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What is information availability and information unavailability? Explain BC planning life cycle
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Information Availability

Information availability (IA) refers to the ability of the infrastructure to function according to business expectations during its specified time of operation.

Information availability ensures that people (employees, customers, suppliers, and partners) can access information whenever they need it.

Information availability can be defined with the help of reliability, accessibility and timeliness

Reliability: This reflects a component’s ability to function without failure, under stated conditions, for a specified amount of time.

Accessibility: This is the state within which the required information is accessible at the right place, to the right user.

Timeliness: Defines the exact moment or the time window (a particular time of the day, week, month, and/or year as specified) during which information must be accessible. For example, if online access to an application is required between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm each day, any disruptions to data availability outside of this time slot are not considered to affect timeliness.

##Information Unavailability

Various planned and unplanned incidents result in data unavailability.

Planned outages include installation/integration/maintenance of new hardware, software upgrades or patches, taking backups, application and data restores, facility operations (renovation and construction), and refresh/migration of the testing to the production environment.

Unplanned outages include failure caused by database corruption, component failure, and human errors.

Another type of incident that may cause data unavailability is natural or man-made disasters such as flood, fire, earthquake, and contamination.

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Fig (a) disruptors of data availability

BC Planning Life Cycle

From the conceptualization to the realization of the BC plan, a life cycle of activities can be defined for the BC process.

The BC planning life cycle includes five stages

  1. Establishing objectives

  2. Analyzing

  3. Designing and developing

  4. Implementing

  5. Training, testing, assessing, and maintaining

Establishing objectives

Determine BC requirements.

Estimate the scope and budget to achieve requirements.

Select a BC team by considering subject matter experts from all areas of the business, whether internal or external.

Create BC policies.

Analyzing

Collect information on data profiles, business processes, infrastructure support, dependencies, and frequency of using business infrastructure.

Identify critical business needs and assign recovery priorities.

Create a risk analysis for critical areas and mitigation strategies.

Conduct a Business Impact Analysis (BIA).

Create a cost and benefit analysis based on the consequences of data unavailability.

Evaluate options.

Designing and developing

Define the team structure and assign individual roles and responsibilities. For example, different teams are formed for activities such as emergency response, damage assessment, and infrastructure and application recovery.

Design data protection strategies and develop infrastructure.

Develop contingency scenarios.

Develop emergency response procedures.

Detail recovery and restart procedures.

Implementing

Implement risk management and mitigation procedures that include backup, replication, and management of resources.

Prepare the disaster recovery sites that can be utilized if a disaster affects the primary data center.

Implement redundancy for every resource in a data center to avoid single points of failure.

Training, testing, assessing, and maintaining

Train the employees who are responsible for backup and replication of business-critical data on a regular basis or whenever there is a modification in the BC plan.

Train employees on emergency response procedures when disasters are declared.

Train the recovery team on recovery procedures based on contingency scenarios.

Perform damage assessment processes and review recovery plans.

Test the BC plan regularly to evaluate its performance and identify its limitations.

Assess the performance reports and identify limitations.

Update the BC plans and recovery/restart procedures to reflect regular changes within the data center.

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Fig (b) BC Planning Life Cycle

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