Business Continuity

Getting back to
‘business as usual’

What is disaster recovery?

Disaster Recovery involves real-time file backups, where a file is updated on a clients network, then instantly duplicated into a secure environment. It means that you can regain speedy access and functionality to your core I.T. data and infrastructure after a disaster, man-made or other, strikes.

At Nostra, we focus on three key areas of Disaster Recovery.

Disaster Recovery Planning

Disaster Recovery Testing

Business Impact Analysis

Disaster Recovery Plan

A disaster recovery (DR) plan is a formal document created by an organisation that contains detailed instructions on how to respond to a disruptive event such as natural disasters, power outages, and cyber-attacks. The plan involves strategies to minimise the effects of a disaster, allowing you to operate or quickly resume key operations.

A successful DR plan...

Addresses all types of operational disruptions

Disruptions can include power outages, telephone system outages, temporary loss of access to a facility due to a low-impact non-destructive fire, flood or other event. A DR plan should be organised by type of disaster and location. It must contain scripts (instructions) that can be implemented by anyone.

Counteracts increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks

Many attacks can stay undetected for well over 200 days. Within that time, attackers can plant malware that finds its way into the backup sets – infecting even recovery data. Attacks may stay dormant for weeks or months, allowing malware to propagate throughout the system. Even after an attack is detected, it can be extremely difficult to remove malware that is so embedded in an organisation.

Disaster Recovery Testing

Disaster Recovery Testing is the process of ensuring that an organisation can recover data, restore business critical applications and continue operations after a disruption to its I.T. services.

A disaster recovery test (DR test) checks each step of a disaster recovery plan is outlined in an organisation’s business continuity/disaster recovery (BCDR) planning process.

Main goals of DR Testing

Communications, data recovery and application recovery are typically a focus of all disaster recovery testing.

DR Plan
Questions

  • How long does it take for the services to recover?
  • How long does it take to recover the data?
  • Which are the services/data affected?
  • How will the system behave if part of the infrastructure becomes unavailable?

Regular
Testing

Disaster recovery tests should be scheduled and executed on a regular basis throughout the year and be incorporated into all planned maintenance and staff training.

Audit logs and other data should be analysed to determine what worked / didn’t work as expected, and what changes need to be made in the DR plan.

Business Impact Analysis (BIA)

What is a BIA?

A Business Impact Analyisis (BIA) is a systematic process to determine and evaluate the potential effects of an interruption to critical business operations as a result of a disaster, accident or emergency.

BIA Report

Following the BIA, this subsequent report describes the potential risks specific to the particular organisation studied.

Forecast Costs of I.T. Failure

A BIA is likely to identify costs linked to failures, such as loss of cash flow, replacement of equipment, salaries paid to catch up with a backlog of work, loss of profits, staff and data, and so on. A BIA report quantifies the importance of business components and may suggest appropriate fund allocation for measures to protect them.

Assessment Over Time

A BIA should assess a disaster’s impact over time and help to establish recovery strategies, priorities, and requirements for resources and time.

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