August 20, 2010
What is the difference between a DRP and a BCP?
Often disaster recover plan (DRP) and business continuity plan (BCP) aren’t the plan but some time both terms are used in place of each other. There are distinct differences in the two, disaster recover plan incorporates information assets and services after disasters such as floods, fires or any other catastrophic events as well as hardware failure. On the other hand business continuity plan encompasses a much wider responsibility than DRP, BCP plans recovery for the entire business or organization in the event of a major disaster, included in business continuity plan is communication between employees, work facilities, telephone services and business operations as well as restoring the business to normality before the disaster. What is the purpose of a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)?
The purpose of a disaster recovery plan is to allow a company to resort back to normal operation in a short length of time with the highest level of efficiency. The main objective of disaster recovery plan is get operations up and running the quickest amount of time. What are the key elements of a DRP?
Within in a disaster recovery process there are strenuous rules and procedures that must be followed to guarantee that normal business function will continue to operate. In the event failure does occur to the network or resources, there are several key elements to include in a disaster recovery plan. • Establish a planning group
• Perform risk assessment and audits
• Establish priorities for applications and networks
• Develop recovery strategies
• Prepare inventory and documentation of the plan
• Develop verification criteria and procedures
• Implement the plan
By implementing these key elements could assure a company effective recovery from any business disaster that may occur. What are the five methods of testing a DRP?
Without a doubt, checklists are the recovery practitioner’s most valuable tools. They are inexpensive to implement and maintain and provide the backbone of the testing cycle. The checklists are team oriented and if used to their full potential provide multiple benefits.
Walk Through Testing:
Team members verbally "walk through" the specific steps as documented in the plan to confirm effectiveness, identify gaps, bottlenecks or other weaknesses in the plan. Often used in conjunction with previously validated checklist plans. This test provides the opportunity review a plan with a larger subset of people allowing you to draw upon a correspondingly increased pool of knowledge and experiences. Staff will be familiarized with procedures, equipment and offsite facilities if required.
A disaster is simulated so normal operations will not be interrupted. Hardware, software, personnel, communications, procedures, supplies and forms, documentation, transportation, utilities, and alternate site processing should be thoroughly tested in a simulation test. Extensive travel, moving equipment, and eliminating voice or data communications may not be practical or economically feasible during a simulated test. However, validated checklists can provide a reasonable level of assurance for many of these scenarios.
The simulation test should be considered advanced and only implemented after the previous checklist and walk through tests have been validated. Analyze the output of the previous tests carefully before the proposed simulation to ensure the lessons learned during the previous phases of the cycle have been applied. Parallel testing:
A parallel test can be performed in conjunction with the checklist test or simulation test. Under this scenario, historical transactions such as the prior business day’s transactions are processed against preceding day’s backup files at the contingency processing site or hot site. All reports produced at the alternate site...