Where typically are the gaps in your Business Disaster Recovery Plan?

Posted by Andrew Ogilvie in Extraordinary News

Where typically are the gaps in your Business Disaster Recovery Plan?

A disaster recovery plan is designed to ensure that an organisation can quickly resume operations following disruptive events such as natural disasters, cyber-attacks or technical failures. However, such disaster recovery plans (DRPs) can often have several potential gaps that may hinder their effectiveness. Today we look at the most common gaps in disaster recovery plans and suggests measures to address those weaknesses.

1. Lack of Regular Risk Assessment Review

The foundation of any DRP is the risk assessment which identifies potential threats and their impact on the organisation. A common gap in many plans is the failure to conduct regular and thorough risk assessments, leading to outdated assumptions about threats. This oversight can result in the organisation being unprepared for new or evolving risks.

To reduce this risk companies should establish a routine for periodic risk assessments that consider new technological advancements, emerging threats and changes in the business.

2. Inadequate Testing and Maintenance

Any DRP requires regular testing and maintenance. Without regular drills and updates, a disaster recovery plan can become obsolete as organisational changes occur. This gap can be addressed by scheduling regular tests of the recovery procedures and updating the plan to reflect any changes in the business structure, technology or external environment. Regular testing helps in identifying weaknesses in the recovery processes, allowing for timely adjustments.

3. Overlooked Communication Strategies

Effective communication is vital during and after a disaster, yet many DRPs fail to detail robust communication strategies. This oversight can lead to confusion and inefficiency during recovery operations. A comprehensive communication plan should include designated roles and responsibilities, contact information for key personnel and protocols for communicating with all stakeholders, including employees, customers and suppliers.

4. Technology Dependency and Single Points of Failure

Many organisations rely heavily on technology for disaster recovery but often overlook the risk of single points of failure, such as placing data in a single data centre or depending on a single Internet service provider. Diversifying resources and incorporating redundant systems in multiple locations with failover between sites can mitigate this risk. Additionally, ensuring data backups are geographically dispersed and regularly tested is crucial for data integrity and availability.

5. Neglect of Human Factors

Human factors are frequently the most unpredictable element in disaster recovery. DRPs can fail to consider the personal impact on employees who are crucial for executing the recovery plan. Providing support for employees, such as clear instructions, training and psychological support can maximise their potential to perform under pressure.

6. Compliance and Regulatory Oversights

Compliance with industry regulations and standards is often a requirement for business operations, yet DRPs sometimes fail to align properly with these legal obligations. To address this gap, recovery plans should be regularly reviewed for compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

7. Supply Chain Vulnerabilities

A disaster affecting a key supplier can have cascading effects on an organisation. Many recovery plans do not adequately account for supply chain disruptions. Establishing partnerships with alternate suppliers and including supply chain resilience strategies in the DRP can help mitigate this risk.


While no disaster recovery plan can guarantee perfect resilience against all types of disruptions, addressing these potential gaps can significantly strengthen the plan's effectiveness. By considering these often-overlooked areas, organisations can better prepare themselves to face various scenarios, thereby ensuring faster recovery and minimising operational impact. Regular updates, comprehensive risk assessments, and inclusive planning that covers all aspects of the organisation are key to developing a robust disaster recovery plan.

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