What Are The Seven Steps That Are Recommended For Developing A Comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan?

What Are The Seven Steps That Are Recommended For Developing A Comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan?


DIsaster recovery. Data loss prevention. Server room on background.

Disasters can have major effects on individuals, businesses and entire communities. Having a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place is an essential part of any organization’s risk management strategy. But what makes up a successful disaster recovery plan? In this article, we’ll explore the 7 steps recommended for developing a comprehensive disaster recovery plan that will help protect your business from natural disasters or other unexpected events.

From identifying potential risks and designing strategies to implementing those plans and testing them regularly, these seven steps provide invaluable guidance for creating an effective and beneficial disaster recovery plan. With proper implementation, you can rest assured that your business won’t be caught off guard by catastrophic events.

Now let’s take a closer look at how organizations can develop a comprehensive disaster recovery plan that meets their needs. By following these recommendations, you’re taking important steps towards safeguarding yourself against potentially damaging losses due to unforeseen circumstances. Read on to learn more!


The first step in creating a comprehensive disaster recovery plan is to define what the plan will cover. This includes understanding which business functions or processes are necessary for day-to-day operations and how each of these must be recovered if disrupted. It’s also important to consider any external factors, such as supplier dependencies or legal requirements that may impact the organization’s ability to recover from an incident. Additionally, it is essential to identify all stakeholders who will need to be involved in planning, implementing and executing the disaster recovery plan. With this information gathered, organizations can better assess their risks and develop strategies for mitigating them. This leads us into our next section about risk assessment.

Risk Assessment

Now that the definition of Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) has been established, it is time to discuss risk assessment. Risk assessments are an important part of any DRP and should be conducted regularly in order for the plan to remain effective. A comprehensive analysis of all potential risks helps organizations develop strategies to mitigate those risks and protect their data from loss or damage due to disasters.

The first step in conducting a risk assessment is identifying the assets at risk – such as software, hardware, processes, personnel, databases and other vital information. Once these have been identified, steps can then be taken to assess the likelihood of each asset being affected by a disaster. Organizations must also consider what kind of impact each type of disaster would have on their operations and how they will respond if such a disaster were to occur. By understanding these details ahead of time, companies can better prepare themselves with an appropriate response plan and ensure their data remains safe in case the worst happens.

Risk assessments are essential when creating a DRP because they help businesses identify and address potential threats before they become catastrophic situations that could lead to irreparable losses. Without them, even the most detailed plans may not be able to save organizations from costly disasters without significant financial repercussions. With this knowledge in hand, organizations can confidently move forward towards developing backup strategies that will further strengthen their overall DRP.

Backup Strategies

Backup strategies are essential for disaster recovery plans. Data should be backed up on a regular basis, including physical copies and cloud-based backups. It is important to choose reliable media such as external hard drives or online storage solutions that can store all of the necessary data. Additionally, the backup plan should include periodic tests to ensure everything has been properly backed up.

The plan should also specify who will have access to the backups and where they will be stored in case of an emergency. A key component of any effective backup strategy is redundancy – having multiple copies saved in different locations so that if one fails, there are still others available. Finally, it’s crucial to keep these backups updated regularly; otherwise, they may not contain the most current information needed during a crisis situation. With this in mind, transitioning into identifying essential data and systems becomes paramount.

Identifying Essential Data And Systems

Having established effective backup strategies, it’s now time to identify essential data and systems. This crucial step in the disaster recovery process will help determine what needs to be protected and restored after a natural or man-made disaster occurs. Understanding exactly which data is mission-critical and must be immediately available again can reduce costly delays during the restoration phase of the plan.

The first task in this stage of disaster planning involves evaluating each system’s importance for continued operations. Companies should have a clear understanding of how their different processes are interconnected so that they can prioritize activities accordingly. Additionally, organizations need to consider all potential risks such as power outages, cyber attacks, hardware failures, software incompatibilities and more when determining criticality levels for each system component.

Organizations also need to assess dependencies between components within the same system or across multiple systems. By identifying these relationships ahead of time, companies can ensure no single point of failure remains unaddressed throughout the entire lifecycle of their DR plan. With all key elements properly identified beforehand, businesses will be able to efficiently respond with minimal disruption when an incident does occur.

Testing Plan

The testing plan is essential to the success of a comprehensive disaster recovery plan. It allows organizations to ensure that the systems, processes and procedures are all in place before any disruption occurs. The testing plan should be planned out carefully and include several steps.

First, the organization needs to decide which tests they will use. This includes determining what scenarios need to be tested and which resources can be used for the tests. Organizations also need to consider if there will be real-world simulations or just simulated disasters. Additionally, the team needs to decide on how often these tests should take place and who is responsible for developing them.

Second, once these decisions have been made, the actual implementation of the test plans must begin. This involves setting up appropriate infrastructure such as servers and networks, executing the tests according to predetermined criteria, monitoring performance during each step of testing and then recording results at every stage of completion. Finally, after completing all tests successfully, an analysis must be done so that corrective actions can be taken if necessary.

This process helps organizations assess their preparedness levels when it comes to dealing with unexpected disruptions and provides valuable insight into potential areas where improvement can occur. With this knowledge in hand, organizations can make informed decisions about disaster recovery procedures going forward.

Disaster Recovery Procedures

Stopping and response to disaster recovery

Businessman character holding up a falling row of dominoes. Business support concept. 

Creating a comprehensive disaster recovery plan is like building a house: without the proper foundation, it’s destined to fail. To ensure that your digital infrastructure remains secure and operational in times of crisis, there are seven essential steps you must take.

First, identify what needs protection. This includes all applications, systems, data sets, and other assets that need to be safeguarded during an emergency. Second, assess the risk associated with each asset by considering various factors such as probability of occurrence and potential impact on operations. Third, create backup plans for each protected asset including details about how often backups should occur and where they should be stored. Fourth, document all procedures so that anyone can execute them quickly and accurately in the event of a disruption or failure. Fifth, test the plan regularly to verify its effectiveness and accuracy under different scenarios. Sixth, update the plan periodically to account for changes in technology or business processes over time. Finally, train staff members on how to respond appropriately when a disaster occurs so they know exactly what actions need to be taken in order to minimize harm and return operations back online swiftly.

It’s also important to consider communication plans when developing a comprehensive disaster recovery strategy; this involves establishing protocols for notifying stakeholders about any disruptions as well as outlining who will handle media inquiries if necessary.

Communication Plans

A well-defined communication plan is essential for a successful disaster recovery process. It ensures that the right people are aware of their responsibilities and makes sure they have access to the proper resources. The communication plan should include details on who will be responsible for communicating information, what methods will be used (such as email, text messages or phone calls), and when it needs to occur. This vital part of the plan must also specify how often updates need to take place and which personnel will receive these alerts. Additionally, any external stakeholders such as customers, vendors and partners should be informed in a timely manner about changes or delays due to an incident.

The next step is to determine the personnel assignments and training needed for each role outlined within the communication plan. By assigning specific roles within the organization based on skill set, experience level and availability during times of crisis can help increase overall efficiency in responding quickly to events. Training staff ahead of time allows them to better prepare for incidents by understanding their duties in advance. Furthermore, providing guidance on how to respond appropriately can alleviate unnecessary stress during chaotic situations while minimizing business disruptions at the same time.

Personnel Assignments And Training

Once the communication plan has been established, it is important to assign personnel and provide training for executing the disaster recovery plan. Personnel should be identified who are responsible for each of the steps in the DRP, from data backup and storage to restoring operations after a disaster. This will ensure that all parties know their roles and responsibilities during an incident. It’s also critical that employees understand what constitutes a disaster and how to respond when one occurs. Training should include specific procedures for responding quickly and efficiently, as well as implementing mitigation strategies to reduce damage caused by any disruption. Furthermore, personnel must be aware of proper security measures so that confidential information remains protected at all times. After assigning personnel and providing them with necessary training, it is essential to document the plan thoroughly.

Documentation Of The Plan

The third step in developing a comprehensive disaster recovery plan is documentation. It is important to properly document the DRP so that it can be used effectively in various circumstances and also serve as an authoritative reference source for personnel involved in its implementation. Documentation should include both technical and procedural information about the components of the plan, such as:

  • A description of how each component will interact with other parts of the system;
  • An outline of any necessary hardware or software required;
  • Guidelines for testing procedures and contingency plans;
  • The roles and responsibilities assigned to personnel involved in implementing the plan;
  • A timeline of events that must occur during a disaster scenario.

In addition to this, it is essential to keep records which demonstrate that all steps taken were compliant with industry regulations. This includes documenting changes made throughout the process, as well as regularly auditing the system against existing best practices. By doing this, organizations can ensure their DRPs are up-to-date and effective when needed.

Documentation plays an integral role in ensuring a successful disaster recovery plan. Without proper documentation, organizations may find themselves struggling to implement their DRP when they need it most. With clear instruction provided through accurate documentation, however, staff members can quickly access critical information and take appropriate action when responding to a crisis situation. Moving forward into contingency planning allows businesses to anticipate potential risks ahead of time and prepare accordingly.

Contingency Planning

Now that we have documented the plan, let’s move on to contingency planning. This is an important step in developing a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, as it helps organizations mitigate any potential risks or threats. Contingency planning involves identifying and evaluating possible risks and responses; this includes determining what resources are necessary for responding to various types of disasters and how they will be obtained if needed. It also requires analyzing existing systems and procedures to identify weak spots so that contingency measures can be taken ahead of time.

The next step is creating detailed plans on how to respond in case of a disaster. This should include scenarios such as fire, power outages, floods, cyberattacks and more. The response plans must consider personnel needs, data security processes and communication protocols. These plans should also take into account local regulations and governing bodies who may need to be alerted in the event of a crisis. Finally, all these steps must be tested regularly with simulations to ensure their effectiveness in practice.

Having gone through all the steps outlined above, businesses can begin implementing business continuity management strategies which prepare them for future disruptions or unexpected events by establishing clear guidelines for handling such situations.

Business Continuity Management

Business continuity management is the process of developing plans and procedures to ensure that a business can respond quickly and effectively in an emergency, such as a natural disaster. It involves identifying potential risks, assessing their impact on operations, creating strategies to address them, and establishing processes for recovery. The following seven steps are recommended for developing a comprehensive disaster recovery plan:

Step 1: Develop Business Continuity Objectives – This involves setting clear objectives and goals related to minimizing disruption during an emergency event.

Step 2: Conduct Risk Analysis & Assessments – Identifying potential threats and vulnerabilities allows businesses to determine how best to mitigate any impacts they could have on operations.

Step 3: Create Strategies & Policies – Formulating policies and procedures helps businesses prepare for disruptions before they occur by outlining expectations for employees, suppliers, customers and other stakeholders.

Step 4: Establish Recovery Teams & Resources – Designating teams with specific roles ensures that personnel know what tasks need to be completed if an emergency occurs. Having resources readily available will help expedite the recovery process.

Step 5: Test Plans & Procedures – Testing plans regularly helps organizations identify areas where improvements may be needed or new protocols should be established. It also gives staff members time to become familiar with their roles during an emergency situation.

Step 6: Update Records & Documentation – Keeping current records of contact information, system configurations, data backups and other important details makes it easier to restore operations after a disaster has occurred.

Step 7: Monitor System Performance – Monitoring system performance over time enables businesses to better understand changes in trends or patterns which can indicate potential issues that need attention prior to an incident occurring. These seven steps provide guidance in building effective business continuity plans so companies can maintain optimal levels of service even when faced with unforeseen events. By implementing these measures ahead of time, organizations will be better prepared when disasters strike. With this knowledge in hand, physical security measures can then be implemented accordingly.

Physical Security Measures

Recently, the World Economic Forum reported that cyber-attacks have cost businesses an estimated $600 billion in 2018 alone. This statistic highlights the importance of having secure physical security measures to protect against malicious activities. Developing a comprehensive disaster recovery plan requires seven steps: risk assessment, business impact analysis, policy creation and awareness training, documentation and data backup, resource planning, testing and maintenance procedures, and audit results review.

As such, it is essential to take into consideration these physical security measures when developing a comprehensive disaster recovery plan as they can help mitigate potential damage caused by any external threats. Moving on, incident response processes should also be established to ensure that organizations can effectively deal with both internal and external emergencies.

Incident Response Processes

The incident response process is an essential part of any comprehensive disaster recovery plan. It outlines the steps that must be taken in order to effectively respond to, assess and recover from incidents or disasters. The seven steps recommended for developing a comprehensive disaster recovery plan include:

  • Identifying potential risks:
  • Assessing threat severity
  • Establishing risk thresholds
  • Developing specific procedures for responding to threats
  • Preparing the organization’s infrastructure:
  • Ensuring sufficient technology resources are available
  • Building out redundant systems if necessary
  • Documenting processes for recovering data and restoring services quickly when needed
  • Implementing security measures:
  • Determining how security controls will be implemented in both physical and digital environments
  • Setting up access control protocols for networks and applications
  • Monitoring system activity on an ongoing basis to detect malicious behavior or other irregularities early on

These steps can help organizations identify and mitigate potential risks before they become serious problems. In addition, these practices enable organizations to quickly react to disasters as soon as they arise. Taking proactive measures against future incidents not only increases operational efficiency but also helps protect critical assets. With proper planning and execution, organizations can ensure their continuity during times of crisis. From here, we move on to discuss compliance management.

Compliance Management

Compliance management is an essential step in the process of developing a comprehensive disaster recovery plan. It involves ensuring that all processes and procedures are in compliance with regulatory requirements, industry standards, and internal policies and guidelines. To ensure compliance, organizations need to review their current business continuity plans and evaluate them for any non-compliance issues. This includes identifying areas where additional measures may be needed or existing controls might not meet the necessary standards. Additionally, organizations should also consider conducting regular audits of both the physical environment and the software applications used by their organization to identify potential risks or vulnerabilities. Lastly, they must assess the impact of any changes made as part of their compliance efforts on their overall disaster recovery strategy. Through this assessment, organizations can better understand how these changes could affect their ability to respond effectively in a crisis situation.

Monitoring And Maintenance

testing a disaster recovery plan

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The transition from Compliance Management to Monitoring and Maintenance is like a switch being flipped. The process of developing an effective disaster recovery plan requires close monitoring and maintenance in order to ensure that the plan remains up-to-date, comprehensive, and effective. To achieve this goal, there are seven steps recommended for building a strong plan:

First, identify potential risks and threats that could impact business operations or facilities. This includes cyber security threats as well as external factors such as weather events or natural disasters. Identifying these risks can help inform which solutions should be implemented in the disaster recovery plan.

Second, develop policies and procedures to address the identified risks. These may include data backup protocols, emergency communication plans, secure storage methods for sensitive information, etc. It’s important to make sure all employees understand these policies so they know what to do in case of an emergency situation.

Third, identify key personnel who need to be involved in implementing the disaster recovery plan. Assign roles according to specific skillsets and expertise; for example, IT professionals might handle backups while HR staff would manage employee safety issues during emergencies.

Fourth, create a timeline with deadlines for each step of the recovery process and assign tasks accordingly. Regularly review the timeline to ensure everything stays on track and adjust if necessary based on feedback from stakeholders or changing risk levels.

Fifth, outline any regulations or laws related to disaster preparedness that must be adhered to when creating your plan. Make sure you comply with local guidelines first before considering other legal requirements at state or national level where applicable.

Sixth, test your plan regularly so that it is always ready when needed – ideally through simulated drills using real-world scenarios similar to those faced by businesses today (e.g., power outages due to storms). Feedback from tests can then be used for further refinement of the plan itself.

Finally, document processes thoroughly so everyone knows their role within the organization as part of preparing for a crisis response or activating a full-scale disaster recovery effort if required. Doing so ensures consistent execution across teams even under difficult circumstances – helping protect both people and assets alike when facing unexpected challenges head-on

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does It Cost To Develop A Comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan?

The cost of developing a comprehensive disaster recovery plan can vary widely, depending on the size and scope of your organization. For larger businesses with more complex systems, the costs may be higher than for smaller organizations. Additionally, there are many factors that can influence the overall cost, such as hardware and software requirements and resources required to create the plan. It’s important to understand all potential costs before committing to any disaster recovery plan.

When deciding how much you should budget towards creating a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, it is wise to consider both short-term and long-term expenses. In addition to accounting for initial setup fees and materials needed, make sure you factor in ongoing maintenance costs over time. Depending on the complexity of the system, this could mean increased technical support or regular updates due to changes in technology or regulations within your industry.

Ultimately, one of the best ways to determine an accurate estimate is by consulting with experts who specialize in IT security and disaster planning. While these services may come at an additional cost upfront, they could save you money down the road if done correctly from the start – not only will you have peace of mind knowing that your business is protected but also assured that you’re making informed decisions when it comes to investing in an effective DR strategy.

What Is The Best Way To Backup Data And Systems?

Backing up data and systems is an essential component of any comprehensive disaster recovery plan. It ensures that if the worst were to happen, you would still have access to important information and applications. There are a variety of methods for backing up your data and systems, but which one is best?

One popular option is cloud-based backup services. With this method, businesses can back up their entire system on remote servers, meaning they don’t need additional hardware or software at their location. This also allows them to quickly restore their data in the event of an emergency. Additionally, cloud backups allow users to access files from anywhere with an internet connection, making it easy to collaborate remotely.

Another option is local backups using external hard drives or tapes. While not as reliable as cloud backups due to potential physical damage or theft, these methods still provide businesses with an offline copy of their data should something go wrong online. Additionally, local backups are typically less costly than the monthly fees associated with cloud storage solutions.

Here’s a quick summary of some key considerations when it comes to protecting your business:

  1. Cloud-based backup services offer convenience and flexibility while keeping costs low;
  2. Local backups such as external hard drives or tapes provide secure offsite storage;
  3. Make sure all devices used in your business are regularly backed up;
  4. Ensure that security measures are in place so that only authorized personnel can access confidential data. Ultimately, selecting the right method for backing up your data will come down to weighing cost versus convenience against the level of risk involved.

How Often Should The Disaster Recovery Plan Be Tested?

Testing a disaster recovery plan is an important step in ensuring its effectiveness. The frequency of testing depends on the type of technology and data that needs to be protected. It’s essential to test the plan regularly so it can quickly respond when needed, and must include all stakeholders who need access or knowledge about the system. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Identify what will be tested
  • Establish how often tests should occur
  • Determine who should participate in the tests
  • Create a timeline for executing tests
  • Document any problems encountered during testing

The more frequently you perform tests, the better prepared you’ll be if a real incident occurs. It’s also important to update your plan at least once each year with new information or solutions as they become available – such as changes in personnel, updated software versions, etc. As technology advances rapidly, testing every few months may even become necessary over time. This ensures everyone involved knows exactly what their roles are in responding to an emergency situation and can act swiftly if one arises. Additionally, by staying up-to-date with industry best practices and standards, organizations significantly reduce their risk exposure in case of an actual crisis.

How Quickly Can The Disaster Recovery Plan Be Put Into Place?

When developing a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, it is important to consider how quickly the plan can be put into place. Having an effective and efficient plan that can be implemented in times of crisis will go a long way toward ensuring business continuity for all involved.

There are several factors to take into account when determining how quickly the disaster recovery plan can be put into place. It is essential to ensure that proper infrastructure and resources are available so that any necessary steps or actions can be taken without delay. Additionally, having key personnel trained on their roles in the event of a disaster helps speed up implementation time as they will already know what needs to be done. Finally, it’s also important to have detailed documentation of the plan itself so that those executing it have easy access to guidance and instructions.

In order for businesses to stay competitive during difficult times, they must have a well-thought-out disaster recovery plan with quick deployment capabilities. By taking these measures ahead of time, companies can provide assurance that their operations will not suffer from extended downtime due to disasters or other unexpected events.

How Can I Ensure Compliance With The Disaster Recovery Plan?

Ensuring compliance with the disaster recovery plan is an essential step in keeping it effective. To make sure that the policies and procedures outlined are followed, there needs to be a system of checks and balances in place. This can include regular reviews of processes, training sessions for staff members involved, and documentation tracking any changes made to the plan.

Having specific roles assigned within the organization is also key in making sure that everyone understands their responsibility when it comes to carrying out the right actions during a disaster or emergency situation. These roles should be clearly stated in the plan itself so that all employees know who’s accountable for what tasks. Employees should also receive periodic reminders about their duties related to complying with the plan.

Finally, having a process for auditing and updating the disaster recovery plan on a regular basis will help ensure its effectiveness over time. By evaluating how well things worked during past disasters or emergencies, you can identify areas where improvements need to be made and put measures in place to address them as needed. Additionally, monitoring industry best practices and technological advancements can provide insight into new ways to enhance your existing strategy.


The cost of developing a comprehensive disaster recovery plan depends on the complexity and size of your organization. It’s an investment that pays off when it comes to protecting your data, systems, and personnel from natural disasters or cyber-attacks.

By taking the time to set up a reliable backup system, testing the plan regularly, being prepared for quick implementation if needed, and ensuring compliance with all regulations, you can be confident that your business will remain operational during even the most destructive events. The peace of mind this brings is invaluable!

Taking these seven steps towards creating a comprehensive disaster recovery plan may seem overwhelming at first but it’s worth every ounce of effort put in. Not only are you safeguarding yourself against future disruptions but also giving yourself – and your team – a sense of security knowing that no matter what happens, there is a plan in place to keep operations running smoothly.

Computronix provides the highest quality disaster recovery services to help businesses quickly recover from any type of disaster. Our disaster recovery services are designed to protect all of your critical data and applications, and ensure that your business is back up and running as quickly as possible. Our team of professionals is available to help you develop, implement, and manage an effective disaster recovery plan. Contact us today to get started.