Defining Business Continuity vs. Disaster Recovery

May 08, 2024

Power outages, data loss, pandemics, or natural disasters can strike at any time and seriously impact your ability to do business. In many cases, these disasters are unforeseen or unpreventable.

Companies that neglect to take proper precautions for business continuity and disaster recovery can face significant financial losses or even closure in the aftermath of catastrophic events. The development of both types of plans is crucial, and Compyl is here to help with your risk management strategies.

Business Continuity vs. Disaster Recovery: Are These the Same?

Learn about business continuity vs. disaster recovery.

Business continuity is, effectively, the first step in disaster recovery. Many business operations rely on data and IT systems. When disaster strikes, you have at least two goals: limiting downtime by using business continuity plans and restoring full functionality through disaster recovery plans.

Although these forms of risk management go hand in hand, business continuity is not a new name for disaster recovery. Business continuity plans and disaster recovery plans have distinct differences. Many companies are choosing to combine these two similar solutions into a single BCDR plan, but the vital components of each still exist.

Business Continuity

Businesses must continue to operate during and after the various kinds of disasters that can befall them, and a business continuity plan addresses procedures for doing so. Because the types of potential disasters differ, these BCPs should include various scenarios and follow business continuity best practices to limit or prevent downtime.

Losing a facility to a hurricane, for example, has a much more significant impact than a four-hour power outage. However, proactive companies should have contingency plans in place for each type of imaginable disaster. They should also have various critical data backups in multiple locations in case a disaster affects one or more facilities.

When creating your business continuity plan, consider how best to address your various risks. For example, these plans allow companies to shift loads between facilities, route customer queries to different employees, or utilize a different data source so the business can go on while you enact your disaster recovery plan.

Disaster Recovery

After a disaster strikes, your company needs to return to business as usual as soon as possible. A disaster recovery plan outlines how companies will restore access to vital data and IT infrastructure. Protecting your IT systems and data against cyberattacks and other types of loss is paramount during disaster recovery.

Disaster recovery might also include recovering lost data, repairing a facility after a fire, or using different logistical options in areas affected by an earthquake. Your disaster recovery plan should include various ways to restore efficient functions.

Which Comes First, Business Continuity or Disaster Recovery?

What comes first business continuity vs. disaster recovery?

Business continuity planning comes first, as it uses risk assessment and impact analysis to identify various threats. Disaster recovery plans can use the information provided in a BCP to prioritize restoring various functions.

Your BCDR plan should provide a comprehensive map of who and what you need to respond to a disaster, resume business processes, recover from losses, and restore normal functionality. They should provide the answers to critical questions, such as:

  • Which functions do you need the most to be able to continue doing business during a crisis?
  • What aspects of your business operations are likely to have the largest financial impact if a disaster interrupts them?
  • What does each key person and employee need to do in each eventuality?
  • What stopgap measures can you take to continue doing business until you can restore full functionality?
  • What steps will you take, and in what order, to begin your recovery?

As part of your preparation, you should write detailed plans, involve stakeholders, and communicate these plans to employees. You should also test their effectiveness and update them regularly.

Why Are Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans Important?

Planning business continuity vs disaster recovery takes strategy.

There are several kinds of risks associated with disasters, and your planning gives you a better chance of overcoming these risks:

  • Data loss: Whether through cyberattacks, failed backups, or power failures, losing data can have financial, reputational, and operational consequences. Integrating a risk management system into your vital processes helps to minimize these risks.
  • Data theft: The theft of proprietary or confidential data can lead to legal issues, penalties, losses in your customer base, and derailment of business opportunities. Compyl can help you protect your data, sending instant, real-time alerts of any threats.
  • Downtime: For every minute your business can’t perform to expected standards, you are likely to lose sales and customer or investor confidence. Extended downtimes can create devastating financial losses, so it’s critical to have comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery plans in place.
  • Data access: If you and your customers can’t access data, your business loses many functions. Your BCP and DRP need to provide both temporary solutions and permanent fixes.

A disaster can complicate operations for enterprise-level companies, but the effects on small and medium businesses are often more severe. Business insurance may not cover your losses, so a robust risk management strategy that incorporates both BCP and DRP is key.

In each of these coordinated plans, consider your recovery time and recovery point objectives. The first describes how long it might reasonably take to restore processes after a disaster event, while the latter refers to how much data you can lose before you are unable to recover.

Depending on your type of business, your recovery point might be minutes or hours. Using Compyl, you can back up your data in real time to minimize losses.

How Can Compyl Help With Your Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning?

Compyl’s easy-to-use platform helps you identify risk factors and formulate plans to protect against these risks, allowing you to utilize a single end-to-end solution rather than piecing together separate components. The automation engine constantly monitors your systems and informs you about irregularities. Compyl supports all security and privacy frameworks, making integrations simple.

Award-winning Compyl offers various solutions to manage your business operations, focusing on security and compliance. If you are concerned about your business continuity and disaster recovery plans, request a demo today to find out more about the many benefits Compyl can provide.

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