How to Create a Disaster Recovery Plan

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A Primer on How to Create a Bullet-Proof Disaster Recovery Plan for the Entire Organization

Elizabeth M. Ferrarini,
She is a free-lance writer from Boston, Massachusetts. Reach her at

Minutes after the first of two planes plunged into the World Trade Center 's Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Inc., the largest tenant in the World Trade Center, declared a disaster and rushed its disaster recovery plan into place with the help of SunGard Recovery Solutions, a third-party disaster recovery service provider. At the last time, about seven other tenants in the World Trade Center followed suit and contacted SunGard.

The events of September have made disaster recovery planning rise
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6. Set project timetable and draft project plan, including assignment of task responsibilities.

7. Obtain senior management 's approval for scope, assumptions, and project plan.

Conduct Business Impact Analysis

The disaster recovery planning team should perform this step to identify which business departments, functions, or systems are most vulnerable to potential threats, what are the potential types of threat, and what effect would each identified potential threat have on each of the vulnerable areas within the organization.

1. Identify functions, processes, and systems.
2. Interview information systems support personnel.
3. Interview business unit personnel.
4. Analyze results to determine critical systems, applications, and business processes.
5. Prepare impact analysis on interruption on critical systems.

Conduct Risk Assessment The disaster recovery planning team should work with the organization 's technical and security person to determine the probability of each functional business units ' critical systems becoming severely disrupted and to document the amount of acceptable risk the business unit can tolerate. For each critical system, provide the following information:

1. Review physical
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