The 2001 attacks in New York and Washington have hopefully placed the importance of “Business Continuity” plans and processes in the forefront of everyone’s mind. Of course, Business Continuity is a new enough term that you may not know what that is. In short, it is a plan that will provide “continuity” of your business in the event of a disaster.
By looking at what belongs in the document you may have trouble putting together why this all belongs together. Let’s look at it this way:
If you have hackers breach your security and they start deleting files, don’t you want to know how those files get restored AND how to eliminate the attack, and possibly track them so they can be prosecuted?
If a virus hits and it can’t be cleaned, don’t you want to know how to restore a version of the file before the corruption happened?
If a real disaster hits and your network personnel that take care of this stuff on a daily basis are killed or otherwise incapacitated (or are simply too busy dealing with their own families and don’t come to work), don’t you want very detailed procedures in place so you can get your business back up and running?
And don’t you want it to be all in one place so you don’t have to hunt for four or five different documents right in the middle of a state-wide crisis?
That means that having one copy of the document printed out and put on a shelf somewhere is useless. If the “disaster” is a fire that guts your building and ruins your computers, obviously a printed document isn’t going to do you much good, so what are you going to do? My point here is that you need to have several copies printed. One goes in each and every server room, one goes to your offsite storage company, another goes to your reciprocal partner, and two copies go to each and every corporate officer (the “C” level folks, such as your Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, etc) one to keep in their office, and another copy that stays at their home. Also, you will want this file a part of every backup that is performed, and it should be sent in electronic form to your reciprocal partner (on top of the printed version).
Now you can be sure that not only is your network safe, but also should something truly disastrous happen you can find the document that will allow you to get your business back up and running again well ahead of your competition.