Technical Recovery Testing
Developing and carrying out effective technical recovery tests and exercises is essential to ensure that the IT and comms recovery solutions will actually work in practice, all required pre-incident actions have been undertaken and that responsibilities are fully understood by all individuals contributing to the recovery efforts.
How to test?
The testing of some resources can be undertaken in isolation, although a more significant technical recovery test should be undertaken at least annually to prove the recovery of a number of key IT and comms resources. Tests should be designed to be sufficiently challenging to allow potential issues to be identified and resolved.
After implementing new recovery solutions it is usually appropriate to carry out a technical recovery test that does not directly involve the business. This allows the focus to be upon recovering services/data and ensures that there is not too much pressure from the business for everything to work first time. Once there is confidence in the ability to recover services, consideration should be given to carrying out integrated exercises that also involve the business.
It is important not to take any action during tests that could expose the business to an unexpected IT and comms service disruption. To achieve this it may be necessary to make some compromises during a test that can be validated through separate tests of specific capabilities. Similarly, it should not be essential to recover all services during a single test – the focus should be upon the highest priority services for the business and those where there may be some doubts on whether recovery can be achieved.
Why ask Teed to provide independent input?
Teed consultants will help facilitate discussions to allow an appropriate test schedule to be designed. It is essential that appropriate objectives are defined at the outset as this will help determine how the test/s should be undertaken, the resources that should be focused upon, the participants and resources required, the scenario/s that should be considered and other relevant information. An Exercise or Test Manual will then be produced detailing all necessary information to ensure effective preparation for test/s.
Teed consultants tend to take an observation role during technical recovery tests, helping set the scene at the beginning, noting learning points, actions taken and recovery times achieved during the course of the test and then facilitating the exercise review discussions. An independent report will be produced that provides evidence of process adopted and recovery achieved, as well as noting actions that should be considered to ensure an efficient service recovery is achievable in future.