Best Practices to Effectively Respond to & Recover from Disasters: Webinar Takeaways

Apr 3, 2023

Agility and Preparis recently hosted a webinar on Best Practices to Effectively Respond to & Recover from Disasters with training and customer solutions manager Kayla McMahan and recovery solutions engineer, Mark Norton. Below are some of the key takeaways.

Takeaway 1: Business continuity planning is a cyclical process that involves risk assessment and gap analysis to identify potential threats and create a plan for recovery.

Mark Norton explained the importance of business continuity planning, saying, "By funding a continuity plan, it's almost like you're funding a gap analysis that you can do to really quantify that level of risk and then go forward in making sure that you have the appropriate plan in place." He also noted that "business continuity as a subject matter or as a practice is cyclical in nature."

Norton outlined the four key elements of recovery: office space, power for the office space, technology, and communications. He also discussed the importance of preparation and why securing recovery assets prior to an interruption is critical to a quick recovery.

Takeaway 2: Business continuity planning is an important step to protect businesses from unexpected disruptions.

McMahan explained that business continuity planning is an important step to protect businesses from unexpected disruptions. "One of the first things you can do to aid your business continuity planning is to perform a business impact analysis," she said.

This analysis is used to identify the entity's critical business functions and determine the recovery time objectives. McMahan also outlined alternative business continuity strategies such as developing manual workaround procedures, reciprocal agreements, and dual usage space. Additionally, she suggested conducting a cost-benefit analysis to compare internal and external solutions and address supply chain issues.

McMahan also explained that after a business continuity plan is created, it's important to test and exercise it.

"We want to develop a program that meets the entity's business continuity program scope and objectives that we have. We want to develop a specific exercise or test schedule. You want to identify lessons learned and actions for improvement."

She also suggested monitoring the progress of action items, documenting lessons learned, and communicating the results of the exercise or test throughout the organization.

Takeaway 3: Business continuity planning is an essential part of any organization's risk management strategy.

McMahan highlighted the importance of minimizing operational downtime and protecting data, as well as providing a basis for a recovery plan and allocating resources for testing.

"In a recovery situation, it's crucial to have a disaster plan that defines the highest prioritized tasks and this BIA accomplishes this for you."

Norton noted that it is important to make sure the critical functions and risks are identified in the business impact analysis and that the four basic elements of the environment are in place for employees to perform. He also emphasized the importance of being proactive rather than reactive.