Re: Business Continuity Plan

Subject: Re: Business Continuity Plan
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 11:27:05 -0700 (PDT)

"Erika Yanovich" <ERIKA_y -at- rad -dot- com> wrote in message news:252622 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-

> Hi there,
> Our CEO suggested that I help creating such a document (requested by some of
> clients). Before meeting the relevant VP, I googled it and was amazed by the
wealth of
> information regarding such plans and their complexity. My question is: did
anyone out
> there participate in such a project and if yes, on what level:
> - helping with the writing
> - part of the project team
> - leading the project.

My company writes these for others as a business. Its part of numerous security

Business Continunity Plans (BCPs) are very difficult to write. They demand an
intimate and comprhensive understanding of the business, its risks, and its
tolerances to failure. It requires extensive training in risk management,
information security, and business governance to write a successful BCP.
Typically, technical writers assist in such projects, they don't lead them. A
security or business auditor should lead such a project.

Ideally, your company needs should conduct a full security assessment that
includes a business continuity and gap analysis. From that, you can outline the
risks and tolerances for your organization. Then you'll be ready to write a BCP
based on the findings of your security assessment.

Eric is right, BCP work can be very fun. But if you have never done one, you
should seriously consider contracting somebody who has experience doing them.
Just running around and documenting paranoia "how many backups do we have"
"what happens if a tornado hits the building" is not a BCP. A BCP is a
corporate governance document that needs to address fundamental business,
financial, and personnell issues. The paranoid stuff is merely a fraction of
what a BCP contains.

There are some good templates out there that can serve as a framework. I'd look
into ISACA ( Good group. They are mostly focused on IT
governance and auditing work. Technically a BCP crosses the IT boundary into
business and finance issues.

If you're CEO is asking for one just to placate clients, then you can throw one
of these together. It might not be useful, but if that's the goal of the BCP,
it will work.

Good luck

Andrew Plato

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