What is it?
Disaster recovery restores IT operations after a disaster or disruption. It includes planning with various measures that need to be taken to resume operations. These include measures for restoring data or repairing software and hardware faults. Causes of disruptions can be hacker attacks, hardware and software problems, natural disasters, operating errors or provider failures. The goal of disaster recovery is to minimize the negative impact on the company or organization. Systems affected by recovery include computer networks, LAN and WAN connections, telephone systems, servers, data or storage devices.
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Business continuity is more comprehensive because business continuity is not just about restoring IT services, but about maintaining critical business operations in general. The focus of business continuity is thus more on safeguarding business operations. Technical measures used for disaster recovery are redundancies, provision of replacement hardware and data backups. They are intended to avoid so-called single points of failure in IT.
Disaster Recovery Plans (DRP)
The Disaster Recovery Plan, abbreviated to DRP, lists the measures, procedures and specifications on how to react in the event of a disruption in order to minimize the impact on the company. The measures summarized in the IT emergency plan are described in such a way that they are to be worked through step by step by those responsible. The plan also includes reporting channels, escalation levels and definitions of responsibilities in the event of a disaster.
Disaster Recovery Test
A disaster recovery test enables the effectiveness of a DRP to be verified. In this way, it can be ensured that, in the event of an incident, the various measures and procedures of the DRP actually enable IT services to be restored. The tests must be performed at regular intervals. Results from disaster drills are incorporated into the measures, specifications, and procedures as needed. The regular tests keep the plans up to date and train the employees for the emergency and the activities to be carried out.
Distinction from business continuity
The terms disaster recovery and business continuity are often used in similar contexts. However, business continuity is not only about the recovery of IT systems, but more comprehensively about the maintenance of all important and critical business processes of a company or organization. The focus of business continuity is to ensure that general business operations are maintained.
And what does it contain?
A disaster recovery plan (DRP) contains specifications, procedures and measures on how responsible persons and employees are to react in the event of a disruption in order to minimize the negative consequences for the company. As a rule, the measures and processes described are step-by-step instructions that are to be worked through in sequence. The DRP also contains escalation rules, reporting channels to be followed, and the definition of responsibilities for systems and measures.
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