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Unit Guide to Disaster Recovery Planning

Executive Summary:

Unit Guide to Disaster Recovery Planning

The University has recognized the significance of each unit producing and maintaining Disaster Recovery Plans (also known as business continuity or contingency plans) in order to prepare and address how each unit will continue doing business in the event of a severe disruption or disaster. The Disaster Recovery Planning Team, coordinated by the Client Advocacy Office (CAO) will be the primary resource for assisting each unit with the DRP initiative, by providing education, awareness and tools. The team will work to identify, collect, and organize information and tools for disaster recovery planning and documentation, and disseminate all information to University units in an effective and easily understood manner, so that unit plans may aggressively be developed, tested, distributed, and a copy provided to the CAO for central tracking purposes. After the initial endeavor, the responsibility for providing support will transition from the DRP Team to the Client Advocacy Office.

Definitions:
Business Continuity is an all-encompassing term covering both disaster recovery planning and business resumption planning. Disaster Recovery is the ability to respond to an interruption in services by implementing a plan to restore an organization's critical business functions. Both are differentiated from Loss Prevention Planning, which comprises regularly scheduled activities such as system back-ups, system authentication and authorization (security), virus scanning, and system usage monitoring (primarily for capacity indications). The primary focus of this effort is on Disaster Recovery Planning.

Developing the Plan:
The following ten steps, more thoroughly described in the document that follows, generally characterize disaster Recovery Plans:

Purpose and Scope for a Unit Disaster Recovery Plan

The primary reason for a unit to engage in business continuity and contingency planning (also known as "disaster recovery" planning) is to ensure the ability of the unit to function effectively in the event of a severe disruption to normal operations. Severe disruptions can arise from several sources: natural disasters (tornadoes, fire, flood, etc.), equipment failures, process failures, from mistakes or errors in judgment, as well as from malicious acts (such as denial of service attacks, hacking, viruses, and arson, among others). While the unit may not be able to prevent any of these from occurring, planning enables the unit to resume essential operations more rapidly than if no plan existed. Before proceeding further, it is important to distinguish between loss prevention planning and disaster recovery planning. The focus of Loss prevention planning is on minimizing a unit's exposure to the elements of risk that can threaten normal operations. In the technology realm, unit loss prevention planning includes such activities as providing for system back-ups, making sure that passwords remain confidential and are changed regularly, and for ensuring operating systems remain secure and free of viruses. Disaster recovery planning focuses on the set of actions a unit must take to restore service and normal (or as nearly normal as practical) operations in the event that a significant loss has occurred. A systematic disaster recovery plan does not focus unit efforts and planning on each type of possible disruption. Rather it looks for the common elements in any disaster: i.e., loss of information, loss of personnel, loss of equipment, loss of access to information and facilities, and seeks to design the contingency program around all main activities the unit performs. The plan will specify the set of actions for implementation for each activity in the event of any of these disruptions in order for the unit to resume doing business in the minimum amount of time.

Disaster Recovery...
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