The Difference Between Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

December 17, 2018

If you’ve been thinking in terms of business continuity and disaster recovery being interchangeable, it may be time for you to get a better understanding of the strategies that keep your company viable during a crisis. While some areas are more susceptible to hurricanes, like in Florida or Louisiana, and companies in the Midwest may be more likely to see a tornado destroy their business, any location can be affected by a building fire or a broken water pipe.
Likewise, all companies can be threatened by a cyber security breach that results in the loss of data, reputation and business credit. While you may believe that business continuity and disaster recovery are topics meant more for large, global organizations, you should know that natural disasters aren’t impressed by size, and cyber criminals may see a smaller organization as low-hanging fruit.
What’s the difference between business continuity and disaster recovery?Essentially, business continuity is the plan you have in place to allow business processes to be completed even while in the midst of a natural disaster or cyber attack. By contrast, disaster recovery is your strategy for getting business processes back to normal.
For instance, part of your business continuity plan may be to allow employees that normally work inside your office to work remotely following a natural disaster like a flood. While this allows your company to continue to do business, it’s not your normal working situation.
Disaster recovery is the plan you have in place to bring those remote employees back into headquarters after the initial crisis has passed.
Know the risks. While you may be able to plan for a natural disaster and anticipate which systems might be impacted and how you’ll respond, it may be trickier during a cyber attack to launch straight into a business continuity plan on your way to disaster recovery. There may be a lengthy investigation attached to a cyber security issue, which won’t be the case for a natural disaster.
You can run through a checklist that will help you formulate a plan for business continuity:
·         Determine the systems, software and networks critical for business operations.
·         Examine which types of disasters, including both natural and cyber attacks, could impact the systems, software and networks.
·         Identify the third-party partners that are crucial for your operations, and talk with them about their own business continuity strategies.
·         In the event that a provider, third-party business partner or other party experiences a natural disaster or a cyber security event, have controls are in place to prevent your processes from being affected.
·         Decide whether it may be wise to invest in off-site backup and data servers.
These steps can help you establish a reliable business continuity plan in the event of a disaster. Test your plans with a variety of scenarios so that when an event occurs, your team can quickly execute the business continuity plan.
To leverage the right off-site data backup options or to further discuss business continuity and disaster recovery, contact us at Access Tech.

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