It is absolutely essential that in each company there must be a vital records and a disaster recovery programme. The programme must contain the necessary information to recreate an organisation‘s legal and financial position and to preserve its rights and those of its employees, customers and stakeholders. The policy and procedure must list all the vital records of the organisation and where they are kept. This list must be updated on an on-going basis to ensure that there will be no confusion in the case of an emergency.
There must be strong support from management with regards to the vital records and disaster recovery programme. They should communicate the value of an organisations information asset to all staff and they must be kept up-to-date with any changes to the programme.
The procedures must reflect ALL types of records i.e. paper and digital, from the hard drive to the network. It must identify how copies of vital information are to be created, transported to alternative sites and maintained i.e. it format, its movement and protection during transport and the environment within which it must be stored. The procedures must be audited regularly and updated where necessary.
This part of the programme would focus on the location where business operations would resume in the event of a disaster. It would outline how safely and quickly both the staff and the information can get to the new location. Copies of both the paper and digital records could be transported to the backup site on an ongoing basis so that in the event of a disaster, it would take minimal time to get back up and running.
The environment in which vital records are being maintained is crucial to ensure that the disaster recovery efforts are successful. We will be discussing more on the storage of records later on this month.