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Disaster Recovery Plan Test

What is the difference between a BCP test and a disaster recovery test?  This often confuses people because the terms "BCP test" & "disaster recovery plan test" are often used interchangeably 

 

The concept of disaster recovery testing is a historical term which originally grew up within the information technology community.  As organisations became more and more reliant on IT systems they realised that they had to have some means of recovering these systems in the event of failure of critical systems, hardware or power outages. This led organisations to think about the back-up and recovery of their IT systems and how responsive these recovery capabilities were in order to keep their business operations operating within acceptable parameters. The back-up and recovery “regime” together with the facilities and instructions for performing IT systems restoration and recovery became known as the “disaster recovery plan” and prudent organisations performed a regular disaster recovery test to ensure that their recovery and restoration capabilities and procedures could be relied upon in a disaster.  

 

BCP or business continuity planning addresses a wider scope than disaster recovery planning. Although the recovery and restoration of IT systems remains a critical part of any business continuity plan, “BCP” encompasses a wider organisational context, addressing issues such as people, premises, supply chain, communications strategies etc. 

 

To summarise, disaster recovery plan testing focusses on proving a specific aspect of an organisations recovery capabilities – historically this has focussed on “digital capabilities” (systems, equipment and data). BCP testing may include the restoration and recovery of digital capabilities but will, depending on the scope of the BCP test, include a wider perspective including incident response and recovering the business activities of the organisation.

Our advice in this area:- don't get hung up on terminology - just ensure that you have a BCP testing schedule that addresses all critical parts of your organisations incident response, recovery and restoration capabilities.

RiskCentric provide a range of services to support the design and execution of BCP tests