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  1. BCP Scope – Submit a brief description for feedback (one page or less) of the topic areas to be covered in the BCP.


  1. Business Impact Analysis – use template
  2. Key Resources and Stakeholders – use template
  3. Preventive Controls List – write a description of the preventative controls that you considered in the previous step


  1. Viable Recovery Strategies – to create a drawing or descriptive list that follows both options to each decision of “yes” or “no” or “success” or “failure” to the reconstructive effort.


  1. Contingency Plan – steps 9 thru 11
  2. Business Continuity Plan 5-7 pages

This section is to facilitate continued progress to the ultimate goal of enterprise risk management. A primary element or baseline of this process is the business continuity plan (BCP). With the previous projects of identifying vulnerabilities and assessing the risk of the various cyberattacks that can occur, the next level of preparation is to create a plan to continue operations should a worst-case scenario event take place.
In the following exercises, the earlier results are the basis for planning this investigation. The vulnerability assessment in Project 1 helped determine where to look in the creation of the risk assessment in Project 2. The steps of this project will help document what to do to “put it all back together,” in an orderly, prioritized method following a documented plan. That plan is the BCP.
The BCP assignment will detail the following elements:

  • resources required and defined stakeholder roles
  • business impact analysis
  • recommended preventative controls
  • recovery strategies
  • contingency plan that includes implementation and maintenance guidelines and defined procedures for testing the plan

Grades are determined on the ability to clearly articulate a developed, effective business continuity plan that considers relevant environmental factors and aligns with organizational objectives.
Business Continuity Transcript
You are working at your desk when your boss, CIO Maria Sosa, stops by. Maria says, did you hear that we won the contract to provide cloud-based computer services for Enrocca? This is a high-profile contract and working with this federal client is a big win for us.
You respond, that’s great news. I know that the compliance requirements for working with a federal agency are pretty substantial and include a thorough business continuity plan. We’ll need to meet or exceed the federal standards for compliance, so we should start the process of updating our BCP soon.
Maria nods and replies, good point. Remember when the Poser Soft servers were damaged by that flood last year? That caused them to be late on their deliverables to Enrocca. We definitely don’t want something like that to happen to us.
As Maria is speaking, you remember that a friend of yours was laid off when Poser Soft lost the Enrocca contract because of that very incident. You assure Maria that you’ll get started on the new BCP this week.

Step 1: Review Assigned Organization

The process of business continuity planning addresses the preservation and recovery of business in the event of outages to normal business operations. The output of the process is the  business continuity plan, an approved set of documented arrangements and procedures that enables an organization to facilitate the recovery of business operations, minimize losses, and replace or repair incurred damages as quickly as possible (Ouyang, n.d.).
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Special Publication 800-34, Contingency Planning Guide for IT Systems, business continuity planning is an ongoing task, the goals of which are to (Ouyang, n.d.)

  • sustain operations
  • recover and resume operations
  • protect assets

Goals of the BCP Cycle
In the case of your particular organization, the company has an existing business continuity plan, so the first task may be to review the company plan. However, in your organization, as with many others, the business continuity plan (BCP) was written, put on the shelf, and rarely, if ever, referenced unless an emergency requires implementation of the plan.
Knowing this, assume the project is starting from scratch, so take some time to the business continuity planning process, if needed.
The next step will involve planning for the BCP, including establishing a need and defining a scope.

Step 2: Define the Scope

In the first step, you reviewed BCP methodologies. You are now ready to continue the first part of the planning process, which involves establishing the clear need for a BCP and defining an appropriate scope for the company outlined in the scenario.
The BCP should address aspects of business continuity, business recovery, contingency planning, disaster recovery, and related activities. Focus on those elements of a plan that are adequate and expedient, based on your risk assessment for the enterprise.
Note that governmental agencies are required to develop an enterprise continuity of operations program (COOP). A COOP is a detailed framework that documents how the agency will ensure that essential functions continue through an emergency situation until normal operations can resume. Outside of federal, state, and local government, enterprises call this framework a business continuity plan (BCP). Both COOPs and BCPs are created to help the organization recover from a disaster.
Consider what aspects of business continuity the BCP will address, such as business recovery, contingency planning, disaster recovery. Submit a brief description for feedback (one page or less) of the topic areas to be covered in the BCP. In the next step, you will use a risk management framework to put together a business impact analysis.

Step 3: Conduct a Business Impact Analysis

You’ve defined the scope for the BCP. Next, use an established  risk management framework to conduct a  business impact analysis (BIA).
The BIA provides written documentation to assist Maria and the other executives in understanding the business impact should an outage occur. Such impacts may be financial, in terms of lost revenues and additional expenses; operational, in terms of inability to deliver products and services; or even intangible, in terms of damage to the organization’s reputation and loss of public confidence.
This analysis should include all departments and facilities of the enterprise, list what it would take for each to resume adequate operations to meet the needs of the enterprise, and must include each phase of the recovery activities.
Remember, a key element to “business impact” is the financial aspect. What will it “cost” to take a particular action and, equally important, what could be the “cost” of inaction?
Just as in the Risk Assessment of Project 2, prioritization is a key to the successful recovery of operations. The sequence of activities is an essential element in your contingency planning. Refer to the Risk Assessment report delivered in Project 2 to get started.
Use the business impact analysis template business impact analysis template to upload the BIA here for feedback. In the next step, you will take a look at needed resources and who will be responsible for meeting those needs.

Step 4: Identify Key Resources and Stakeholders

After the BIA, the next step is to identify the key resources necessary and the stakeholders (executives and management) responsible for those resources. Remember, some resources necessary for a successful BCP might be external to the company. Be sure to include these aspects in the plan.
Now that all resources and stakeholders are identified and listed, answer these two questions: What resources are needed? Who are the players?
Expand the table for the BCP by including a column for accountability. With an assumed and reasonable job title, make a list of probable stakeholders responsible for execution of each recovery effort. Clearly identify their respective responsibilities during the reactivation of business processes.
Use the key resources and stakeholders template to indicate key resources and stakeholders involved in the recovery for feedback. In the next step, you will look at what can be done to prevent or reduce the impact of a significant event.

Step 5: Consider Preventive Controls 

After identifying the key stakeholders and resources, take a look at what can be put in place in advance to prevent or reduce risk. Based on previous research, plus what you have learned in the business impact analysis, what could be done to eliminate or minimize the impact of a major event? These are called preventive controls in the business process realm, or  risk countermeasure implementation in technology language.
Either way, the BCP should contain controls that can be classified as measures taken in advance of a catastrophe that are designed to reduce the risk of a negative impact. In the process of itemizing the controls, make sure they are properly aligned with organizational goals and the strategic direction of the enterprise.
The preventative controls selected should be aligned with the organizational goals and strategies. You will list these controls in the next step.

Step 6: List Preventive Controls

In this step, you will write a description of the preventative controls that you considered in the previous step. These controls could eliminate or minimize the impact of a major event.
Upload a description of the preventative controls to be used in the BCP here for feedback. In the next step, you will conduct research on recovery strategies

Step 7: Research Recovery Strategies

A BCP is uniquely different from a complete  disaster recovery plan (DRP), neither of which is a small undertaking. Both are required to return the enterprise to 100 percent functionality. The view for the enterprise is to have one BCP that contains multiple DRPs generally broken into department or business function categories.
The BCP is an overarching strategic approach to getting any business back “in” business with all mandatory functionality as soon as possible after disaster strikes. This is why the previous steps and projects have required these elements to be identified and prioritized. As such, the BCP is not as detail-oriented as the DRP and only contains DRP requirements that are absolutely mandatory to get the business back in action at the earliest opportunity.
The DRP is usually more technical, very specific, and very much a necessity in today’s highly connected technology infrastructure. The DRP includes descriptions of data backup strategies, recovery sites, and  post-incident requirements.
There will naturally be several aspects of the rebuild that might not go exactly as planned. This exercise will be to demonstrate an ability to follow multiple paths in a decision tree environment. The objective will be to create a drawing or descriptive list that follows both options to each decision of “yes” or “no” or “success” or “failure” to the reconstructive effort.
Specifically, for each step, conclude with an answer to the question “was the action successful?” If “yes,” what is the next step? Or, if “no,” what is the alternative step to take next? Continue this process until you have successfully returned to operational status, or determined you cannot reactivate under current circumstances. If the result of the plan is an inability to recover, the plan needs additional work to make it successful.
In the next step, you will document the selected recovery strategies.
Step 8: Document Recovery Strategies
Now that you have researched recovery strategies as they pertain to a BCP, list or map multiple strategic options to accomplish the recovery effort. Upload a description of the planned recovery strategies here for feedback. When that is complete, move to the next step, where you will consider how the contingency plan will be implemented and maintained.

Step 8: Document Recovery Strategies

Now that you have researched recovery strategies as they pertain to a BCP, list or map multiple strategic options to accomplish the recovery effort. Upload a description of the planned recovery strategies here for feedback. When that is complete, move to the next step, where you will consider how the contingency plan will be implemented and maintained.
Step 9: Develop Implementation and Maintenance Procedures for the Contingency Plan
You’ve documented recovery strategies and are well on the way to completing the BCP. But writing a BCP is not enough. You must also have a clear plan for implementing and maintaining the BCP, by answering some questions:

  • What resources are needed?
  • Under what conditions, such as fire, natural disasters, occurrence of a terrorist attack, etc., will the BCP will be activated?
  • How will stakeholders be made aware of the policies and procedures of the BCP?
  • How will employees be trained on the plan? How often will training occur? Will there be a general training for all employees or role-based trainings for people in specific functional areas?
  • How/where will the plan for stored for safekeeping and accessibility when needed?
  • When and how will BCP maintenance reviews be scheduled?
  • How will updates and changes to the plan be handled? How often will the plan be updated?

In this step, begin to develop a strategy for how the BCP will be implemented and maintained. This information will be used in Step 11, in which the contingency plan will be documented. Next, you will develop testing procedures for the plan.

Step 10: Develop Testing Procedures for the Contingency Plan

You’ve begun to outline your strategy for how to implement and maintain a BCP. It is also important to conduct  business continuity testing to evaluate the effectiveness of a preparedness program in practice. This will give insight into whether the parts of the preparedness program will work and can help identify aspects of the BCP that work on paper but are ineffective or impractical in reality.
Examples of BCP Tests


Types of Tests Description
Structured walk-through Step-by-step review of BCP plans with organization’s functional representatives
Checklist test Functional representatives review BCP plans and check off the points that are listed to ensure concerns and activities are addressed
Simulation A scenario-based practice execution of the BCP plans.
Parallel test Operational test conducted at the alternate site(s).
Full interruption test Full-scale operational test including shutdown of primary site and recovery of business operations at alternate site(s).

Source: Ouyang, A. (n.d.). CISSP common body of knowledge: Business continuity & disaster recovery planning domain. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.
Taking time to develop, document, and test consistent processes and controls will also help you prepare for the annual audit of your information security system under any of the commonly used  security and audit frameworks. Under these  security and audit methodologies, auditors will gather information about the organization’s security systems, confirm that appropriate security measures are in place, and provide a report on their findings.
Now develop your strategy for how the BCP will be tested. Your plan will be included in the contingency plan to be submitted in the next step.

Step 11: Document the Contingency Plan

You’ve developed testing procedures. However, an effective BCP must outline how the plan will be implemented and maintained and also how it will be tested to ensure its viability in a real emergency situation. Therefore, an integral part of the BCP should be a discussion of plans for implementation and maintenance and for business continuity testing.
Upload your contingency plan with a description of how the BCP will be tested and plans for ensuring the proper implementation and maintenance of the plan here for feedback.
Step 12: Consolidate and Update Your Work
You’ve documented testing and implementation procedures, and the plan is nearly complete. In the next step, you will submit your final BCP. Take some time now to update your work on the project to this point and make updates based on feedback received or new information uncovered.
In the final step, you’ll complete and submit the BCP.

Step 13: Write the Business Continuity Plan (BCP)

Use the results from the previous steps to create a five- to seven-page  business continuity plan. Explain the thought process of creating the specific plan steps and how each is related to business strategy considerations.
Use this Business Continuity Plan template to submit your final assignment.

Check Your Evaluation Criteria

Before you submit your assignment, review the competencies below, which your instructor will use to evaluate your work. A good practice would be to use each competency as a self-check to confirm you have incorporated all of them. To view the complete grading rubric, click My Tools, select Assignments from the drop-down menu, and then click the project title.
1.4: Tailor communications to the audience.
2.3: Evaluate the information in a logical and organized manner to determine its value and relevance to the problem.
9.1: Develop, implement, and maintain a business continuity plan, ensuring alignment with organizational goals and objectives.


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