disaster recovery

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disaster recovery

(DR) Planning and implementation of procedures and facilities for use when essential systems are not available for a period long enough to have a significant impact on the business, e.g. when the head office is blown up.

Disasters include natural: fire, flood, lightning, hurricane; hardware: power failure, component failure, head crash; software failure: bugs, resources; vandalism: arson, bombing, cracking, theft; data corruption or loss: human error, media failure; communications: computer network equipment, network storm, telephones; security: passwords compromised, computer virus; legal: change in legislation; personnel: unavailability of essential staff, industrial action.

Companies need to plan for disaster: before: risk analysis, preventive measures, training; during: how should staff and systems respond; after: recovery measures, post mortem analysis.

Hardware can usually be replaced and is usually insured. Software and data needs to be backed up off site. Alternative communication systems should be arranged in case of network failure or inaccessible premises, e.g. emergency telephone number, home working, alternative data center.

disaster recovery

A plan for duplicating computer operations after a catastrophe occurs, such as a fire or earthquake. It includes routine off-site backup as well as a procedure for activating vital information systems in a new location.

The ability to recover information systems quickly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 proved the value of disaster recovery. Many companies that had programs in place were up and running within a few days in new locations. Companies that did not have disaster recovery systems had the most difficulty recreating their information infrastructure. See business continuity, data recovery, backup and contingency plan.
References in periodicals archive ?
It is necessary that the team leader have the time and flexibility throughout the year to review the disaster recovery plan.
This means that work area recovery--the ability to work out of an alternative, connected, secure facility, such as a data center, when needed--as well as diligent data backup components must be part of the disaster recovery plan.
Include IT infrastructure in the disaster recovery plan but don't confine the focus to that nerve center.
Roger Keenan, MD at City Lifeline, said: "It's worrying to hear that such a large percentage of users and IT managers are not entirely confident that their disaster recovery plans would kick in, should their IT fail.
For small to medium-sized organizations, implementing a sound disaster recovery plan is often prohibitively expensive.
In more advanced risk management classes, I extend this exercise by asking students to outline a disaster recovery plan for an organization they are familiar with.
If your clients resist implementing a recovery plan because they choose to avoid its common sense and prudence, consider this: disaster recovery plan efforts are addressed--directly or indirectly--in regulatory compliance doctrines in place for companies of all sizes, including Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and other federal, state and local privacy protection acts.
Also, a disaster recovery plan can become useless unless the vendors, suppliers, or contractors on whom your organization depends are informed about your recovery plans.
Support for Windows XP enables organizations to place an increased emphasis on workstations as they revise their disaster recovery plans.
Every company today needs effective security policies and procedures, a crisis management plan and a disaster recovery plan," he says.
In those cases, a disaster recovery plan will be of immense assistance in getting reorganized and back in business.
How to Design a Disaster Recovery Plan" provides basic guidelines and checklists for designing a disaster recovery plan, with special emphasis on damaged records.

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