Common Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity Terms
A B C D E
F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
- ABC Fire Extinguisher
- Chemically based device used to eliminate ordinary combustible, flammable liquid, and electrical fires.
- When all or a portion of the recovery plan has been put into motion.
- Notification that a disaster situation has occurred - stand by for possible activation of disaster
- Alternate Site
- A location, other than the normal facility, used to process data and/or conduct critical business functions in the event of a disaster.
SIMILAR TERMS: Alternate Processing Facility, Alternate
Office Facility, and Alternate Communication Facility.
- Application Recovery
- The component of Disaster Recovery, which deals specifically with the restoration of business system software and data, after the processing platform has been restored or
SIMILAR TERMS: Business System Recovery
- Basic understandings about unknown disaster situations that the disaster recovery plan is based on.
- Back Office Location
- An office or building, used by the organization to conduct support activities, that is not located within an organization's headquarters or main location.
- Backup Agreements
- A contract to provide a service, which includes the method of performance, the fees, the duration, the services provided, and the extent of security and confidentiality maintained.
- Backup Position Listing
- A list of alternative personnel who can fill a recovery team position when the
primary person is not available.
- Backup Strategies (Recovery Strategies)
- Alternative operating method (i.e., platform, location,
etc.) for facilities and system operations in the event of a disaster.
- Business Continuity Planning (BCP)
- An all encompassing, "umbrella" term covering both disaster
recovery planning and business resumption planning.
- Business Impact Analysis
- The process of analyzing all business functions and the effect that a
specific disaster may have upon them.
- Business Interruption
- Any event, whether anticipated (i.e., public service strike) or unanticipated
(i.e., blackout) which disrupts the normal course of business operations at a corporate location.
- Business Interruption Costs
- The costs or lost revenue associated with an interruption in normal
- Business Recovery Coordinator
- SEE ALSO Disaster Recovery Coordinator.
- Business Recovery Process
- The common critical path that all companies follow during a recovery
effort. There are major nodes along the path, which are followed regardless of the organization. The process
has seven stages: 1) Immediate response, 2) Environmental restoration, 3) Functional restoration, 4) Data
synchronization, 5) Restore business functions, 6) Interim site, and 7) Return home.
- Business Recovery Team
- A group of individuals responsible for maintaining and coordinating the
SIMILAR TERMS: Recovery Team
- Business Resumption Planning (BRP)
- The operations piece of business continuity planning.
SEE ALSO: Disaster Recovery Planning
- Business Unit Recovery
- The component of Disaster Recovery which deals specifically with the
relocation of key organization personnel in the event of a disaster, and the provision of essential records,
equipment supplies, work space, communication facilities, computer processing capability, etc.
TERMS: Work Group Recovery.
- Certified Business Continuity Planner (CBCP) or Disaster Recovery Planner (CDRP)
- CBCP's are certified by the Disaster Recovery Institute, a not-for-profit corporation, which promotes the
credibility and professionalism in the DR industry.
- Checklist Test
- A method used to test a completed disaster recovery plan. This test is used to
determine if the information such as phone numbers, manuals, equipment, etc. in the plan is accurate and
- Cold Site
- An alternate facility that is void of any resources or equipment except air-conditioning and
raised flooring. Equipment and resources must be installed in such a facility to duplicate the critical
business functions of an organization. Cold-sites have many variations depending on their communication
facilities, UPS systems, or mobility (Relocatable-Shell).
SIMILAR TERMS: Shell-site; Backup site;
Recovery site; Alternative site.
- Command and/or Control Center
- A centrally located facility having adequate phone lines to begin
recovery operations. Typically it is a temporary facility used by the management team to begin coordinating
the recovery process and used until the alternate sites are functional.
- Communications Failure
- An unplanned interruption in electronic communication between a terminal
and a computer processor, or between processors, as a result of a failure of any of the hardware, software,
or telecommunications components comprising the link. (Also refer to Network Outage.)
- Communications Recovery
- The component of Disaster Recovery which deals with the restoration or
rerouting of an organization's telecommunication network, or its components, in the event of loss.
TERMS: Telecommunication Recovery, Data Communications Recovery
- Computer Recovery Team
- A group of individuals responsible for assessing damage to the original
system, processing data in the interim, and setting up the new system.
- Consortium Agreement
- An agreement made by a group of organizations to share processing
facilities and/or office facilities, if one member of the group suffers a disaster.
SIMILAR TERMS: Reciprocal
- Contingency Plan
- See Disaster Recovery Plan.
- Contingency Planning
- See Disaster Recovery Planning.
- Cooperative Hotsites
- A hot site owned by a group of organizations available to a group member
should a disaster strike.
SEE ALSO Hotsite.
- Crate & Ship
- A strategy for providing alternate processing capability in a disaster, via contractual
arrangements with an equipment supplier to ship replacement hardware within a specified time period.
SIMILAR TERMS: Guaranteed Replacement, Quick Ship.
- A critical event, which, if not handled in an appropriate manner, may dramatically impact an
organization's profitability, reputation, or ability to operate.
- Crisis Management
- The overall coordination of an organization's response to a crisis, in an effective,
timely manner, with the goal of avoiding or minimizing damage to the organization's profitability, reputation,
or ability to operate.
- Crisis Simulation
- The process of testing an organization's ability to respond to a crisis in a
coordinated, timely, and effective manner, by simulating the occurrence of a specific crisis.
- Critical Functions
- Business activities or information, which could not be interrupted or unavailable for
several business days without significantly jeopardizing operation of the organization.
- Critical Records
- Records or documents, which, if damaged or destroyed, would cause considerable
inconvenience and/or require replacement or recreation at considerable expense.
- Damage Assessment
- The process of assessing damage, following a disaster, to computer hardware,
vital records, office facilities, etc. and determining what can be salvaged or restored and what must be
- Data Center Recovery
- The component of Disaster Recovery which deals with the restoration, at an
alternate location, of data centers services and computer processing capabilities.
- Data Center Relocation
- The relocation of an organization's entire data processing operation.
- Dedicated Line
- A pre-established point-to-point communication link between computer terminals and a
computer processor, or between distributed processors, that does not require dial-up access.
- Declaration Fee
- A one-time fee, charged by an Alternate Facility provider, to a customer who
declares a disaster.
SIMILAR TERMS: Notification Fee. NOTE: Some recovery vendors apply the
declaration fee against the first few days of recovery.
- Departmental Recovery Team
- A group of individuals responsible for performing recovery
procedures specific to their department.
- Dial Backup
- The use of dial-up communication lines as a backup to dedicated lines.
- Dial-up Line
- A communication link between computer terminals and a computer processor, which is
established on demand by dialing a specific telephone number.
- Any event that creates an inability on an organizations part to provide critical business
functions for some predetermined period of time.
SIMILAR TERMS: Business Interruption; Outage;
- Disaster Prevention
- Measures employed to prevent, detect, or contain incidents, which, if
unchecked, could result in disaster.
- Disaster Prevention Checklist
- A questionnaire used to assess preventative measures in areas of
operations such as overall security, software, data files, data entry reports, microcomputers, and
- Disaster Recovery
- The ability to respond to an interruption in services by implementing a disaster
recovery plan to restore an organization's critical business functions.
- Disaster Recovery Administrator
- The individual responsible for documenting recovery activities
and tracking recovery progress.
- Disaster Recovery Coordinator
- The Disaster Recovery Coordinator may be responsible for
overall recovery of an organization or unit.
SIMILAR TERMS: Business
- Disaster Recovery Period
- The time period between a disaster and a return to normal functions,
during which the disaster recovery plan is employed.
- Disaster Recovery Plan
- The document that defines the resources, actions, tasks and data required
to manage the business recovery process in the event of a business interruption. The plan is designed to
assist in restoring the business process within the stated disaster recovery goals.
- Disaster Recovery Planning
- The technological aspect of business continuity planning. The
advance planning and preparations, which are necessary to minimize loss and ensure continuity of the
critical business functions of an organization in the event of disaster.
SIMILAR TERMS: Contingency
planning; business resumption planning; corporate contingency planning; business interruption planning;
- Disaster Recovery Software
- An application program developed to assist an organization in
writing a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.
- Disaster Recovery Teams (Business Recovery Teams)
- A structured group of teams ready to take
control of the recovery operations if a disaster should occur.
- Distributed Processing
- Use of computers at various locations, typically interconnected via
communication links for the purpose of data access and/or transfer.
- Connecting to another computer and copying a program or file from that system.
- Electronic Vaulting
- Transfer of data to an offsite storage facility via a communication link rather than
via portable media. Typically used for batch/journaled updates to critical files to supplement full backups
- A sudden, unexpected event requiring immediate action due to potential threat to health
and safety, the environment, or property.
- Emergency Preparedness
- The discipline, which ensures an organization, or community's
readiness to respond to an emergency in a coordinated, timely, and effective manner.
- Emergency Procedures
- A plan of action to commence immediately to prevent the loss of life and
minimize injury and property damage.
- Employee Relief Center (ERC)
- A predetermined location for employees and their families to obtain
food, supplies, financial assistance, etc., in the event of a catastrophic disaster.
- Extended Outage
- A lengthy, unplanned interruption in system availability due to computer hardware or
software problems, or communication failures.
- Extra Expense Coverage
- Insurance coverage for disaster related expenses, which may be incurred
until operations are fully recovered after a disaster.
- A location containing the equipment, supplies, voice and data communication lines, to
conduct transactions required to conduct business under normal conditions.
SIMILAR TERMS: Primary Site, Primary Processing Facility, Primary Office Facility.
- File Backup
- The practice of dumping (copying) a file stored on disk or tape to another disk or tape. This
is done for protection case the active file gets damaged.
- File Recovery
- The restoration of computer files using backup copies.
- File Server
- The central repository of shared files and applications in a computer network (LAN).
- Forward Recovery
- The process of recovering a database to the point of failure by applying active
journal or log data to the current backup files of the database.
- Full Recovery Test
- An exercise in which all recovery procedures and strategies are tested (as
opposed to a Partial Recovery Test.)
- An independent source of power usually fueled by diesel or natural gas.
- A gas used to extinguish fires effective only in closed areas.
- High Priority Tasks
- Activities vital to the operation of the organization. Currently being phased out due
to environmental concerns.
SIMILAR TERMS: Critical Functions
- An alternate facility that has the equipment and resources to recover the business functions
affected by the occurrence of a disaster. Hotsites may vary in type of facilities offered (such as data
processing, communication, or any other critical business functions needing duplication). Location and size
of the hotsite will be proportional to the equipment and resources needed.
SIMILAR TERMS: Backup site; Recovery site; Recovery Center; Alternate processing site.
- Human Threats
- Possible disruptions in operations resulting from human actions (i.e., disgruntled
employee, terrorism, etc.).
- Interagency Contingency Planning Regulation
- A regulation written and imposed by the
Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council concerning the need for financial institutions to maintain
a working disaster recovery plan.
- Interim Organizational Structure
- An alternate organization structure that will be used during
recovery from a disaster. This temporary structure will typically streamline chains of command and
increase decision-making autonomy.
- Internal Hotsites
- A fully equipped alternate processing site owned and operated by the organization.
- An outage caused by the failure of one or more communications links with entities
outside of the local facility.
- LAN (Local Area Network)
- Computing equipment, in close proximity to each other, connected to a
server which houses software that can be access by the users. This method does not utilize a public
SEE ALSO WAN.
- LAN Recovery
- The component of Disaster Recovery, which deals specifically with the replacement of
LAN equipment in the event of a disaster, and the restoration of essential data and software.
SIMILAR TERMS: Client/Server Recovery
- Lease Line
- Usually synonymous with dedicated line.
- Line Rerouting
- A service offered by many regional telephone companies allowing the computer center
to quickly reroute the network of dedicated lines to a backup site.
- Line Voltage Regulators
- Also known as surge protectors. These protectors/regulators distribute
- The unrecoverable business resources that are redirected or removed as a result of a disaster. Such
losses may be loss of life, revenue, market share, competitive stature, public image, facilities, or
- Loss Reduction
- The technique of instituting mechanisms to lessen the exposure to a particular risk.
Loss reduction is intended to react to an event and limit its effect. Examples of Loss Reduction include
sprinkler systems, insurance policies, and evacuation procedures.
- Mainframe Computer
- A high-end computer processor, with related peripheral devices, capable of
supporting large volumes of batch processing, high performance on-line transaction processing systems,
and extensive data storage and retrieval.
SIMILAR TERMS: Host Computer.
- Media Transportation Coverage
- An insurance policy designed to cover transportation of items to
and from an EDP center, the cost of reconstruction and the tracing of lost items. Coverage is usually
extended to transportation and dishonesty or collusion by delivery employees.
- MICR Equipment (Magnetic Ink Character Reader)
- Equipment used to imprint machine-readable code.
Generally, financial institutions use this equipment to prepare paper data for processing, encoding
(imprinting) items such as routing and transit numbers, account numbers and dollar amounts.
- Mobile Hot Site
- A large trailer containing backup equipment and peripheral devices delivered to the
scene of the disaster. It is then hooked up to existing communication lines.
- MODEM (Modulator Demodulator Unit)
- Device that converts data from analog to digital and back again.
- Natural Threats
- Events caused by nature causing disruptions to an organization.
- Network Architecture
- The basic layout of a computer and its attached systems, such as terminals
and the paths between them.
- Network Outage
- An interruption in system availability as a result of a communication failure affecting
a network of computer terminals, processors, or workstations.
- The name used to designate a part of a network. This may be used to describe one of the links in
the network, or a type of link in the network (for example, Host Node or Intercept Node).
- Nonessential Function/Data
- Business activities or information, which could be interrupted or
unavailable indefinitely without significantly jeopardizing critical functions of an organization.
- Nonessential Records
- Records or documents, which, if irretrievably lost or damaged, will not
materially impair the organization's ability to conduct business.
- Off-Host Processing
- A backup mode of operation in which processing can continue throughout a
network despite loss of communication with the mainframe computer.
- Off-Line Processing
- A backup mode of operation in which processing can continue manually or in
batch mode if the on-line systems are unavailable.
- Off-Site Storage Facility
- A secure location, remote from the primary location, at which backup
hardware, software, data files, documents, equipment, or supplies are stored.
- On-Line Systems
- An interactive computer system supporting users over a network of computer
- Operating Software
- A type of system software supervising and directing all of the other software
components plus the computer hardware.
- Organization Chart
- A diagram representative of the hierarchy of an organization's personnel.
- A policy or function applicable to the entire organization and not just one single
- See System Outage.
- The transfer of data processing functions to an independent third party.
- Parallel Test
- A test of recovery procedures in which the objective is to parallel an actual business
- Peripheral Equipment
- Devices connected to a computer processor, which perform such auxiliary
functions as communications, data storage, printing, etc.
- Physical Safeguards
- Physical measures taken to prevent a disaster, such as fire suppression
systems, alarm systems, power backup and conditioning systems, access control systems, etc.
- A hardware or software architecture of a particular model or family of computers (i.e., IBM,
Tandem, HP, etc.)
- Portable Shell
- An environmentally protected and readied structure that can be transported to a
disaster site so equipment can be obtained and installed near the original location.
- Procedural Safeguards
- Procedural measures taken to prevent a disaster, such as safety
inspections, fire drills, security awareness programs, records retention programs, etc.
- Reciprocal Agreement
- An agreement between two organizations with compatible computer
configurations allowing either organization to utilize the other's excess processing capacity in the event of a
- Record Retention
- Storing historical documentation for a set period of time, usually mandated by state
and federal law or the Internal Revenue Service.
- Recovery Action Plan
- The comprehensive set of documented tasks to be carried out during recovery
- Recovery Alternative
- The method selected to recover the critical business functions following a
disaster. In data processing, some possible alternatives would be manual processing, use of service
bureaus, or a backup site (hot or cold-site). A recovery alternative is usually selected following a Risk
Analysis, Business Impact Analysis, or both.
SIMILAR TERMS: Backup site, backup alternative.
- Recovery Capability
- This defines all of the components necessary to perform recovery. These
components can include a plan, an alternate site, change control process, network rerouting and others.
- Recovery Management Team
- A group of individuals responsible for directing the development and
on-going maintenance of a disaster recovery plan. Also responsible for declaring a disaster and providing
direction during the recovery process.
- Recovery Planning Team
- A group of individuals appointed to oversee the development and
implementation of a disaster recovery plan.
- Recovery Point Objective (RPO)
- The point in time to which data must be restored in order to
resume processing transactions. RPO is the basis on which a data projection strategy is developed.
- Recovery Team
- See Business Recovery Team.
- Recovery Time
- The period from the disaster declaration to the recovery of the critical functions.
- Relocatable Shell
- See Portable Shell.
- Risk Assessment/Analysis
- The process of identifying and minimizing the exposures to certain
threats, which an organization may experience.
SIMILAR TERMS: Risk assessment; impact assessment; corporate loss analysis; risk identification;
exposure analysis; exposure assessment.
- Risk Management
- The discipline, which ensures that an organization does not assume an
unacceptable level of risk.
- Salvage & Restoration
- The process of reclaiming or refurbishing computer hardware, vital records,
office facilities, etc. following a disaster.
- Salvage Procedures
- Specified procedures to be activated if equipment or a facility should suffer any
- Sample Plan
- A generic disaster recovery plan that can be tailored to fit a particular organization.
- Satellite Communication
- Data communications via satellite. For geographically dispersed
organizations, may be viable alternative to ground-based communications in the event of a disaster.
- Predefined areas of operation for which a disaster recovery plan is developed.
- Service Bureau (Center)
- A data processing utility that provides processing capability, normally for
specialized processing, such as payroll.
- Shadow File Processing
- An approach to data backup in which real-time duplicates of critical files
are maintained at a remote processing site.
SIMILAR TERMS: Remote Mirroring
- Simulation Test
- A test of recovery procedures under conditions approximating a specific disaster
scenario. This may involve designated units of the organization actually ceasing normal operations while
exercising their procedures.
- Skills Inventory
- A listing of employees, which lists their skills, that applies to recovery.
- Stand-Alone Processing
- Processing, typically on a PC or mid-range computer, which does not
require any communication link with a mainframe or other processor.
- Structured Walk-Through Test
- Team members walk through the plan to identify and correct
- Contract commitment providing an organization with the right to utilize a vendor recovery
facility for recovery of their mainframe processing capability.
- Systems Downtime
- A planned interruption in system availability for scheduled system maintenance.
- System Outage
- An unplanned interruption in system availability as a result of computer hardware or
software problems, or operational problems.
- Technical Threats
- A disaster causing event that may occur regardless of any human elements.
- Temporary Operating Procedures
- Predetermined procedures, which streamline operations while
maintaining an acceptable level of control and auditability during a disaster situation.
- Test Plan
- The recovery plans and procedures that are used in a systems test to ensure viability. A test
plan is designed to exercise specific action tasks and procedures that would be encountered in a real
- Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
- A backup power supply with enough power to allow a safe
and orderly shutdown of the central processing unit should there be a disruption or shutdown of electricity.
- Connecting to another computer and sending a copy of program or file to that computer.
- Useful Records
- Records that are helpful but not required on a daily basis for continued operations.
- User Contingency Procedures
- Manual procedures to be implemented during a computer system
- Vital Records
- Records or documents, for legal, regulatory, or operational reasons, cannot be
irretrievably lost or damaged without materially impairing the organization's ability to conduct business.
- Voice Recovery
- The restoration of an organization's voice communications system.
- WAN (Wide Area Network)
- Like a LAN, except that parts of a WAN are geographically dispersed,
possible in different cities or even on different continents. Public carriers like the telephone company are
included in most WANs; a very large one might have its own satellite stations or microwave towers.
- Warm Site
- An alternate processing site which is only partially equipped (As compared to Hotsite which
is fully equipped).