There are many different terms that are used in the entire field of study of protecting and/or recovering your company.
These include disaster recovery planning, business recovery planning, business continuity planning, and emergency response planning.
Are these different terms for the same thing or do they represent different aspects of the issue. And, if there are differences, need we care about these ?
Well, the short answer is ‘yes, there are differences’ and the differences are important to you.
In the early days of recovery planning, the term used was ‘Disaster Recovery Planning’. This term (DRP) now refers to the recovery of IT services following a major hit.
Business Recovery Planning (BRP) is a superset of DRP and refers to the recovery of IT and all others aspects of the business. This includes everything from finance to administration to engineering to manufacturing.
In a perfect world, you don’t want any losses. Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is much more important in that it not only includes BRP but highlights vulnerabilities that might cause losses to your business and plans for the continued conduct of your business.
The vulnerabilities could be such things as poor security procedures following a disaster or the lack of good backup procedures. So, in developing your BCP, you have found unacceptable vulnerabilities and fixed them and you have explored the disasters that could happen to you and how you would response to keep your doors open. If you can’t continue to service your customers, many will be lost to your competitors to never return.
The current term to use is Emergency Response Planning (ERP) which embodies everything that is in Disaster Recovery Planning, Business Recovery Planning, Business Continuity Planning and adds evacuation planning and medical aid. Note that security is also an issue that should be included in the ERP.