The Disaster Recovery Handbook: A Step-by-Step Plan to Ensure Business Continuity and Protect Vital Operations, Facilities, and Assets

By Michael Wallace; Lawrence Webber | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
EVALUATING RISK
Understanding What Can Go Wrong

Luck: 1a, a force that brings good fortune or adversity;
1b, the events or circumstances that operate for
or against an individual; 2, favoring chance.


INTRODUCTION
The heart of building a business continuity plan is a thorough analysis of events from which you may need to recover. This is variously known as a threat analysis or risk assessment. The result is a list of events that could slow your company down or even shut it down. We will use this list to identify those risks your business continuity plan must address.First, let’s define the terminology we’ll use when discussing risk:
The potential of a disaster occurring is called its risk. Risk is measured by how likely this is to happen and how badly it will hurt.
A disaster is any event that disrupts a critical business function. This can be just about anything.
A business interruption is something that disrupts the normal flow of business operations.

Whether an event is a business interruption or a disaster sometimes depends on your point of view. An interruption could seem like a disaster to the people to whom it happens, but the company keeps rolling along. An example might be a purchasing department that has lost all telephone communication with its suppliers. It is a disaster to the employees because they use telephones and fax machines to issue purchase orders. The facility keeps running because their mitigation plan is to generate POs on paper and use cell phones to issue verbal material orders to suppliers.

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