Business Continuity Newsletter
Disaster Recovery Planning - Business Continuity Planning
Software, Consulting and Training
Binomial International
Keeping businesses in business since 1980
20 January 2017 Site Français

Common Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity Terms


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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 recovery plan.
Alternative 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 Site, Alternate Processing Facility, Alternate Office Facility, 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 replaced.
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.
See also: 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 operations.
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 recovery process.
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.
Similar Terms: Work Group Recovery.
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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 current.
Cold Site
An alternative 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 alternative 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.
Similar 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 Agreement.
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 alternative 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 replaced.
Data Center Recovery
The component of Disaster Recovery which deals with the restoration, at an alternative location, of data centers services and computer processing capabilities.
Similar Terms: Mainframe Recovery.
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; Catastrophe.
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 personnel.
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 Recovery Coordinator.
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 preparedness.
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 taken periodically.
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.
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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 alternative 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 alternative 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 alternative 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 carrier.
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 electricity evenly.
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 operational capability.
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.
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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 net work 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 terminals.
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 department.
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 cycle.
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.
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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 disaster.
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 operations.
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 alternative 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 destruction.
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 weaknesses.
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.
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Technical Threat
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 disaster.


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.
See also: : Downloading.
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 outage.


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 alternative processing site which is only partially equipped (As compared to Hotsite which is fully equipped).
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