Ryan Stickel

By: Ryan Stickel on December 9th, 2022

Print/Save as PDF

Business Continuity vs. Disaster Recovery vs. Incident Response

Business Strategy | Cybersecurity | Disaster Recovery

If you’re in a situation where your key business operations are down and need to get back up and running, you can’t afford to fix everything on the fly. Doing so would result in huge losses and a massive headache.

Instead, you need to have plans in place to recover efficiently from any unexpected event.

There are three types of these plans that we’ll look at today, and they all serve a slightly different purpose. The plans are business continuity, incident response and disaster recovery.

While these plans slightly differ from each other, they all have a common goal: saving your business. Before we compare them though, let’s do a brief overview of each one.

What is Business Continuity?

A business continuity plan is an outline or plan designed to maintain or resume business operations during a disaster or other unplanned incident.

Building this plan requires lots of analysis and testing of your daily operations. One of the main things to focus on here is identifying the processes that your business is dependent on.

This means you’ll want to identify the systems you have in place, from quoting to invoicing, to make sure the entire money-making process is intact.

What is Disaster Recovery?

Disaster recovery is the process of recovering business functions and systems after an event.

While your business continuity plan should keep your businesses running during a disaster, your business continuity plans aren't a  long-term fix. That's where your disaster recovery plan comes in.

An example of this would be replacing and configuring a new server and restoring your data after a lightning strike damages your old server.

This plan will generally prioritize IT components for business functions and processes.

What is Incident Response?

Incident Response is the plan and team you have in place to respond to cybersecurity threats and attacks, and the trouble that might arise because of those events.

This response involves strong cybersecurity monitoring and response. Solutions that will help you achieve this include, but are not limited to, EDR, MDR and SOC/SIEM.

Innovative Ideal Client

How Do These Plans Connect?

At the core of all these processes and plans are one main theme; they allow your business to continue to make money. Let’s face it, regardless of why we do what we do, we need to make money. It’s what makes the world go ‘round.

While that might sound like hollow business speak, the truth is that money is the direct result of your processes working. This means your employees are accounted for and in a position where they’re able to do their job, and you’re able to stay in contact with clients and do business with them.

During these incidents, it’s important we don’t forget about our clients. Without them, there is no business, there is no cash flow. Depending on the services you offer, they may be relying on you to be up and always running.

Many of us have mutually beneficial relationships with our clients, and it’s on us to keep up our end of the bargain.

How are they Different?

Let’s break it down like this; business continuity is the plan you use during the disaster, disaster recovery will take place after the disaster, and incident response includes processes specific to cybersecurity incidents. 

How this Might Affect Your Insurance

Having spoken with some clients, their insurance company required that they have all three. That may seem like overkill, but it’s really not. While these plans all feel very similar, they all serve very distinct purposes.

Having all three in place means you’re doing everything in your power to prepare for any downtime or data-loss scenario. That’s why your insurance company might ask for all three. They’d essentially be agreeing to waste their money if they insured someone who wasn’t prepared for an unexpected event.

What We Can Do

As a managed service provider, Innovative plays a role in these plans. Our solutions can be found doing their part in each one.

A crucial part of continuity and recovery is data backup. We recommend Datto as a business continuity and restoration solution. We’ve partnered with them for nearly a decade as we feel their continuity tools are a good fit for both our clients and us.

We also offer cybersecurity packages for your business that can be a piece of your incident response plan. We provide 24/7 monitoring and response through our managed detection and response offering.

As mentioned in previous articles, we are always reevaluating and researching these solutions to make sure our clients are getting the best.

While these solutions can be used in these different plans, we are only providing one piece of the puzzle. It is on each organization to create its own response plans to best support its business.

We might be a key partner in executing major elements of your plan, but there are elements like physical space and employee communication that may be out of our control. 

Start Building Your Plans

Whether this is your first time hearing of these plans or if your business already has them in place, it’s never too late to build or reevaluate. We always need to be ready for the worst possible scenario.

Even if you’re like us and live in a region that’s pretty low risk for natural disasters, there are countless other events that could impede our business. It’s the tough truth about the world we live in.

Are these processes highly detailed? Yes.

Are they overkill? Absolutely not. In fact, they are oftentimes necessary.

It can be daunting to prepare for the unpredictable, but that preparation is exactly what can save your business. While we all hope these incidents never occur, it’s unfortunately out of our control. Invest your time and money now so you won’t have to close your doors later.

Innovative Ideal Client