Disaster recovery and business continuity planning (DR/BCP) for financial services firms are terms that refer to the pre-planning, regulatory requirements, revival processes, IT techniques, testing and certification that help firms survive natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other emergency events, and then return to business.
Although disaster recovery and business continuity planning are related, they are different disciplines often grouped together as they share the goal of implementing procedures to help business during and after a disaster.
When taken separately, disaster recovery incorporates the process of immediately responding to an overwhelming event usually by activating third-party remote support and back-up telecom and storage services—it is mostly a reactive approach to mitigate human loss and business damage from often tragic events. Business continuity planning, on the other hand, refers to taking preventative measures that help a firm actually get back to business when the worst of the disaster has passed.
When creating a DR/BCP plan, firms must ensure that their assets are protected during the disaster and are able to function properly thereafter. This process often involves assessing a company’s risks and determining how they would affect the business in the case of a disaster. Banks and other securities firms must find practical and innovative solutions and safeguards aimed at mitigating those risks.
For financial services firms, DR/BCP also involves meeting regulatory requirements, investors’ demands for protection, testing procedures (often across the industry), and the frequent review of these plans to make certain they are up to date and effective.