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Contingency Plan

Definition - What does Contingency Plan mean?

A contingency plan is an alternative Information Systems Security (INFOSEC) plan that is implemented when normal business operations are interrupted by emergency, failover or disaster. Contingency plans ensure continuous on-site and off-site business operations, customer satisfaction and on-time product and service delivery.

A contingency plan is also known as a disaster recovery plan (DRP).

Techopedia explains Contingency Plan

In the early days of IT, computer system threats were averted - rather than prevented - via rudimentary methods. For example, a contingency plan used in the case of fire involved powering down the mainframe and other computers prior to restarting the sprinkler system, disassembling components and drying circuit boards- sometimes with a hair dryer in the parking lot.

Modern IT and information systems (IS) are developed and maintained as follows:

  • A policy statement is developed to facilitate interdepartmental cooperation.
  • A Business Impact Analysis (BIA) is conducted to analyze business tasks results.
  • Controls are noted and recorded for the preemption of IS disruptions.
  • Recovery methods are developed for implementation, in the event of IS disruption.
  • The contingency plan is tested, and personnel receive plan implementation training.
  • The contingency plan is continuously updated for effectiveness.
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