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Creating disaster recovery testing scenarios

Disaster recovery testing is a frequently overlooked, or outright avoided, part of DR planning. In a recent Q&A with SearchDisasterRecovery, Jon Toigo of Toigo Partners International said that fewer

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than 50% of companies with DR plans test them at all. He went on to note that, of the companies that do test their plans, many design flawed tests that do not reveal plan weaknesses.

DR testing requires a comprehensive approach to be effective. However, it is not necessary or even possible to test all aspects of your plan at once. It is, however, a good idea to conduct tests in a way that considers how an event may impact all aspects of your business operations, rather than testing one piece of the whole in isolation. One way to test specific aspects of your overall disaster readiness is to create a variety of event scenarios that would have a negative impact on your business' operations.

This collection of articles by from frequent SearchDisasterRecovery contributor and independent DR expert Paul Kirvan offers advice on creating disaster recovery testing scenarios related to technology, operations, personnel, natural disasters, and more.

Choosing an operational scenario for BC/DR testing

Effective BC/DR exercise planning begins with developing disaster scenarios for operational situations by focusing on process-related situations.

Developing technology scenarios for BC/DR testing

Every business, large or small, relies on technology to conduct daily operations. As such, it is critical to create BC/DR testing scenarios addressing technology issues -- especially those that might impact an organization's most critical data.

Building staff-related scenarios for BC/DR testing

Develop effective staff-related disaster scenarios in your BC/DR exercise planning by focusing on the sudden loss of more than one key person.

Preparing natural-disaster scenarios for BC/DR tests

Incorporate natural disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes into your BC/DR exercise planning by creating scenarios that focus on events outside your control.

Developing business scenarios for BC/DR exercise plans

Understanding the intricacies of how your organization works is key to developing effective business scenarios in your BC/DR testing.

Consider unlikely scenarios in BC/DR exercise planning

Examine unusual scenarios in your BC/DR exercise planning by researching events that may have impacted your organization or others to design situations based in reality and experience.

This was first published in July 2013

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