What is a disaster recovery plan + complete checklist.

Kyle Chin

A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a set of detailed, documented guidelines that outline a business’ critical assets and explain how the organization will respond to unplanned incidents. Unplanned incidents or disasters typically include cyber attacks , system failures, power outages, natural disasters, equipment failures, or infrastructure disasters.

More specifically, a disaster recovery plan measures how capable an organization’s ability to restore IT infrastructure functionality and access to critical data, regardless of the disaster event.

A DRP should identify the responsibilities of staff within the organization, outline the step-by-step instructions for the disaster recovery process, and create plans to mitigate and reduce the impact of the incident so that the company can resume basic operations.

Why Is Having a Disaster Recovery Plan Important?

Disaster recovery plans are just one part of an overall security plan and should be established and implemented along with business continuity plans and incident response plans . Without these plans in place, companies can suffer catastrophic damage in form of data loss, data exposure, significantly reduced productivity, penalties and fines, reputational damage, lost revenue, and unplanned recovery expenses.

Creating disaster recovery plans, along with business continuity and incident response plans, can help build confidence with stakeholders, investors, clients, and business partners that demonstrate the capability and preparation to deal with any incident.

What is a Business Continuity Plan?

A business continuity plan (BCP) is similar to a disaster recovery plan, but a continuity plan is an overarching plan that outlines the steps needed for a business to continue operating in the event of an incident or disaster. A disaster recovery plan considers a more structured approach to the recovery process rather than the continuity process.

Learn more about business continuity plans >

What is an Incident Response Plan?

Incident response plans are critical to any security program because they provide detailed actions for responding and reacting to specific incidents. An incident response plan is focused on handling a cybersecurity incident and its fallout from start to finish, whereas a DR plan is a more robust plan that considers the potential of serious damage to the whole enterprise and how to restore technology.

Learn more about incident response plans >

Disaster Recovery Plan Checklist

Clear disaster response procedures are critical. Implementing disaster recovery quickly minimizes damage and speeds up recovery. The first few hours, in particular, can be critical. The disaster recovery plan’s emergency response procedures section should comprise clear, practical steps in language sufficient for widespread understanding.

A disaster recovery plan should be organized by location and type of disaster. No single disaster recovery plan template exists because every business is different, but a comprehensive disaster recovery plan should cover the following factors:

1. Perform a Business Impact Analysis (BIA)

A business impact analysis should be performed before creating a disaster recovery or business continuity plan . The analysis should determine the entire scope of potential aftereffects and impacts in case of a disruption to critical business operations.

Each potential disaster scenario must be planned for, and the systems and subsequent parties that will be affected must also be identified to determine which business components must be protected first to continue operating. The main difference between a BIA and BCP is that a BIA assesses the potential impact while a BCP outlines a plan based on the BIA to ensure operations are minimally affected.

Impacts that should be considered include:

  • Loss of sales or income
  • Cost of recovery (time, labor, equipment, staffing, public relations)
  • Total business downtime
  • Regulatory fines for failed compliance
  • Damage to reputation or customer trust

Ultimately, a BIA provides the necessary context and data for businesses to progress in their risk management and disaster recovery processes.

2. Perform Risk Analysis and Vulnerability Assessments

Risk analysis and vulnerability assessments identify the biggest threats and vulnerabilities that could potentially affect the business. The risk and vulnerability assessment process is designed to help businesses prioritize risk and vulnerability mitigation processes.

Different threats and vulnerabilities can affect different industries, so it’s important to identify which ones pose the biggest risk to your organization. Risks should be classified by the likelihood of occurrence and impact on assets, so the company can begin to plan business recovery processes surrounding those threats.

Risk analyses are important to anticipate and plan for the worst-case scenario and have plans in place to minimize the impact of a critical disaster. Once the risks and vulnerabilities have been identified, businesses can begin to build a risk management plan.

Risk analysis can be accomplished in two ways: qualitative and quantitative risk analysis methods . Qualitative risk analysis assesses risk using subjective data (such as perceived reputational impact) and hypothetical scenarios to determine disaster impact. Quantitative risk analysis measures risk through statistical probabilities and estimated quantifiable impact to determine risk tolerance and risk management cost investments.

Both processes should be conducted together to have a complete overview of the organization’s risk acceptance and resilience, which can then be used to make more informed business decisions.

Learn more about how to perform a cyber risk analysis >

2. Identify Roles and Responsibilities

A disaster recovery plan needs to define the roles and responsibilities of the disaster recovery team or those within the organization responsible for the following processes:

  • Maintaining business continuity systems
  • Incident reporting to executive management, stakeholders, and related authorities
  • Who is in charge of overseeing the crisis and ensuring recovery
  • Team members’ roles in securing and protecting critical business components
  • Contacting third-party vendors or affected parties
  • Liaising with people external to the organization, such as customers, clients, and the press

3. Take Inventory of Assets

To properly manage a cyber incident or cyber threat , it’s important to understand the complete overview of the assets an organization handles. Taking inventory of the organization’s IT infrastructure, including hardware, software, applications, and critical data allows the organization to prioritize the most valuable systems and assets to protect.

Asset inventory should be updated regularly in the disaster recovery plan, especially if there are large changes to the asset management strategy. To facilitate prioritization, the inventory should categorize inventory as follows:

  • Critical assets essential to business operations
  • Important assets, such as applications used once or more per day and whose absence would disrupt typical operations
  • Unimportant assets, which are accessed or used less than once per day

Sensitive data , such as payment details, intellectual property, and personally identifiable information (PII) , can also be subject to compliance requirements . A disaster recovery plan needs to address how critical data is handled during a crisis or disaster in relation to compliance standards.

In addition, it’s important to note that the people with the authority to access sensitive data during normal business operations may differ from those who can access sensitive data during a disaster to ensure its safety.

4. Disaster Recovery Sites

Disaster recovery sites refer to where the company’s assets are located and where they will be moved if disaster strikes. Businesses need to have the sites defined ahead of time should an incident occur, whether the assets are physical or digital.

The three types of recovery sites are as follows:

  • Cold sites — Used to store data backups but cannot immediately run systems.
  • Warm sites — Functional data centers that allow access to critical systems. However, up-to-date customer data may be unavailable.
  • Hot sites — Functioning data centers that contain IT equipment and personnel to use it, as well as up-to-date customer data.

In the event that businesses are still using physical documents and storage media that are still important to business operations, the disaster recovery plan also needs to include where these physical copies will be stored offsite in case of disaster.

As good practice, recovery sites and data backups should be updated regularly. Organizations should implement backup procedures at least a few times per week to ensure business continuity.

5. Disaster Recovery Testing

Much a fire or earthquake drill, it’s necessary to test the disaster recovery procedure and its procedures at least once a year. The plan should be tested in a simulated situation that varies in complexity to ensure protection against all threats.

Testing phases should accomplish the following steps:

  • Identify faults and inconsistencies within the plan that can lead to potential miscommunication or improper incident management
  • Ensure all relevant team members know their specific roles, duties, and workloads
  • Simulate a live cyber attack or other disasters
  • Test success of recovery site upload and backup processes

Regular testing should include updates to the plan and any new threats or vulnerabilities that pose a risk to critical assets.

6. Communication or Reporting Plan

Communicating information about the nature, impact, and cause of a disaster can be critical to the company’s reputation. Timely communication and incident reporting may also be required to comply with cybersecurity regulations . Therefore, the disaster recovery plan needs to define who will deliver what information to whom in the event of a disaster.

Parties that need to be kept up to date will include any or all of the following:

  • Stakeholders or investors
  • Executive management
  • Staff and employees
  • Relevant third-party vendors
  • Governing authorities
  • Customers and clients
  • Media outlets and press
  • Legal counsel

To ensure that communication is clear and prompt, the plan should outline who has primary communication responsibilities and which communication channels they should use.

7. Minimum Physical Facility Requirements

A part of the disaster recovery plan should include the minimum physical facilities a business needs to operate if its usual facility is rendered unusable by a disaster, such as an earthquake. Minimum physical facility requirements should include how much space is required, where it needs to be located, and what equipment is required.

8. RTO and RPO

As part of the disaster recovery planning process, businesses also need to define its RTO and RPO as part of its recovery strategy:

  • Recovery Time Objective (RTO) - A business’s RTO is how long it can tolerate an interruption to normal operations. This can be anything from a few minutes to many hours, depending on the nature of the business.
  • Recovery Point Objective (RPO) - The RPO refers to how much data the organization can stand to lose and is normally measured in time, such as an hour of data or 24 hours of data. A business that backs up once daily considers its RPO 24 hours.

Benefits of a Disaster Recovery Plan

Ultimately, the aim of a thorough disaster recovery plan is to facilitate faster response and smoother restoration if disaster strikes, such as a data breach or cyber attack that results in data loss or downtime .

With the increasing prevalence of cyber attacks and human error in the information technology (IT) sphere involving malware like ransomware , affected businesses are seeing rising costs and damages due to poor recovery execution and extended downtimes. It’s imperative to have strong disaster recovery processes as part of the entire business strategy

  • Lower Cyber Insurance Premiums - The modern threat landscape is such that more businesses require cyber insurance to protect themselves in case of a severe cyber attack. The cyber liability insurance industry has reached a point where it can no longer insure all businesses unless they have clearly defined security programs that minimize its overall risk. Having a disaster recovery plan can significantly lower the overall risk profile of a business and thus lower the associated cyber liability insurance premiums .
  • Fewer Recovery Costs - Formal policies and procedures demonstrating a firm’s preparedness for unplanned events can also lower costs during a data breach by helping team members respond to the issues, shortening the data breach lifecycle. The more time that is spent responding to the disaster can lead to increased damages and loss of business.
  • Minimal Penalties - In heavily-regulated sectors like healthcare or public entities, penalties for a data breach and non-compliance with cybersecurity regulations can be costly. The longer a data breach lasts, the more significant the potential penalties can be for non-compliance. A business with a disaster recovery plan will likely recover far more quickly than a company without one.
  • Minimal Business Interruption - Anything facilitating restoring technology will reduce costs for the organization if an unplanned incident interrupts operations. An excellent IT disaster recovery plan can differentiate between minimal impact and complete operational shutdown. When a cyber attack or another incident interrupts critical services, organizations must do all they can to restore technology and normal business processes as quickly as possible.

What Is a Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)?

A DRaaS provider is a third-party provider that uses cloud technology to facilitate rapid restoration of data servers and applications in case of an emergency or disaster.

A third-party solution provider’s security policies and procedures will impact data and database recovery, so it’s highly recommended to work with a trusted vendor that includes data protection as a core part of their offering. Subscribers should also consider the capacity of the provider to ensure it can handle the data transfer required for backing up and restoring the business’s information systems effectively.

Cloud disaster recovery solutions can have the following benefits for modern businesses.

  • Connectivity - One of the benefits of DRaaS is that restorations can be initiated from any location using various kinds of computers, which is ideal in a disaster scenario that may affect physical locations and data. It makes sense to use a provider in another region to avoid the likelihood of the DRaaS provider being affected by the same physical disaster as the subscriber. This way, a business affected by a geographically-specific disaster can use cloud services to create a functional data center in a new location to restore its applications and customer data.
  • Instant Mirroring - Another benefit of DRaaS is that they mirror data changes instantly. This cloud service creates a backup database server that copies the master database server created on the fly. With such a system, restoration can be performed from a point seconds before an outage.
  • Cost-Effective - For many organizations, migrating to cloud services for data management and disaster recovery processes is a cost-effective contingency plan for disruptive events. Excellent cloud service DR providers provide around-the-clock data protection and data management , keeping software up-to-date and monitoring the network to prevent data breaches in the first place. They can also respond quickly and automatically in the event of a disaster.

Reviewed by

Kaushik Sen

Kaushik Sen

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ISO 27001 Disaster Recovery Plan (What does it include?)

Meeba gracy, aug 18, 2023.

When disaster strikes, your business may lose critical data, and all the functions may have to stop suddenly. However, your business doesn’t have to be at the mercy of chaos – a carefully crafted disaster recovery plan becomes integral to running your business environment smoothly and efficiently.

But getting started with a plan isn’t always easy – from understanding the legal implications to putting the proper processes in place, it can seem too much for one person or a team.

That’s why today we’re going to take a comprehensive look into creating an ISO 27001 disaster recovery plan that you can use.

Let’s dive in…

ISO 27001 disaster recovery plan overview

An ISO 27001 disaster recovery plan specifies the actions you can take if an incident impacts your company’s information security systems. A good ISO disaster recovery plan is tailored to an organization’s requirements. 

A disaster recovery plan implements several measures to ensure all data is backed up regularly and securely.

With the right technology solutions in place – cloud computing, quick data recovery, and encryption, you can mitigate the impact of an information security incident by deploying quick restoring protocols. 

Making sure the plan is effective in restoring IT services within a negotiated timeframe is key; it’s like an insurance policy for business continuity. 

Overall, the ISO 27001 standard provides best practice advice on how to build an organized and well-defined recovery plan. Establishing roles and responsibilities for each stage of the process, documenting critical assets in advance, and continuously testing your recovery plans are just a few of the considerations that make up this comprehensive approach. 

By taking into account all the outlined points, organizations are prepared to quickly recover from any unexpected outage or disaster. Let’s take an overview:

Establish a Business Continuity Management System

Establishing a business continuity management system (BCMS) is a critical first step in developing a disaster recovery plan. A BCMS equips businesses with the policies, procedures, and processes needed to recover efficiently from disruption. This comprehensive system can be tailored to the company’s specific needs and objectives. 

For example, some companies may create fail-safe backups for data or even obtain secondary premises that can act as backup facilities. Having a BCMS in place ensures that regardless of the nature of the event, natural or otherwise, the business has all the necessary resources and information available to respond effectively.

Fast-track your ISO 27001 journey

Identify Risk Sources

Identifying risk sources can feel daunting – so much to think about! However, it is a crucial step to take proactive measures. Think of hazards like floods that can disrupt your daily life; likewise, cyber-attacks target your computer systems in your business environments. 

Natural disasters and man-made incidents can be equally damaging in different ways. Knowing the common sources of risks sets you up with a starting point to set up plans for handling them. Now that you’ve identified the key risk sources, you can move forward into crafting strategies to avoid the consequences of risks and develop mitigation strategies.

Some disasters may include:

  • Cyberattacks
  • Information leakage
  • Change of trend
  • Power outages
  • Failure in plans

Develop Mitigation Strategies

Developing mitigation strategies is essential to reducing the damages of unexpected disruptions. For example, having a backup generator to keep computers running and communications networks connected during a power outage can be invaluable. 

Offsite data storage means that vital data won’t be lost when an office is closed or destroyed. Having redundant communication systems in place provides continuity in times of crisis.

Develop Response and Recovery Plans

After you’ve developed mitigation strategies, you need to develop response and recovery plans. The response plan outlines the steps that should be taken immediately after a disruption occurs. 

Create a Backup of Your Important Data

What happens if you lose your customers’ data due to a disk failure or other technical glitch? It can be devastating and potentially wipe out your business. A secondary IT infrastructure must be used to create a backup of essential data to ensure that this does not happen and that recovery is possible after any disaster.

This extra layer of protection to your company’s information keeps you equipped in an emergency. 

Identify critical functions

Any business needs to identify the components that are vital to its survival. By examining the elements of websites, cash registers, staff, machinery, and customer records – businesses can identify their critical functions and plan for any unexpected situations. 

What does a disaster recovery plan include?

Here is what a proper disaster recovery plan includes:

Disaster recovery flowchart

A Disaster Recovery Plan flowchart is a graphical representation of the steps your company will take to restore operations in the event of a major system outage. This diagram outlines the specific tasks that will need to be completed, who will be responsible for each task, and what resources (e.g., people, equipment, software) will be required to complete them.

Developing a successful recovery plan can be difficult, but using a flowchart helps ensure that all necessary steps are organized and accomplished effectively. 

Becoming ISO 27001 compliant should not be this complex

For example, an IT team might find it overwhelming to navigate the initial stages following a disaster – from system inventory to data backup, but a good flowchart will lay out exactly which tasks need to be completed for the rollout of the overall recovery plan to go smoothly. 

Working through each step on the chart one by one should provide peace of mind that all areas have been addressed in the event of a disaster.

Keep a disaster recovery team

A disaster recovery team can make all the difference while minimizing the risk of enormous losses. Take Hurricane Katrina, for example; businesses with pre-established evacuation plans that responded quickly helped their employees and operations recover significantly faster than those without. 

A disaster recovery team comprises a group of personnel responsible for restoring operations in the event of a major system failure. It outlines the steps that need to be taken to resume business operations in the event of a major system failure. The disaster recovery team is responsible for implementing the plan and restoring operations.

This specialist group is essential for identifying potential risks, assessing existing vulnerabilities, and creating plans to help ensure the safety of all involved in times of crisis.

Incident management procedure

An incident management procedure is an organization’s instructions to manage incidents. This includes fires and floods, power outages, and equipment failures. The goal of an incident management procedure is to minimize the impact of an incident on the organization.

The first step to managing an incident is assessing and determining the severity level. This will help you plan how to respond. Some common responses include: 

  • Notifying emergency services 
  • Restoring operations as soon as possible 
  • Reviewing safety procedures 
  • Communicating with employees 

Damage assessment form

A damage assessment form is a tool that can be used to document the damages that have been done to a property. This form can be used by insurance companies, property owners, and others who need to document the injuries for their records. The information gathered on the form is used to help determine the cost of repairs and the necessary resources.

Here is a list of things that should be included on a damage assessment form: 

  • Location of Property 
  • Name of Insurer 
  • Photos of Damages 
  • Description of Damage 
  • Estimated Cost of Repair/Replacement

Datacenter resilience

There are many things to consider when building a resilient data center. The physical infrastructure is key, with redundant power, cooling, and network infrastructure. The backup and disaster recovery must also be robust, with offsite data storage and backups for quick restoration in the event of a failure.

For example, the electric system powering the facility – a backup generator and high-voltage UPS system is essential to keep everything running smoothly if there is a power outage or other emergency. 

In addition to this physical layer of protection, many companies use reliable cloud-based storage solutions as part of their data-resilience strategy. This helps protect against hardware failure and enables quick recovery when needed.

It’s also important to have a solid plan for dealing with disruptions. Staff should be familiar with the backup and disaster recovery procedures, and testing should be conducted regularly to ensure that everything is working as it should. 

Disaster risk assessment

One of the main purposes of disaster risk assessment is to help communities and businesses reduce their risk of experiencing a disaster. By identifying areas that are most at risk, mitigation measures can be implemented to help reduce the likelihood or impact of a disaster. 

Disaster risk assessments can also inform what kind of losses could be expected during a disaster. This information can help decision-makers allocate resources for preparedness and response more effectively.

Emergency alert and escalation

When a high-level disaster strikes, there is only time to react with proper preparation. In such cases, having an emergency alert and escalation plan can help. This plan should outline how employees respond to danger and the protocols for quickly relocating them before the situation becomes more serious.

Backup storage and security

When it comes to backup storage and security, one size does not fit all. You should ensure your data is safe through various options, including physical backups stored offsite, cloud-based backups with strong encryption algorithms, and encrypted, remote backups to limit exposure.

Also, you should consider the security measures you have in place at rest and in transit. Adding multi-factor authentication protocols can help prevent unauthorized access, while robust Network Intrusion Detection systems can detect threats against your data more quickly. An effective backup storage and security plan are integral to protecting against natural disasters and malicious threats.

Also, refer to this ISO 27001 checklist

Importance of ISO 27001 disaster recovery plan

Disaster recovery is a standard set of procedures and policies that a business puts in place and follows to safeguard itself and its employees in the face of a disaster. Here is why a disaster recovery plan is important for businesses:

Maintaining ISO 27001 business continuity

A good ISO 27001 disaster recovery plan ensures that your business operations can be restored in the event of a disruption, allowing you to minimize downtime and continue functioning without interruption. 

Ensuring data security

A well-defined disaster recovery plan helps protect confidential information from unauthorized access by providing secure backups and detailed instructions for restoring data after a catastrophic event.

Complying with regulations

Organizations subject to government or other regulatory requirements may have a legal obligation to have a good disaster recovery ready. ISO 27001 helps ensure that your organization meets these compliance requirements.

Also, check out: ISO/IEC 27001 requirements

Safeguarding from financial losses

An ISO 27001 disaster recovery plan helps to protect your organization from potential financial losses caused by disruption, such as the cost of lost business opportunities or reputation damage.

Protecting your company’s reputation

A good disaster recovery plan helps to mitigate the damage caused by disruption, minimizing negative impacts on your company’s reputation. In addition, customers and other stakeholders may view an organization with an ISO 27001 certification as more reliable and trustworthy.

Increased productivity 

A disaster recovery plan gives employees a sense of certainty about what they should do in a crisis to react quickly and effectively instead of panicking. As such, planning for cybersecurity threats also allows for agile decision-making and fast action-taking during times of crisis.

Who Creates the Disaster Recovery Guidelines for Businesses?

The ( ISO ) International Organization for Standardization sets the standards and guidelines businesses to need to prepare properly for disruption. By working with organizations like OSHA, WHO, and ILO, the ISO helps prevent disasters from escalating or occurring in the first place and ensures that businesses are compliant with its standards. This is designed to give you the confidence you need to create a tailor-made disaster recovery plan for your business.

Is ISO 27001 DR ? Talk to our experts.

Also read: How to conduct a successful ISO 27001 audit

Automate your ISO 27001 compliance with Sprinto

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the complexities and jargon of compliance, Sprinto has you covered. With an automated solution for your ISO 27001 certification, we take the burden of manual labor – from policy creation to tracking security controls – off your shoulders. 

That’s not all; our in-app staff security training feature keeps your employees informed about the latest cybersecurity measures and helps them muster protection against data breaches. Let us make this journey easier for you! To experience the real enabling power of Sprinto, book a demo today and let us answer any queries you may have.

What is the ISO standard for disaster recovery?

ISO standard provides international recognition and assurance regarding IT disaster recovery. Its purpose is to support organizations by enabling them to develop efficient business continuity plans to handle emergencies. From planning, implementation, and maintenance procedures – this standard has you covered in ensuring the protection of your data systems from potential disasters.

Why is a disaster recovery plan important?

Having a sound disaster recovery plan iso 27001 is critical for any business. Such a plan can be the most effective way of reducing damage or disruption and recovering quickly in the wake of system failure caused by a disaster. 

Meeba, an ISC2-certified cybersecurity specialist, passionately decodes and delivers impactful content on compliance and complex digital security matters. Adept at transforming intricate concepts into accessible insights, she’s committed to enlightening readers. Off the clock, she can be found with her nose in the latest thriller novel or exploring new haunts in the city.

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