ISO 27001 Disaster Recovery Plan (What does it include?)

Meeba Gracy

Meeba Gracy

Mar 18, 2024

ISO 27001 disaster recovery plan

When disaster strikes, your business may lose critical data, and all the functions may have to stop suddenly. However, your business doesn’t have to be at the mercy of chaos – a carefully crafted disaster recovery plan becomes integral to running your business environment smoothly and efficiently.

But getting started with a plan isn’t always easy – from understanding the legal implications to putting the proper processes in place, it can seem too much for one person or a team.

That’s why today we’re going to take a comprehensive look into creating an ISO 27001 disaster recovery plan that you can use.

Let’s dive in…

ISO 27001 disaster recovery plan overview

An ISO 27001 disaster recovery plan specifies the actions you can take if an incident impacts your company’s information security systems. A good ISO disaster recovery plan is tailored to an organization’s requirements. 

A disaster recovery plan implements several measures to ensure all data is backed up regularly and securely.

With the right technology solutions in place – cloud computing, quick data recovery, and encryption, you can mitigate the impact of an information security incident by deploying quick restoring protocols. 

Making sure the plan is effective in restoring IT services within a negotiated timeframe is key; it’s like an insurance policy for business continuity. 

Overall, the ISO 27001 standard provides best practice advice on how to build an organized and well-defined recovery plan. Establishing roles and responsibilities for each stage of the process, documenting critical assets in advance, and continuously testing your recovery plans are just a few of the considerations that make up this comprehensive approach. 

By taking into account all the outlined points, organizations are prepared to quickly recover from any unexpected outage or disaster. Let’s take an overview:

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Establish a Business Continuity Management System

Establishing a business continuity management system (BCMS) is a critical first step in developing a disaster recovery plan. A BCMS equips businesses with the policies, procedures, and processes needed to recover efficiently from disruption. This comprehensive system can be tailored to the company’s specific needs and objectives. 

For example, some companies may create fail-safe backups for data or even obtain secondary premises that can act as backup facilities. Having a BCMS in place ensures that regardless of the nature of the event, natural or otherwise, the business has all the necessary resources and information available to respond effectively.

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Identify Risk Sources

Identifying risk sources can feel daunting – so much to think about! However, it is a crucial step to take proactive measures. Think of hazards like floods that can disrupt your daily life; likewise, cyber-attacks target your computer systems in your business environments. 

Natural disasters and man-made incidents can be equally damaging in different ways. Knowing the common sources of risks sets you up with a starting point to set up plans for handling them. Now that you’ve identified the key risk sources, you can move forward into crafting strategies to avoid the consequences of risks and develop mitigation strategies.

Some disasters may include:

  • Fires
  • Cyberattacks
  • Information leakage
  • Change of trend
  • Power outages
  • Failure in plans

Develop Mitigation Strategies

Developing mitigation strategies is essential to reducing the damages of unexpected disruptions. For example, having a backup generator to keep computers running and communications networks connected during a power outage can be invaluable. 

Offsite data storage means that vital data won’t be lost when an office is closed or destroyed. Having redundant communication systems in place provides continuity in times of crisis.

Develop Response and Recovery Plans

After you’ve developed mitigation strategies, you need to develop response and recovery plans. The response plan outlines the steps that should be taken immediately after a disruption occurs. 

Create a Backup of Your Important Data

What happens if you lose your customers’ data due to a disk failure or other technical glitch? It can be devastating and potentially wipe out your business. A secondary IT infrastructure must be used to create a backup of essential data to ensure that this does not happen and that recovery is possible after any disaster.

This extra layer of protection to your company’s information keeps you equipped in an emergency. 

Identify critical functions

Any business needs to identify the components that are vital to its survival. By examining the elements of websites, cash registers, staff, machinery, and customer records – businesses can identify their critical functions and plan for any unexpected situations. 

What does a disaster recovery plan include?

Here is what a proper disaster recovery plan includes:

ISO 27001 disaster recovery plan

Disaster recovery flowchart

A Disaster Recovery Plan flowchart is a graphical representation of the steps your company will take to restore operations in the event of a major system outage. This diagram outlines the specific tasks that will need to be completed, who will be responsible for each task, and what resources (e.g., people, equipment, software) will be required to complete them.

Disaster recovery flowchart

Source

Developing a successful recovery plan can be difficult, but using a flowchart helps ensure that all necessary steps are organized and accomplished effectively. 

Becoming ISO 27001 compliant should not be this complex

For example, an IT team might find it overwhelming to navigate the initial stages following a disaster – from system inventory to data backup, but a good flowchart will lay out exactly which tasks need to be completed for the rollout of the overall recovery plan to go smoothly. 

Working through each step on the chart one by one should provide peace of mind that all areas have been addressed in the event of a disaster.

Keep a disaster recovery team

A disaster recovery team can make all the difference while minimizing the risk of enormous losses. Take Hurricane Katrina, for example; businesses with pre-established evacuation plans that responded quickly helped their employees and operations recover significantly faster than those without. 

A disaster recovery team comprises a group of personnel responsible for restoring operations in the event of a major system failure. It outlines the steps that need to be taken to resume business operations in the event of a major system failure. The disaster recovery team is responsible for implementing the plan and restoring operations.

This specialist group is essential for identifying potential risks, assessing existing vulnerabilities, and creating plans to help ensure the safety of all involved in times of crisis.

Incident management procedure

An incident management procedure is an organization’s instructions to manage incidents. This includes fires and floods, power outages, and equipment failures. The goal of an incident management procedure is to minimize the impact of an incident on the organization.

The first step to managing an incident is assessing and determining the severity level. This will help you plan how to respond. Some common responses include: 

  • Notifying emergency services 
  • Restoring operations as soon as possible 
  • Reviewing safety procedures 
  • Communicating with employees 

Damage assessment form

A damage assessment form is a tool that can be used to document the damages that have been done to a property. This form can be used by insurance companies, property owners, and others who need to document the injuries for their records. The information gathered on the form is used to help determine the cost of repairs and the necessary resources.

Here is a list of things that should be included on a damage assessment form: 

  • Date 
  • Location of Property 
  • Name of Insurer 
  • Photos of Damages 
  • Description of Damage 
  • Estimated Cost of Repair/Replacement

Datacenter resilience

There are many things to consider when building a resilient data center. The physical infrastructure is key, with redundant power, cooling, and network infrastructure. The backup and disaster recovery must also be robust, with offsite data storage and backups for quick restoration in the event of a failure.

For example, the electric system powering the facility – a backup generator and high-voltage UPS system is essential to keep everything running smoothly if there is a power outage or other emergency. 

In addition to this physical layer of protection, many companies use reliable cloud-based storage solutions as part of their data-resilience strategy. This helps protect against hardware failure and enables quick recovery when needed.

It’s also important to have a solid plan for dealing with disruptions. Staff should be familiar with the backup and disaster recovery procedures, and testing should be conducted regularly to ensure that everything is working as it should. 

Disaster risk assessment

One of the main purposes of disaster risk assessment is to help communities and businesses reduce their risk of experiencing a disaster. By identifying areas that are most at risk, mitigation measures can be implemented to help reduce the likelihood or impact of a disaster. 

Disaster risk assessments can also inform what kind of losses could be expected during a disaster. This information can help decision-makers allocate resources for preparedness and response more effectively.

Emergency alert and escalation

When a high-level disaster strikes, there is only time to react with proper preparation. In such cases, having an emergency alert and escalation plan can help. This plan should outline how employees respond to danger and the protocols for quickly relocating them before the situation becomes more serious.

Backup storage and security

When it comes to backup storage and security, one size does not fit all. You should ensure your data is safe through various options, including physical backups stored offsite, cloud-based backups with strong encryption algorithms, and encrypted, remote backups to limit exposure.

Also, you should consider the security measures you have in place at rest and in transit. Adding multi-factor authentication protocols can help prevent unauthorized access, while robust Network Intrusion Detection systems can detect threats against your data more quickly. An effective backup storage and security plan are integral to protecting against natural disasters and malicious threats.

Also, refer to this ISO 27001 checklist

Importance of ISO 27001 disaster recovery plan

Disaster recovery is a standard set of procedures and policies that a business puts in place and follows to safeguard itself and its employees in the face of a disaster. Here is why a disaster recovery plan is important for businesses:

Importance of Disaster recovery plan

Maintaining ISO 27001 business continuity

A good ISO 27001 disaster recovery plan ensures that your business operations can be restored in the event of a disruption, allowing you to minimize downtime and continue functioning without interruption. 

Ensuring data security

A well-defined disaster recovery plan helps protect confidential information from unauthorized access by providing secure backups and detailed instructions for restoring data after a catastrophic event.

Complying with regulations

Organizations subject to government or other regulatory requirements may have a legal obligation to have a good disaster recovery ready. ISO 27001 helps ensure that your organization meets these compliance requirements.

Also, check out: ISO/IEC 27001 requirements

Safeguarding from financial losses

An ISO 27001 disaster recovery plan helps to protect your organization from potential financial losses caused by disruption, such as the cost of lost business opportunities or reputation damage.

Protecting your company’s reputation

A good disaster recovery plan helps to mitigate the damage caused by disruption, minimizing negative impacts on your company’s reputation. In addition, customers and other stakeholders may view an organization with an ISO 27001 certification as more reliable and trustworthy.

Increased productivity 

A disaster recovery plan gives employees a sense of certainty about what they should do in a crisis to react quickly and effectively instead of panicking. As such, planning for cybersecurity threats also allows for agile decision-making and fast action-taking during times of crisis.

Who Creates the Disaster Recovery Guidelines for Businesses?

ISO 27001 Disaster recovery plan

The (ISO) International Organization for Standardization sets the standards and guidelines businesses to need to prepare properly for disruption. By working with organizations like OSHA, WHO, and ILO, the ISO helps prevent disasters from escalating or occurring in the first place and ensures that businesses are compliant with its standards. This is designed to give you the confidence you need to create a tailor-made disaster recovery plan for your business.

Is ISO 27001 DR ? Talk to our experts.

Also read: How to conduct a successful ISO 27001 audit

Automate your ISO 27001 compliance with Sprinto

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the complexities and jargon of compliance, Sprinto has you covered. With an automated solution for your ISO 27001 certification, we take the burden of manual labor – from policy creation to tracking security controls – off your shoulders. 

That’s not all; our in-app staff security training feature keeps your employees informed about the latest cybersecurity measures and helps them muster protection against data breaches. Let us make this journey easier for you! To experience the real enabling power of Sprinto, book a demo today and let us answer any queries you may have.

FAQs

What is the ISO standard for disaster recovery?

ISO standard provides international recognition and assurance regarding IT disaster recovery. Its purpose is to support organizations by enabling them to develop efficient business continuity plans to handle emergencies. From planning, implementation, and maintenance procedures – this standard has you covered in ensuring the protection of your data systems from potential disasters.

Why is a disaster recovery plan important?

Having a sound disaster recovery plan iso 27001 is critical for any business. Such a plan can be the most effective way of reducing damage or disruption and recovering quickly in the wake of system failure caused by a disaster. 

Meeba Gracy

Meeba Gracy

Meeba, an ISC2-certified cybersecurity specialist, passionately decodes and delivers impactful content on compliance and complex digital security matters. Adept at transforming intricate concepts into accessible insights, she’s committed to enlightening readers. Off the clock, she can be found with her nose in the latest thriller novel or exploring new haunts in the city.

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