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Disaster Recovery vs. Business Continuity: 5 Key Differences

picture of Disaster Recovery vs. Business Continuity: Key Differences

It would help if you were prepared for business continuity and disaster recovery in a crisis to resume operations quickly. Business continuity and disaster recovery should be distinct. Planning for both will help your company recover and survive.

What’s business continuity?

Business continuity is a company’s plan to continue operations after a disaster. This includes contingency planning for how a company will operate, who will perform certain roles, where it will operate, and how this will affect normal business operations.

What’s disaster recovery?

Disaster recovery describes a company’s plans to respond to a disaster or other critical event. Natural disasters, fire, data loss, cyberattacks, terrorism, accidents, active shooters, and other incidents can disrupt business operations. Disaster recovery plans help organizations respond to incidents and safely resume operations.

5-differences between disaster recovery and business continuity

What distinguishes business continuity from disaster recovery? Both planning processes equip a business with proactive strategies for disaster preparation. However, organizations should be aware of several business continuities vs. disaster recovery differences:

Business continuity involves keeping the business running during and after a disaster. Disaster recovery32 restores processes, systems, IT infrastructure, and data after a major event.

Before an incident, disaster recovery plans often include scenario planning and preparedness drills.

Business continuity plans arrive later than disaster recovery plans.

Business continuity plans limit downtime, while disaster recovery plans prevent inefficient system functions.

Business continuity involves continuing operations, albeit with reduced capacity. Normal business functions are the goal of disaster recovery.

Real-life business continuity:

This South Carolina IT company hosted servers for 200 clients when lightning struck its office building in 2013. Cables melted, computer hardware burned, equipment was destroyed, and the office was unusable.

The company had implemented business continuity plans five years earlier, including moving client servers to a remote data server with continuous backups. Clients were fine, and employees had to move to temporary offices.

Should you have business continuity and disaster recovery plans?

Formal plans are needed for business continuity and disaster recovery.

To survive a disaster, businesses need disaster recovery plans (DRP) and business continuity plans (BCP). While different, they overlap and work well together to minimize disruption and losses.

picture of Business continuity plan contents

Business continuity plan contents

Consider the following when creating a business continuity plan for your company:

List all critical business functions in your company.

Create a business impact analysis

Create several crisis scenarios and consider how they could disrupt your business.

Plan to mitigate vulnerabilities to maintain functionality in a disaster.

Identify business continuity and process implementers.

Train relevant employees

Regularly assess your business continuity plan.

What a disaster recovery plan needs

Business continuity and disaster recovery plans share some requirements and features. Consider the following when creating one:

Determine who should be on your disaster recovery team.

Disaster-prone processes and functions should be identified.

Assess disaster risks and their impact on your business.

Strategize and implement disaster recovery.

Create backup strategies.

Your staff should be trained.

Test and maintain your plan regularly.

picture of The risks of no business continuity and disaster recovery plans

The risks of no business continuity and disaster recovery plans

A business unprepared for a critical situation or disaster may suffer serious consequences.

This includes:

A business inability after a crisis

Productivity drops after a crisis

Financial losses

Damage to reputation

Legal consequences, especially if data planning and protection fail and regulatory violations occur.

Employee, customer, or public death or injury.

Complete data loss.

Why is disaster communication crucial?

In a crisis, you must inform employees immediately.

Regular, relevant, concise, and factual information must be sent to employees, along with any necessary instructions. You should update your staff as circumstances change.

Uninformed employees can spread rumors and false information. This can cause mistrust and mistakes and worsen the situation.

An emergency alert system or IT alerting software is one of the best ways to reach all employees quickly.

DeskAlerts does both. It lets you quickly and effectively communicate with thousands of employees. You can reach employees worldwide, whether they work in the office, on the road, non-desk, or at home. The system delivers your messages via pop-up alerts, desktop tickers, digital signage, and mobile push notifications.


Business continuity and disaster recovery plans?

A disaster recovery plan saves and recovers data and business processes after a critical incident. A business continuity plan keeps a company running after a major incident.

Why is business continuity planning different from disaster recovery?

Business continuity plans determine how operations will continue in an emergency or disaster. Disaster recovery plans to restore applications and systems to normal operation.

The difference between BCM and DR includes what?

Business continuity management (BCM) is an organization’s ability to deliver products and services during a disaster. Disaster recovery (DR) is about technology and how an organization recovers from an incident.

What is disaster recovery BCP?

A business continuity plan (BCP) describes how a company can minimize business loss and define operations during disaster recovery.

Should disaster recovery or business continuity come first?

Disaster recovery and business continuity planning require a process. Business continuity planning should precede disaster recovery planning in a company.

Is business continuity now disaster recovery?

Business continuity differs from disaster recovery. It keeps a business going after a major event.

The difference between DRP and BCP in cyber security includes what?

Disaster recovery differs from business continuity. Business continuity planning involves long-term plans for uninterrupted operations during a threat or disruption. Disaster recovery planning is a short-term strategy for IT and computing outages.

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