Review the IT Disaster Recovery Planning Process




Currently, I am working on the project review over IT Disaster Recovery Planning process for a client in Banking sector.
Does anyone have experience around IT Disaster Recovery Planning process review?

Please help to share me any ideas such as:
- What are the area that we need to review in DRP?
- Are there any standard or guideline for DRP?

Many thanks,



Trusted Information Resource
ISO 27002 may be a good place to get some info.

Wikipedia reference-linkISO/IEC_27002

ISO/IEC 27002 is an information security standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), titled Information technology – Security techniques – Code of practice for information security management.

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Good day Sarat, welcome to the Cove!

Computer Weekly has published an article on IT disaster recover plan writing. Tech News World describes it as a process. While dated, the SANS Institute white paper provides more detail about a structured approach to creating your own plan; I think the approach is durable though the technology may have changed. Information Week's article about a cloud-based disaster recovery plan is more modern, and interesting in my view. I would be interested to learn what the cloud providers supply to customers in terms of process for document retrieval. None of my clients has managed to get such a procedure out of their could service providers, which we thought was odd and unfortunate.

I hope this helps!
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Fully vaccinated are you?
Thanks, Jen.

If anyone has any examples that can be shared here, it will be appreciated.

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Thanks, Jen.

If anyone has any examples that can be shared here, it will be appreciated.
I would like to add a cautionary word about sharing an existing plan. Some can be found on Google, like one for PMPA (whoever that is), because as MBAF points out, disaster recovery plans are specific to the man-material-machine-method-mother nature risk factors that can be quite variable between sectors and geographic locations.

The best source I found is a DR Risk Assessment Whitepaper that has the type of detail a planner could use as a guide to creating their plan. The paper even includes an example instruction for recovery of a specific piece of equipment.

I am not affiliated with the authors of these papers or their organizations.


Hi Jen,

Thank for your sharing and it really help me to get some idea as I am a newly start with IT Audit and Consultant. :)


You may be able to come up with the best disaster recovery (DR) plan, assign responsibilities to various personnel involved and ensure everything is in place. However, the critical part is maintaining the plan, testing it and ensuring that it is aligned with the changing business needs and increasing risks..

A set of practices that need to be followed in case of the occurrence of risks or incidents. ‘The Business Process responsible for managing Risks that could seriously impact the Business. BCM safeguards the interests of key stakeholders, reputation, brand and value creating activities. The BCM process involves reducing risks to an acceptable level and planning for the recovery of business processes should a disruption to the business occur. BCM sets the objectives, scope and requirements for IT service continuity management.’

BCM is a process by which a set of best practices are put in place so that business processes run despite incidents. It is not only about putting reactive measures for continuing ongoing processes, but also, establishing proactive measures so that the risks of the future occurrence of a disaster are reduced.
BCM involves a set of actions:
  • Identifying the business to be recovered and prioritizing it
  • Assessing each of the IT processes and identifying the threats and vulnerabilities within them
  • Formulating the key recovery options and evaluating them
  • Formulating the contingency plan
  • Testing the plan
Service life cycle can enhance the disaster recovery process in your organization in a number of ways, some of which are described below.
  • Service Level Management (SLM):
    Service Level Management has a set of activities which ensure that business processes are in line with best practice guidance. When determining the business strategy, its effect on disaster recovery needs to be taken into account. While drafting the service level agreements, the business should understand how it can recover in times of disaster.

  • Incident Management:
    An incident is the occurrence of an event that disrupts the services of an organization temporarily. Incidents that go beyond control take the shape of a disaster. Disasters require organizations to follow a set of established practices to restore services to an agreed upon level. The process of detecting incidents, recording and resolving them must be established through IT service continuity management, so that the incident can be handled with efficiency.

  • Service Desk:
    The service desk is an efficient tool to document an incident and establish the workflow to be followed thereafter. The service desk’s standard template will be used to assign responsibilities to everyone involved so that the disaster recovery process can be accelerated.

  • Defining Individual Roles:
    While formulating the DR plan, it is important that roles of individual personnel are clearly defined. The Each individual should work on key recovery areas based on business impact analysis (BIA) and risk assessment.

  • Conducting Risk Analysis:
    Risk analysis identifies the possibilities of risks and the frequency of their occurrences. Management of Risk (MOR) for assessing risks: This method advocates the creation of risk profiles on the basis of their severity and possibility of occurrence. While performing the analysis, risk acceptance criteria should also be formulated following which the key measures to reduce risks can be planned.

  • Conducting BIA:
    For Business Impact Analysis (BIA), the key disaster areas should be identified, following which the impact on business processes should be measured. A BIA should measure both financial and non-financial aspects of a disaster, such as impact of revenue loss, data loss, and reputation loss after a disaster.

  • Recovering from Disaster:
    Two concepts – Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO). RTO is the minimum time within which services should be recovered to normal state and RPO is the acceptable amount of loss in data after a disaster. Once the RTO and RPO are set, a crisis management team needs to be appointed to put the DR plan to action.

  • Develop Resiliency:
    Resiliency is the ability of a set of configuration items (CIs) to continue to function, given a circumstance of the failure of a few other CIs.

  • Update or Change and Train:
    Disaster Recovery plans need to be updated and changed as per the situation. This can be done in line with change management guidelines.

  • Training of Staff:
    Regular tests and training of staff speed up the process of DR. Regular training schedule needs to be established for staff members so that they are prepared to take the immediate steps in case of the occurrence of a disaster. In order to measure the effectiveness of the tests, use KPIs.

  • Implementing a DR plan and IT Recovery:
    The list of people to be contacted during DR should be planned in advance. The service desk should be equipped with this information so that it becomes the Single Point of Contact (SPOC) to mobilize personnel and distribute tasks. Once the DR process is completed, the recovery site should be evacuated and operations should resume in the primary site to minimize downtime.

  • Updating Business Processes:
    Service Strategy - List of Services offered: The business impact of services and the return on investment (ROI). It is crucial that regular research is carried out to ensure that DR services offered are up to date.

Occurrence of incidents, problems and disasters are not uncommon in organizations. However, the crucial part is how a disaster is dealt with. Best practices and tested methodologies guarantee speedy recovery after a disaster.

I hope it will be helpful to you guys.
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Hi Jen,

Thank for your sharing and it really help me to get some idea as I am a newly start with IT Audit and Consultant. :)
Hello Csarat, I'm also new to IT Audit, do you have any insight on the kind of interview questions to ask the auditee during a BCDR audit?


Trusted Information Resource
NIST has a free document, 800-34 Contingency Planning Guide for Federal Information Systems, which provides comprehensive guidance for DR. Although it says 'federal', it can be used for any kind of organization, and it also elaborates on 8 different types of plans, such as DR, BCP, Incident Response, etc., which each have different use and scope.

The Supplemental Information on the right-hand side includes multiple templates, based on low/mid/high impact systems.

NIST's CyberSecurity Framework also includes DR under the "Recover" section.

Finally, DHS has a well-written free downloadable software program called CSET (Cyber Security Evaluation Tool) that can be used for self-assessment. I include CSET as an annual exercise to assist in risk mgmt of our IT.
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