Term Paper, 7 pages (1800 words)

Term paper on disaster recovery plan and policy

PANATLAS is a multinational company with over 5000 employees distributed across the headquarters and remote offices. The organization is involved in a significant US government project and thus need seamless connectivity across its branches, and the headquarters to enhance productivity. Due to the nature of the project, the company forbids any external access of its details outside the U S. As the Director of IT, I am tasked with the responsibility of recommending a secure and efficient network architecture solution to remote branches located in Denver, Michigan, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Colorado, and Missouri. The main areas ofconcern include accounting, sales, engineering, production and executive management departments. In this respect, a site-to-site virtual private network is the ultimate solution for SAN. With site-to-site VPN, the company employees will communicate with the headquarters through a subnet of the internet that guarantees greater security and privacy. VPNs vast capabilities such as corporate network telecommuting, secure collaboration and private browsing will ensure that employees access the necessary resources to execute their work securely across all branches. Management of projects from the headquarters will also be simplified as specific DoD projects will only be handled by the United States branches.

The network architecture of the organization is shown below

In case of a disaster, a VPN in a data backup and disaster recovery plan is a beneficial practice that safeguards the availability of PANATLAS data. PANATLAS will set up backup service designed to provide employees with secure data backup from remote locations. The backup services are limited to the PANATLAS VPN network in order to ensure that backups and restore are strategically completed in a timely manner. The organization provides backup and restores functionality globally via the VPN service primarily intended for each branch of business and telecommuting employees. A customized solution known as PANATLASVPN client is installed on employee computers together with a login account for each user. The solution will provide backup of daily activities in servers located at strategic locations outside the organizations premises. The System Administrators in each branch will advise on the configuration settings for each location as per workload capacity .


Incident management processes, business continuity and disaster recovery planning are the fundamental concepts required of any business entity. Incident management is a coordinated practice at the corporate level that is dependent on round the clock reporting line and quick assessment and escalation for severity. A sound and formal protocol and procedure should be adhered to in relation to incident resolution and recovery. This may include 24 hour incident response team and incident communication procedures. In addition, virtual meeting rooms may be designed to bring together all the required personnel with regular status update.
Business continuity planning is best practices tailored by an organization to ensure the delivery of services and resume normal operations after an incident. A plan is required to detail the necessary resources, vital documents and critical conducts and applications necessary to revive disrupted activities to its normal states.
Finally, disaster recovery mechanisms are the mechanisms and procedures that an organization engages in while trying to restore the complete functioning of the technical environment including software and tools for meeting production applications to their previous states. In a case of a data center disaster, critical workload need to be restored at the disaster recovery sites considering minimum disruption of services to guarantee data integrity, availability and confidentiality.
DRBC policy is an influential document that must be availed to all employees and participants in a company. The lack of distribution and awareness of the policy tends to compromise its adherence. It is difficult for employees to adhere to what they do not know. Therefore, the fact that the copy of the policy is found on the company’s network does not guarantee universal knowledge of it. The policy must be published in the company website as well as avail it in all other communication boards and bulletins in the shortest time possible to increase awareness and improve the level of adherence.
Every business requires a contingency plan to coordinate the resumption of activities in times of uncertainties and disasters. Whatever given as the definition of these processes, the ultimate goal is that it serves to restore business operations to normalcy with little impact on the employees, customers and other stakeholders. The ultimate goal is to get the business back to normalcy in the least time possible as an elongated downtime has adverse effects on the business. The problem causing the downtime might be a single computer crashing, or an entire network, power blackout, terrorist attack or natural catastrophes such as floods.
A business DRP policy cannot be created by a single individual in an organization. As such a team should be mandated with the creation of a plan. While small businesses may require the efforts of a few individuals, large organizations will require the involvement of individuals from various departments to provide the needed portions. One group may be responsible for the technical/computer portion while another team handles the personnel.


Upon the occurrence of a disaster a declaration notice is given by the CEO or the chief security officer. Declaration notice is given when one of the following instances are reported;
– Business assets such as computers are destroyed such that no communication is possible.
– The working environment is unsuitable for work e.g. breakdown of fire, floods which destroys the buildings or renders personnel to great deal of risk
– Situations arises which inflicts injury to the workforce


It is crucial that the organization recognize the risks that are located within it. For example, organizations that have kitchens or hazardous chemicals need to recognize its associated risks such as fire, explosion, water damage, physical security and natural disasters (Socha, 2002).


Disaster recovery procedure will entail all the operational, technical and technological procedures aimed at normalizing the operations of the company. The process will be executed according to the following plan.
Potential disaster scenarios include fire breakouts, cyber attacks, blackouts and system breakdowns. In case of a fire tragedy, an emergency operation centre is immediately set up and manned on a 24 hours shift to ensure continued operation. Personnel are evacuated from the site as soon as possible.
An incident command system was set up to provide integrated response. ICS comprised of personnel from security, health, intelligence, communication, logistic and public relation personnel.
Of consideration in the recovery process is the recovery time objective. RTO is the time period the business is expected to be back to its normal operation. The team should determine the RTO in respect to particular scenarios.
The specific RTO will determine which resources need to be availed or purchased. This may include offsite work stations and backups. In determining a specific RTO questions of what constitutes unacceptable downtime are answered.


The incident response team charter outlines the components and operational aspects of the incident response team. It outlines the personnel, structure of the organization and responsibilities of each member in respect to incident response and management.

Mission statement

This team has been formed to complete a disaster recovery procedure. Overall objectives include restoration of the business to normalcy after a disaster in the least time possible.


In determining a common set of performance goals, we analyze the skill sets of all the members in relation to restoration of business to normalcy. We defined the background experiences and the complementary skills of each and every team member and defined individual levels of accountability.


70% of the team members have manufacturing/production/security. One member cones from logistics while two come from marketing departments. We have a couple of members from technical and business support departments. Others come from customer relation and communication departments. The team has proven invaluable in the decision making processes.

Development needs

Insufficient skills in human resources
An understanding of human resources management techniques is crucial in completing the project. This skill is not sufficient in the team. To overcome the limitation we will train the junior members in human resource management using existing literature and other material and integrate learning with our own experiences.

Organizational structure

CEO Sample Job
CTO Doe Mary
Technical/ Support Susan Smith
Communication Mike Samson
Roles and responsibilities
We begin team meetings with Safety, Purpose, Agenda, Code of Ethics, Expectations framework. Safety outlines the awareness of exits in case of emergency. Purpose identifies the purpose of the meetings and deliverables. Agenda outlines the steps to be taken in case of a disaster and emergency. Code of conduct specifies the various action mechanisms in times of disasters.


In case of emergency, the heads of different departments are responsible for overall decision making purposes after soliciting opinions from all members. Facts are used to generate alternative solutions as expected in diverse situations.


We will communicate with one another using various means. Electronic and phone communication will be widely put into use. Prompt response to messages is desired at any given time. If one member is not able to respond promptly in a group, alternate arrangements are made.


The primary responsibility of IRT is the implementation of the recovery process. This is done with utmost care to ensure that the problem is not escalated and damage to personnel and property is minimized as much as possible. The team will deploy various tactful strategies such as utilization of offsite operation centers, use of backups and evacuation of persons in case of disasters. A sound and formal protocol and procedure should be adhered to in relation to incident resolution and recovery.


Every incident should be reported to the team supervisor of every team. In case the team supervisor is not available, the team members should report to the next available superior. This way, team members are empowered to act as a team but also be accountable for their actions. An operational 24 hour call and reporting centre that gathers for emergency calls and alerts is developed. The centre ensures that all the human, technological and operational functionalities are liaised together to perform quick response and mitigation of all disasters. Communication is the strategic part of a business that ensures good relations with the clients even in times of disasters. The call centre team through communication groups will develop constant contact will all concerned to access and report the state of affairs. This may include 24 hour incident response team and incident communication procedures. In addition, virtual meeting rooms are set up to bring together all the required personnel with regular status update.


Bace, R. Vulnerability assessment: Computer Security Handbook . John Wiley & Sons., 2009.
Gary B. Shelly, Thomas J. Cashman, Harry J. Rosenblatt. Systems analysis and design. Cengage Learning, 2010.
Martin J. Wieczorek, Uwe Naujoks, Robert Bartlett. Business Continuity: It Risk Management for International Corporations. Springer , 2002.
Socha, Thomas M. Facility Integrated Contingency Planning: For Emergency Response and Planning. iUniverse , 2002.

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