DRJ Fall 2019

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Fall Journal

Volume 32, Issue 3

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UPDATED: March 12, 2018

This glossary is an initiative of the Editorial Advisory Board of DRJ. This committee of industry experts solicits the input of business continuity professionals on an ongoing basis and incorporates the feedback into its consideration of industry terms and definitions.

The Glossary Committee is always looking for input/feedback on the current glossary.  If you have any questions or input, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..





The implementation of business continuity procedures, activities and plans in response to a business continuity emergency, event, incident and/or crisis; the execution of the recovery plan.




A process or set of processes undertaken by an organization (or on its behalf) that produces or supports one or more products and services.




Notification that a potential disruption is imminent or has occurred.



Alternate Routing

The routing of information via an alternate cable or other medium (i.e. using different networks should the normal network be rendered unavailable).



Alternate Site

A site held in readiness for use during/following an invocation of business or disaster recovery plans to continue urgent and important activities of an organization.



Alternate Work Area

Recovery environment complete with necessary infrastructure (e.g., desk, telephone, workstation, and associated hardware and equipment, communications).




The Technical Practice within the BCM Lifecycle that reviews and assesses an organization in terms of what its objectives are, how it functions and the constraints of the environment in which it operates.



Annual Loss Exposure/Expectancy (ALE)

A risk management method of calculating loss based on a value and level of frequency.



Annual Program Review (APR)

A structured yearly opportunity for top management to review the status of important components of the business continuity management program, with the objectives of approving future initiatives, allocating resources and confirming program scope.



Application Recovery

The component of Disaster Recovery that deals specifically with the restoration of business system software and data after the processing platform has been restored or replaced.



Assembly Area

The designated area at which employees, visitors, and contractors assemble if evacuated from their building/site.




Anything that an organization signifies as important or valuable.



Associate Member Business Continuity Institute (AMBCI)

This certified membership grade is designed for professionals that have at least one year’s experience in business continuity and who have taken and passed the Certificate of the BCI (CBCI) Examination. 



Associate Business Continuity Professional (ABCP)

The ABCP level is designed for individuals with less than two years of industry experience, but who have minimum knowledge in continuity management, and have passed the DRII qualifying exam.



Associate Fellow of the Business Continuity Institute (AFBCI)

This certified membership grade is designed for professionals that have significant experience in business continuity and have held the MBCI membership grade for more than three years.



Associate Healthcare Provider Continuity Professional (AHPCP)

The AHPCP level is designed for individuals with less than two years of industry experience, but who have minimum knowledge in continuity management, and have passed the Healthcare qualifying exam.



Associate Public Sector Continuity Professional (APSCP)

The APSCP level is designed for individuals with less than two years of industry experience, but who have minimum knowledge in continuity management, and have passed the Public Sector qualifying exam.



Associate Risk Management Professional (ARMP)

The ARMP level is designed for individuals with less than two years of Risk Management experience, completed the DRII Risk Management class, and have passed the Risk Examination.




Systematic, independent and documented process for obtaining audit evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which the audit criteria are fulfilled.    




A person with competence to conduct an audit.




To create understanding of basic BC issues and limitations. This will enable staff to recognise threats and respond accordingly.




a) The amount of work that accumulates when a system or process is unavailable for a long period of time. This work needs to be processed once the system or process becomes available and may take a considerable amount of time to process.

b) A situation whereby a backlog of work requires more time to action than is available through normal working patterns. In extreme circumstances, the backlog may become so large that the backlog cannot be cleared.



Backup (Data)

A process by which data (electronic or paper-based) and programs are copied in some form so as to be available and used if the original data from which it originated are lost, destroyed or corrupted.



Backup Generator

An independent source of power, usually fueled by diesel or natural gas.



Battle Box

A container - often literally a box or brief case - in which data and information are stored so as to be immediately available post incident.



Black Swan

A term popular in BCM, based upon a book of the same name in which the author defines a Black Swan as an event that has not been predicted by normal scientific or probability methods.



Building Denial

A situation in which premises cannot, or are not allowed to be, accessed.



Business Continuity

The strategic and tactical capability of the organization to plan for and respond to incidents and business disruptions in order to continue business operations at an acceptable predefined level.

The capability of the organization to continue delivery of products or services at acceptable predefined levels following a disruptive incident.



Business Continuity Coordinator

A role within the BCM program that coordinates planning and implementation for overall recovery of an organization or unit(s).



Business Continuity Management (BCM)

Holistic management process that identifies potential threats to an organization and the impacts to business operations those threats, if realized, might cause, and which provides a framework for building organizational resilience with the capability of an effective response that safeguards the interests of its key stakeholders, reputation, brand and value-creating activities.



Business Continuity Management (BCM) Lifecycle

The stages of activity that an organization moves through and repeats with the overall aim of improving organizational resilience.



Business Continuity (BC) Policy

The key document that sets out the scope and governance of the BCM programme and reflects the reasons why it is being implemented.



Business Continuity (BC) Professional

An experienced individual with responsibilities for practicing and/or managing business continuity.



Business Continuity Management Program(me)

Ongoing management and governance process supported by Top Management and appropriately resourced to implement and maintain business continuity management.



Business Continuity Management System (BCMS)

Part of the overall management system that establishes, implements, operates, monitors, reviews, maintains and improves business continuity.



Business Continuity Management Team

A group of individuals functionally responsible for directing the development and execution of the business continuity plan, as well as responsible for declaring a disaster and providing direction during the recovery process, both pre-disaster and post-disaster.



Business Continuity Maturity Model (BCMM)

A tool to measure the level and degree to which BCM activities have become standard and assured business practices within an organization.



Business Continuity Plan (BCP)

Documented procedures that guide organizations to respond, recover, resume and restore to a pre-defined level of operation following disruption.



Business Continuity Plan Administrator

The designated individual responsible for plan documentation, maintenance, and distribution.



Business Continuity Planning (BCP)

The process of developing prior arrangements and procedures that enable an organization to respond to an event in such a manner that critical business functions can continue within planned levels of disruption. 



Business Continuity Programme Board

A management group to give advice, guidance and management authorization to the BC Manager/coordinator/professional.



Business Continuity Steering Committee

A committee of decision makers, (e.g., Business leaders, technology experts and continuity professionals) tasked with making strategic policy and continuity planning decisions for the organization, and for providing the resources to accomplish all business continuity program goals.



Business Continuity Strategy

An approach selected by an organization to ensure its recovery and continuity in the face of a disaster or other business disruption



Business Continuity Team (BCT)

Designated individuals responsible for developing, execution, rehearsals, and maintenance of the business continuity plan.



Business Function

A description of work that is performed to accomplish the specific business requirements of the organization. Examples of business function include delivering raw materials, paying bills, receiving cash and inventory control.



Business Impact Analysis (BIA)

Process of analyzing activities and the effect that a business disruption might have on 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 an organization’s location.



Business Interruption Costs

The impact to the business caused by different types of outages, normally measured by revenue lost.



Business Interruption Insurance (BII)

Insurance coverage for disaster related expenses that may be incurred until operations are fully recovered after a disaster.



Business Recovery

Steps taken to resume the business within an acceptable timeframe following a disruption.



Business Recovery Coordinator

An individual or group designated to coordinate or control designated recovery processes or testing.



Business Recovery Team

A group responsible for:  relocation and recovery of business unit operations at an alternate site following a business disruption; and subsequent resumption and restoration of those operations at an appropriate site.



Business Recovery Timeline

The approved sequence of activities, required to achieve stable operations following a business interruption. This timeline may range from minutes to weeks, depending upon the recovery requirements and methodology.



 Business Risk

Risk that internal and external factors, such as inability to provide a service or product, or a fall in demand for an organization’s products or services will result in an unexpected loss.



Business Unit

A unit, department or division within an organization.



Business Unit BC Coordinator

A staff member appointed by a business unit to serve as the liaison person responsible for all BCM direction and activities within the unit.



Business Unit Recovery

A component of Business Continuity which deals specifically with the recovery of a key function or department in the event of a disaster.



Call Tree

A document that graphically depicts the calling responsibilities and the calling order used to contact management, employees, customers, vendors, and other key contacts in the event of an emergency, disaster, or severe outage situation.



Call Tree Test

A test designed to validate the currency of contact lists and the processes by which they are maintained.




A set of buildings which is are geographically grouped together and might form one inter-connected set of Business Continuity Plans.




An umbrella term which generically encompasses business processes or activities, and/or technology systems or applications.



Capability Assessment for Readiness (CAR)

This is the process of self-assessment under the US Standard NFPA 1600. 



Capability Resilience Level (CRL)

The relative degree to which a capability can be impacted by a single disaster event.



Cascade System

A system whereby one person or organization calls out/contacts others who in turn initiate further call-outs/contacts as necessary.



Casualty Bureau

The central police controlled contact and information point for all records and data relating to casualties and fatalities.




Occurs when a disaster's effects are widespread and its impact is so great that it overwhelms a community's ability to function.



Certificate of the Business Continuity Institute (CBCI)

This entry level certified membership grade is for those professionals that have passed the Certificate of the BCI (CBCI) Examination. 



Certified Business Continuity Auditor (CBCA)

The CBCA level is designed for the specialist who can verify the effectiveness of an organization's business continuity program against the landscape of standards, guidelines and industry regulations. The professional should demonstrate a minimum of 2 years of knowledge and experience in the fields of business continuity, emergency management and/or auditing and pass the DRII administered Audit Examination.



Certified Business Continuity Lead Auditor (CBCLA)

The CBCLA level is designed for audit team leaders. The professional should demonstrate 5 years of experience in the fields of emergency management, enterprise risk management, leadership, business continuity and/or auditing and pass the DRII administered Audit Examination.



Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP)

Certified Business Continuity Professional. The CBCP certification is for individuals with a minimum of two years of Enterprise Continuity Mgmt experience in 5 of the 10 Professional Practice areas, have passed the qualifying exam and have had their DRII - Certification Application approved.



Certified Functional Continuity Professional (CFCP)

The CFCP level of certification is for individuals who have demonstrated knowledge and working experience in the business continuity/disaster recovery industry. The level requires more than two years of experience. Applicants must be able to demonstrate specific and practical experience in three of the subject matter areas of the Professional Practices.



Certified Business Continuity Vendor (CBCV)

The CBCV certification is for individuals with some knowledge in business continuity planning, but who are non-practitioners within an organization. CBCVs provide services to the industry and have acquired the experience for certification. An active ABCP, CFCP, CBCP, or MBCP certification is required.



Certified Healthcare Provider Continuity Professional (CHPCP)

The CHPCP level is designed for the professional demonstrating 2 years of experience in the fields of emergency management, business continuity, management and clinical care principles/healthcare and passing the DRII administered Healthcare Examination. The individual should also demonstrate experience in 5 of the Professional Practices areas.



Certified Public Sector Continuity Professional (CPSCP)

The CPSCP level is designed for the professional demonstrating 2 years of experience in the fields of public sector recovery planning, emergency management, business continuity and passing the DRII administered Public Sector Examination. The individual should also demonstrate experience in 5 of the Professional Practices areas.



Certified Risk Management Professional (CRMP)

The CRMP level is designed for the professional demonstrating 2 years of experience specializing in the field of risk management. The individual must pass the DRII administered Risk Management Examination and demonstrate experience in 5 of the Professional Practices areas.




a) Tool to remind and /or validate that tasks have been completed and resources are available, to report on the status of recovery.

b) A list of items (e.g., names or tasks) to be checked or consulted.



Checklist Exercise

A method used to exercise a completed disaster recovery plan. This type of exercise is used to determine if the information in the plan (e.g., phone numbers, manuals, equipment) is accurate and current.



Civil Emergency

Event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare in a place, environment or a place or the security of that place.



Cold Site

An environmentally equipped facility that provides only the physical space for recovery operations while the organization using the space provides its own office equipment, hardware and software systems and any other required resources to establish and continue operations.  

A site (data centre/work area) equipped with appropriate environmental conditioning, electrical connectivity, communications access, configurable space and access to accommodate the installation and operation of equipment by key employees required to resume business operations.



Command Center/Centre

The (facility) location, local to the event but outside the immediate affected area, where tactical response, recovery and restoration activities are managed.



Common Recognized Information Picture (CRIP)

A statement of shared situational awareness and understanding, which is briefed to crisis decision-makers and used as the accepted basis for auditable and defensible decisions.



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.




Demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and skills to achieve intended results




Fulfilment of a requirement in a management systems context.




Fulfilment of a requirement of a management system.




Evaluated outcome of an event or a particular set of circumstances.



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.



Contact List

A list of key people to be notified at the time of disruption or as needed.

The contact data used by Call Tree and Cascade processes and systems.



Contingency Fund

A budget for meeting and managing operating expense at the time of a business continuity invocation. 



Contingency Plan

An event specific preparation that is executed to protect an organization from certain and specific identified risks and/or threats.

A plan to deal with specific set of adverse circumstances.



Contingency Planning

Process of developing advanced arrangements and procedures that enable an organization to respond to an undesired event that negatively impacts the organization.



Continual Improvement

Recurring activity to enhance performance



Continuance of Government (COG)

This is a US concept for how government entities plan to continue the key elements of public governance in emergency situations.



Continuity of Operations  (COOP)

Management policy and procedures used to guide an enterprise response to a major loss of enterprise capabilities or damage to its' facilities.  It defines the activities of individual departments and agencies and their subcomponents to ensure their essential functions are performed. 



Continuity Of Operations Plan (COOP)

Management policy and procedures used to guide an enterprise response to a major loss of enterprise capabilities or damage to its' facilities.  It defines the activities of individual departments and agencies and their subcomponents to ensure their essential functions are performed. 

Continuance Of Operations Planning



Continuous Availability

A system or application that supports operations which continue with little to no noticeable impact to the user.



Continuous Operations

The ability of an organization to perform its processes without interruption.




The whole system of controls, financial and otherwise, established by a Board and management in order to carry on an organization’s business in an effective and efficient manner, in line with the organization’s established objectives and goals. 



Control Framework

A model or recognised system of control categories that covers all internal controls expected within an organization.



Control Review

Involves selecting a control and establishing whether it has been working effectively and as described and expected during the period under review.





The boundary line of a zone that is determined, reinforced by legislative power, and exclusively controlled by the emergency services from which all unauthorised persons are excluded for a period of time determined by the emergency services.



Corporate Governance

The system/process by which top management of an organization are required to carry out and discharge their legal, moral and regulatory accountabilities and responsibilities.



Corporate Risk

A category of risk management that looks at ensuring an organization meets its corporate governance responsibilities takes appropriate actions and identifies and manages emerging risks.



Corrective Action

Action to eliminate the cause of a non-conformity and to prevent recurrence.




Control of Substances Hazardous to Health regulations 2002. A European Union directive.



Cost Benefit Analysis

A process (after a BIA and risk assessment) that facilitates the financial evaluation of different strategic BCM options and balances the cost of each option against the perceived savings.

Financial technique for measuring the cost of implementing a particular solution and compares that with the benefit delivered by that solution.




The provision of assistance to staff, customers and others who have suffered mental or physical injury in a disaster or incident.



Creeping Disaster

A slow degradation of service or deterioration in quality or performance over a period of time which ultimately leads to a business interruption of disaster proportions.




Abnormal and unstable situation that threatens the organization’s strategic objectives, reputation or viability.



Crisis Management

The overall direction of an organization’s response to a disruptive event, in an effective, timely manner, with the goal of avoiding or minimizing damage to the organization’s profitability, reputation, and ability to operate.

Development and application of the organizational capability to deal with a crisis.



Crisis Management Team (CMT)

A team consisting of key leaders (e.g., media representative, legal counsel, facilities manager, disaster recovery coordinator), and the appropriate business owners of critical functions who are responsible for recovery operations during a crisis.




A qualitative description used to emphasize the importance of a resource, process or function that must be available and operational either constantly or at the earliest possible time after an incident, emergency or disaster has occurred.



Critical Activities

Those activities which have to be performed to deliver the key products and services and which enable an organization to meet the most important and time-sensitive objectives.



Critical Business Functions (CBF)

The critical operational and/or business support functions that could not be interrupted or unavailable for more than a mandated or predetermined timeframe without significantly jeopardizing the organization.

Vital functions without which an organization will either not survive or will lose the capability to effectively achieve its critical objectives.



Critical Component Failure Analysis

A review of the components involved in delivery of an enterprise wide process and an assessment of the relationship dependencies and impact of failure of one component.



Critical Data Point

See recovery point objective

The point in time to which data must be restored and synchronized to achieve a Maximum Acceptable Outage.



Critical Infrastructure

Physical assets whose incapacity or destruction would have a debilitating impact on the economic or physical security of an entity (e.g., organization, community, nation).



Critical Service

Mission critical office based computer applications.



Critical Success Factors (CSF)

A management technique developed in 1970’s but still popular, in which an organization identifies a limited number of activities it has to get correct to achieve its primary missions.



Critical Supplier


Looking back in the logistical process (upstream) of a product or service, any supplier that could cause a disruption or outage to the organization’s critical functions as documented in the BIA.




Sets the tone for an organization, influencing the consciousness of its people.  Cultural factors include the integrity, ethical values and competence of the entity’s people: management’s philosophy and operating style; the way management assigns authority and responsibility, and organises and develops its people; and the attention and direction provided by a Board.



Customer Relationship Management System (CRM)

A computer application or integrated set of applications which brings together all aspects of customer communications and management.



Damage Assessment

An appraisal of the effects of the disaster or incident on human, physical, economic and operational capabilities.



Data Backup Strategies

Data backup strategies will determine the technologies, media and offsite storage of the backups necessary to meet an organization’s data recovery and restoration objectives.



Data Backups

The copying of production files to media that can be stored both on and/or offsite and can be used to restore corrupted or lost data or to recover entire systems and databases in the event of a disaster.



Data Center Recovery

The component of disaster recovery which deals with the restoration of data center services and computer processing capabilities at an alternate location and the migration back to the production site.



Data Mirroring

The act of copying data from one location to a storage device at another location in or near real time.



Data Protection

Statutory requirements to manage personal data in a manner that does not threaten or disadvantage the person to whom it refers.



Data Recovery

The restoration of computer files from backup media to restore programs and production data to the state that existed at the time of the last safe backup.



Database Replication

The partial or full duplication of data from a source database to one or more destination databases.




This certified membership grade is a standalone credential. It is an academic qualification in Business Continuity and a route to higher membership grades of the BCI depending on years of experience.




A formal announcement by pre-authorized personnel that a disaster or severe outage is predicted or has occurred and that triggers pre-arranged response and mitigating actions.



Declaration Fee

A fee charged by a commercial hot site vendor for a customer invoked disaster declaration



Decision Point

The latest moment at which the decision to invoke emergency procedures has to be taken to ensure the continued viability of the organization.



Dedicated Work Area

Work space provided for sole use by a single organization, configured ready for use.



Denial of Access

Loss of access to any asset (premises, hardware, systems) when no physical damage has been done to the asset.



Denial of Physical Access

The inability of an organization to access and/or occupy its normal physical, working environment.




The reliance or interaction, directly or indirectly, of one activity, or process, or component thereof, upon another.




The Technical Practice within the BCM Lifecycle of the BCI Good Practice Guidelines that identifies and selects appropriate strategies to determine how continuity and recovery from disruption will be achieved.



Desk Check

One method of validating a specific component of a plan.



Desktop Exercise

Technique for rehearsing teams in which participants review and discuss the actions they would take according to their plans, but do not perform any of these actions.



Differential Backup

Backup process that copies only such items that have been changed since the last full backup.




Situation where widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses have occurred which exceeded the ability of the affected organization, community or society to respond and recover using its own resources. 



Disaster Declaration

The staff should be familiar with the list of assessment criteria of an incident versus disaster situation established by the BCM or DR Steering Committee and the notification procedure when a disaster occurs.



Disaster Management

Strategies for prevention, preparedness and response to disasters and the recovery of essential post-disaster services.



Disaster Recovery (DR)

The process, policies and procedures related to preparing for recovery or continuation of technology infrastructure, systems and applications which are vital to an organization after a disaster or outage.

The strategies and plans for recovering and restoring the organizations technological infra-structure and capabilities after a serious interruption.



Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)

The management approved document that defines the resources, actions, tasks and data required to manage the technology recovery effort.



Disaster Recovery Planning

The process of developing and maintaining recovery strategies for information technology (IT) systems, applications and data.  This includes networks, servers, desktops, laptops, wireless devices, data and connectivity.




An event that interrupts normal business, functions, operations, or processes, whether anticipated (e.g., hurricane, political unrest) or unanticipated (e.g., a blackout, terror attack, technology failure, or earthquake).



Diverse Routing

The routing of information through split or duplicated cable facilities.




A continuity and recovery strategy requiring the live undertaking of activities at two or more geographically dispersed locations.




A period in time when something is not in operation.



Drop Ship

A strategy for:

a) Delivering equipment, supplies, and materials at the time of a business continuity event or exercise.

b) Providing replacement hardware within a specified time period via prearranged contractual arrangements with an equipment supplier at the time of a business continuity event.



Duty of Care

A corporate governance requirement to take care of the assets of the organization – a duty incumbent on officers of an enterprise.




Extent to which planned activities are realized and planned results achieved.




Relationship between the result achieved and the resources used.



Electronic Vaulting

The transfer of data by electronic means to a backup site, as opposed to the physical shipment of backup tapes or disks.

The transfer of data to an offsite storage facility using a communications link.



Embedding Business Continuity

The Management Practice within the BCM Lifecycle that continually seeks to integrate Business Continuity into day-to-day activities and organizational culture.




Any incident, whether natural, technological, or human-caused, that requires responsive action to protect life or property.



Emergency Control Center (ECC)

The Command Centre used by the Crisis Management Team during the first phase of an event.



Emergency Coordinator

The person designated to plan, exercise, and implement the activities of sheltering in place or the evacuation of occupants of a site with the first responders and emergency services agencies.



Emergency Data Services

Remote capture and storage of electronic data, such as journaling, electronic vaulting and database shadowing/ mirroring.



Emergency Marshal

A person responsible for ensuring that all employees, visitors and contractors evacuate a site/building and report to the emergency coordinator when their designated floor/area is clear.



Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

The physical location at which the coordination of information and resources to support incident management (on-scene operations) activities normally takes place.

The facility used by the Incident or Crisis Management Team after the first phase of a plan invocation.  An organization must have a primary and secondary location for an EOC in the event of one being unavailable. It may also serve as a reporting point for deliveries, services, press and all external contacts.



 Emergency Planning

Development and maintenance of agreed procedures to prevent, reduce, control, mitigate and take other actions in the event of a civil emergency.



Emergency Preparedness

The capability that enables an organization or community to respond to an emergency in a coordinated, timely, and effective manner to prevent the loss of life and minimize injury and property damage.



Emergency Procedures

A documented list of activities to commence immediately to prevent the loss of life and minimize injury and property damage.



Emergency Response

Actions taken in response to a disaster warning or alert to minimize or contain the eventual negative effects, and those taken to save and preserve lives and provide basic services in the immediate aftermath of a disaster impact, for as long as an emergency situation prevails.



Emergency Response Plan

A documented plan usually addressing the immediate reaction and response to an emergency situation



Emergency Response Procedures

The initial response to any event and is focused upon protecting human life and the organization’s assets.



Emergency Response Team (ERT)

Qualified and authorized personnel who have been trained to provide immediate assistance.



Enterprise Risk Management

ERM includes the methods and processes used by organizations to manage risks and seize opportunities related to the achievement of their objectives.



Enterprise-Wide Planning

The overarching master plan covering all aspects of business continuity within the entire organization.




The process by which event-related information is communicated upwards through an organization's established chain of command.

The process by which an incident is communicated upwards through an organization’s business continuity and/or incident and crisis management reporting process.



Essential Services

Infrastructure services without which a building or area would be considered disabled and unable to provide normal operating services; typically includes utilities (water, gas, electricity, telecommunications), and may also include standby power systems or environmental control systems.



Estimated Maximum Loss

Insurance policies are written based upon the EML – the maximum amount that can be claimed against an insured peril.




The movement of employees, visitors and contractors from a site and/or building to a safe place (assembly area) in a controlled and monitored manner at time of an event.




Occurrence or change of a particular set of circumstances.



Exclusion Zone

Boundary line of an area or zone that is controlled by emergency services personnel, and from which all unauthorized persons are excluded for a period of time determined by emergency services leadership.



Executive Management

A person or group of people who directs and controls an organization at the highest level. In larger organizations this might be called the Board, Directors, Executives or Senior Managers. In a small organization, the owner or sole proprietor.




A people focused activity designed to execute business continuity plans and evaluate the individual and/or organization performance against approved standards or objectives.

Process to train for, assess, practice, and improve performance in an organization.



Exercise Auditor

An appointed role that is assigned to assess whether the exercise aims / objectives are being met and to measure whether activities are occurring at the right time and involve the correct people to facilitate their achievement. The exercise auditor is not responsible for the mechanics of the exercise. This independent role is crucial in the subsequent debriefing.



Exercise Controller (Owner)

See Exercise Owner



Exercise Coordinator

The person responsible for the mechanics of running the exercise.

Person responsible for planning, execution, and evaluation activities of an exercise.



Exercise Observer

An exercise observer has no active role within the exercise but is present for awareness and training purposes.



Exercise Owner

An appointed role that has total management oversight and control of the exercise and has the authority to alter the exercise plan.



Exercise Plan

A plan designed to periodically evaluate tasks, teams, and procedures that are documented in business continuity plans to ensure the plan’s viability.



Exercise Program(me)

Series of exercise events designed to meet an overall objective or goal.



Exercise Script

A set of detailed instructions identifying information necessary to implement a predefined business continuity event scenario for evaluation purposes.



Expense Log

Record of expenditure enabling loss assessment and adjustment following an incident or crisis.




The potential susceptibility to loss; the vulnerability to a particular risk.



Extra Expense

The extra cost necessary to implement a recovery strategy and/or mitigate a loss.




Plant, machinery, equipment, property, buildings, vehicles, information systems, transportation facilities, and other items of infrastructure or plant and related systems that have a distinct and quantifiable function or service.




Another (but less popular) term for alternative or alternate.  A fallback facility is another site/building that can be used when the original site/building is unusable or unavailable.



Fellow of the Business Continuity Institute (FBCI)

This prestigious certified membership grade is the highest obtainable, and is designed for professionals with over 10 years of experience and who have made significant contributions to the BCI and the industry.




Federal Emergency Management Agency – the US agency responsible for responding to wide area disasters and emergencies.



Financial Impact

Actual or potential losses incurred.



First Responder

A member of an emergency service who is first on the scene at a disruptive incident.




Meeting an organization's requirements.



Floor Warden

Person responsible for ensuring that all employees, visitors and contractors evacuate a floor within a specific site.



Formal Debrief

A discussion held within weeks of the exercise, addressing the wider organizational issues that identifies learning opportunities.



Full Rehearsal

An exercise that simulates a Business Continuity event where the organization or some of its component parts are suspended until the exercise is completed.



Full Test

A simulation exercise involving a Business Continuity scenario where the organization or some of its component parts are suspended until the exercise is completed.




A positive consequence of an event or incident.



Gap Analysis

A survey whose aim is to identify the differences between BCM/Crisis Management requirements (what the business says it needs at time of an incident) and what is in place and/or currently available



Good Practice Guidelines

A guide to global good practice in Business Continuity. The body of knowledge produced by the Business Continuity Institute.



Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC)

GRC is the umbrella term covering an organization's approach across these three areas.



Grab List

A list of items that individuals should take with them prior to evacuating a building.




The process of making something more secure, resistant to attack, or less vulnerable.




A source of potential harm.



Hazard Assessment

Process of determining, for specific areas, the likelihood of the occurrence of potentially-damaging phenomenon of given magnitudes within a specified period of time



Health and Safety

The process by which the wellbeing of all employees, contractors, visitors and the public is safeguarded.




Systems or applications requiring a very high level of reliability and availability.



High-Risk Areas

Areas identified during the risk assessment that are highly susceptible to a disaster situation or might be the cause of a significant disaster.



Horizon Scanning

Systematic examination of potential threats, opportunities and future developments, which might have the potential to create new risks or change the character of risks already identified.



Hot Debrief

A discussion about the issues and concerns held immediately following an exercise.



Hot site

A facility equipped with full technical requirements including IT, telecoms and infrastructure, and which can be used to provide rapid resumption of operations.




The process of maintaining procedures, systems, people and plans in a state of readiness.



Human Continuity

The ability of an organization to provide support for its associates and their families before, during, and after a business continuity event to ensure a viable workforce.



Human Threats

Possible disruptions in operations resulting from human actions as identified during the risk assessment.



ICT Continuity

Capability of the organization to plan for and respond to incidents and disruptions in order to continue lCT (Information and Communications Technology) services at an acceptable level.



ICT Disaster Recovery

The ability of the ICT elements of an organization to support its most urgent business functions to acceptable levels within a pre-determined period of time following a disruption.



ICT Disaster Recovery Plan

A clearly defined and documented plan which recovers ICT capabilities when a disruption occurs.




(1) The effect, acceptable or unacceptable, of an event on an organization.

(2) Results associated with a disaster or emergency situation over time on an organization.

Evaluated consequence of a particular outcome.



Impact Analysis

The process of analyzing all operational activities and the effect that an operational impact might have upon them.




The Technical Practice within the Business Continuity Management (BCM) Lifecycle that executes the agreed strategies through the process of developing the Business Continuity Plan.




An event which is not part of standard business operations which may impact or interrupt services and, in some cases, may lead to disaster.

Situation that might be, or could lead to, a disruption, loss, emergency or crisis.



Incident Command System (ICS)

A standardized on-scene emergency management construct specifically designed to provide for the adoption of an integrated organizational structure that reflects the complexity and demands of single or multiple incidents, without being hindered by jurisdictional boundaries.

The combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures and communications operating within a common organizational structure, designed to aid in the management of resources during incidents.



Incident Management

The process by which an organization responds to and controls an incident using emergency response procedures or plans.



Incident Management Plan (IMP)

A clearly defined and documented plan of action for use at the time of an incident, typically covering the key personnel, resources, services and actions needed to implement the incident management process.



Incident Management Team  (IMT)

A Group of individuals responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive plan for responding to a disruptive incident. The team consists of a core group of decision-makers trained in incident management and prepared to respond to any situation.



Incident Manager

Commands the local emergency operations center (EOC) reporting up to senior management on the recovery progress. Has the authority to invoke the recovery plan.



Incident Response

The response of an organization to a disaster or other significant event that may significantly impact the organization, its people, or its ability to function productively.



Increased Cost of Working  

The additional expenditure incurred following an incident in order to minimize the loss of gross profit.



Indemnity Period

The period during which insurers will pay for losses following an incident covered as an insured peril.



Information Security

The securing or safeguarding of all sensitive information, electronic or otherwise, which is owned by an organization.



Information Technology Disaster Recovery (ITDR)

An integral part of the organization’s BCM plan by which it intends to recover and restore its ICT capabilities after an Incident.




The term infrastructure refers to the entire ‘system of facilities, equipment, and services needed for the operation of the organization.’




A contract to finance the cost of risk. Should a named risk event (loss) occur, the insurance contract will pay the holder the contractual amount.



Integrated Capability Analysis (ICA)

An analytical methodology which considers concurrent and contextual review of multiple metrics, to provide a more complete picture regarding a particular plan, artifact, or aspect of the business continuity program.



Integrated Exercise

An exercise conducted on multiple interrelated components of a Business Continuity Plan, typically under simulated operating conditions. Examples of interrelated components may include interdependent departments or interfaced systems.



Integrated Test

See integrated exercise



Integrated Testing

Examination of a plan that addresses multiple plan components, in conjunction with each other, typically under simulated operating conditions.

See integrated exercise




The safeguarding of accuracy and completeness of assets, particularly data records.



Interested Party

A person or organization that can affect, be affected by, or perceive themselves to be affected by a decision or activity.



Interim Site

A temporary location used to continue performing business functions after vacating a recovery site and before the original or new home site can be occupied.



Internal Audit

Audit conducted by, or on behalf of, the organization itself for management review and other internal purposes, and which might form the basis for an organization’s self-declaration of conformity.



Internal Control

All the means, tangible and intangible that can be employed or used to ensure that established objectives are met.



Internal Hot site

A fully equipped alternate processing site owned and operated by the organization.



Intrusion Detection System (IDS)

Automated system that alerts network operators to a penetration or other contravention of a security policy.



Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)

Automated system that establishes barriers to potential network penetrations or other contraventions of security policies.




The act of declaring  that an organization’s business continuity arrangements  need to be put into effect in order to continue to deliver key products and services.




Remote capture and storage of electronic data, at a transaction level so that it can be applied to an earlier overall system backup.



Just-in-Time (JIT)

System whereby dependencies for critical business processes are provided exactly when required, without requiring intermediate inventory.



Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

Benchmark measurement based on objectives, targets and defined industry standards.



Key Tasks

Priority procedures and actions in a Business Continuity Plan that must be executed within the first few minutes/hours of the plan invocation.



Lead Time

The time it takes for a supplier - either equipment or a service - to make that equipment or service available. 




Actions within a Business Continuity Plan that must be prioritised as a result of legal, statutory or regulatory requirements.




Chance of something happening, whether defined, measured or estimated objectively or subjectively. It can use general descriptors (such as rare, unlikely, likely, almost certain), frequencies or mathematical probabilities. It can be expressed qualitatively or quantitatively.



Line Re-routing

A facility provided by telephone service providers (Telco’s) to re-route dedicated lines to backup sites or other defined locations.



Logistics Team

A team comprised of various members representing departments associated with supply acquisition and material transportation, responsible for ensuring the most effective acquisition and mobilization of hardware, supplies, and support materials. This team is also responsible for transporting and supporting staff.




Unrecoverable resources that are redirected or removed as a result of a Business Continuity event.



Loss Adjuster

Designated position activated at the time of a Business Continuity event to assist in managing the financial implications of the event and should be involved as part of the management team where possible.

Invaluable at the time of a Business Continuity incident to assist in managing the financial implications of the incident and should be involved as part of the management team where possible.



Loss Reduction

The technique of instituting mechanisms to lessen the exposure to a particular risk. Loss reduction involves planning for, and reacting to, an event to limit its impact.



Loss Transaction Recovery

Recovery of data (paper within the work area and/or system entries) destroyed or lost at the time of the disaster or interruption.



Major Incident

UK Emergency Services definition. Any emergency that requires the implementation of special arrangements by one or more of the Emergency Services, National Health Service or a Local Authority



Management Practices

Policy and Programme Management and Embedding Business Continuity stages of the BCM Lifecycle.



Management System

Set of interrelated or interacting elements of an organization to establish policies and objectives, and processes to achieve those objectives. 



Manual Procedures

An alternative method of working following a loss of IT systems.



Marshalling Area

A safe area where resources and personnel not immediately required can be directed to standby to await further instruction.



Maximum Acceptable Outage (MAO)

Time it would take for adverse impacts, which might arise as a result of not providing a product/service or performing an activity, to become unacceptable.



Maximum Tolerable Downtime (MTD)




Maximum Tolerable Outage (MTO)

Basically the same as MAO or MTD – most often used in Asia and Australia.



Maximum Tolerable Period of Disruption (MTPD)

The time it would take for adverse impacts, which might arise as a result of not providing a product/service or performing and activity, to become unacceptable.



Member of the Business Continuity Institute (MBCI)

This certified membership grade is for professionals that have at least three years’ experience in business continuity and who have taken and passed the CBCI Examination with merit.




Master Business Continuity Professional. The Master level certification is for individuals with a minimum of five years of Enterprise Continuity Mgmt experience in 7 of the 10 Professional Practices, have passed both the qualifying exam and the Masters case study, and have had their DRII Certification Application approved.



Minimum Business Continuity Objective (MBCO)

A minimum level of services and/or products that is acceptable to the organization to achieve its business objectives during a disruption.



Minimum Planning Duration (MPD)


A recovery strategy imperative, established by an organization, which mandates how long each contingency plan’s recovery strategy is expected to endure, while relying only on resources or dependencies identified in the plan.



Minimum Planning Radius (MPR)


A recovery strategy imperative, established by an organization, which identifies the minimum geographic range of an event that its contingency plans must address.



Mission-Critical Activity

(1) A critical operational and/or business support activity (either provided internally or outsourced) required by the organization to achieve its objective(s) i.e. services and/or products.

(2) Activity determined to be essential to an organization's ability to perform necessary business functions.



Mission-Critical Application

Applications that support business activities or processes that could not be interrupted or unavailable for 24 hours or less without significantly jeopardizing the organization.



Mobile Recovery

A mobilized resource purchased or contracted for the purpose of business recovery.

Transportable operating environment - often a large trailer - complete with office facilities and computer equipment that can be delivered and deployed a suitable site at short notice.



Mobile Standby Trailer

A transportable operating environment, often a large trailer, that can be configured to specific recovery needs such as office facilities, call centers, data centers, etc.




The activation of the recovery organization in response to a disaster declaration



Mock Disaster

One method of exercising teams in which participants are challenged to determine the actions they would take in the event of a specific disaster scenario.



Mutual Aid Agreement

A pre-arranged understanding between two or more entities to render assistance to each other.



N + 1

A fault-tolerant strategy that includes multiple systems or components protected by one backup system or component. (Many-to-one relationship)



Network Outage

An interruption of voice, data, or IP network communications.



Non Compliance

Failure to fulfil an agreed requirement or expectation of a BCM programme.



Non Conformity

The non fulfilment of a specific requirement defined in a standard, documented practice, agreed procedure or legislation.




An overall goal, consistent with the policy that an organization sets for itself.



Offsite Location

A site at a safe distance from the primary site where critical data (computerised or paper) and/ or equipment is stored from where it can be recovered and used at the time of a disruptive incident if original data, material or equipment is lost or unavailable.



Off-Site Storage

Any place physically located a significant distance away from the primary site, where duplicated and vital records (hard copy or electronic and/or equipment) may be stored for use during recovery.



Operational Exercise

See: Exercise



Operational Resilience

Ability of an organization, staff, system, telecommunications network, activity or process to absorb the impact of a business interruption, disruption or loss and continue to provide an acceptable level of service.



Operational Risk

The risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed procedures and controls. This includes loss from events related to technology and infrastructure, failure, business interruptions, staff-related problems, and from external events such as regulatory changes.



Operations Control

Process, practice or other actions that assure management outcomes.



Operations Planning

Scheme specifying the approach, management elements and resources to be applied to the management of the organization.



Orderly Shutdown

The actions required to rapidly and gracefully suspend a business function and/or system during a disruption.




A person or group of people that has its own functions with responsibilities, authorities and relationships to achieve its objectives.



Organizational Culture

The combined assumptions, beliefs, values and patterns of behaviour that are shared by members of an organization. The way in which an organization views itself, its place in its market and the environment in which it operates.



Organizational Resilience

The ability of an organization to anticipate, prepare for, and respond and adapt to incremental change and sudden disruptions in order to survive and prosper.




The interruption of automated processing systems, infrastructure, support services, or essential business operations, which may result, in the organizations inability to provide services for some period of time.

A period in time when something is not in operation.



Outsourced Activities

Those processes that are performed by, or in part by, a third party.




The transfer of business functions to an independent (internal and/or external) third party supplier



Peer Review

A review of a specific component of a plan by personnel (other than the owner or author) with appropriate technical or business knowledge for accuracy and completeness.




A measurable outcome



Performance Evaluation

A process of determining measurable results.



Plan Maintenance

The management process of keeping an organization’s business continuity management plans up to date and effective.



Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA)

A model used to plan, establish, implement and operate, monitor and review, maintain and continually improve the effectiveness of a management system or process.




The intentions and direction of an organization as formally expressed by its Top Management.



Policy & Programme Management

The Professional Practice that defines the organizational policy relating to business continuity and how that policy will be implemented, controlled and validated through a BCM programme.



Post Incident Acquisition

A continuity and recovery strategy where resources are provided following an incident at short notice.



Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is caused by a major traumatic incident  where a person experienced, witnessed or was confronted with an incident that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury or threat to the physical integrity of self or others, and the person’s response involved intense fear, helplessness or horror.




Activities implemented prior to an incident that may be used to support and enhance mitigation of, response to, and recovery from disruptions.



Press Conference

The provision of an organization spokesperson(s) at a specific venue and time(s) to brief and answer any questions or enquiries from the media.



Preventative Action

An action taken to eliminate a threat or other undesirable situation.



Preventative Measures

Controls aimed at deterring or mitigating undesirable events from taking place.




Countermeasures against specific threats that enable an organization to avoid a disruption.




The ordering of critical activities and their dependencies are established during the BIA and Strategic-planning phase. The business continuity plans will be implemented in the order necessary at the time of the event.



Prioritized activities

Activities to which priority must be given following an incident in order to mitigate impacts.




The chance of a risk occurring. 




Specified way to carry out an activity.




A set of interrelated or interacting activities which transforms inputs to outputs.



Products and Services

Beneficial outcomes provided by an organization   to its customers, recipients and interested parties.



Professional Practices

The activities that make up the six stages of the BCI’s Good Practice Guidelines BCM Lifecycle.




An ongoing process supported by senior management and adequately funded. 



Qualitative Assessment

The process for evaluating a business function based on observations and does not involve measures or numbers. Instead, it uses descriptive categories (e.g., customer service, regulatory requirements) to allow for refinement of the quantitative assessment.



Quantitative Assessment

The process for placing value on a business function for risk purposes. It is a systematic method that evaluates possible financial impact for losing the ability to perform a business function. It uses numeric values to allow for prioritizations.



Quick Ship

See Drop Ship.




Activities implemented prior to an incident that may be used to support and enhance mitigation of, response to, and recovery from disruptions.



Reception Centre

A secure area to which the uninjured can be taken for shelter, first aid, interview and documentation as appropriate to the incident.



Reciprocal Agreement

Agreement between two organizations (or two internal business groups) with similar equipment/environment that allows each one to recover at the other’s location.




A statement of results achieved or evidence of activities performed.



Recoverable Loss

Financial losses due to an event that may be reclaimed in the future, e.g. through insurance or litigation.




Implementing the prioritized actions required to return the processes and support functions to operational stability following an interruption or disaster.



Recovery Management Team

See: Business Continuity Management (BCM) Team.



Recovery Period

The time period between a disaster and a return to normal functions, during which the disaster recovery plan is employed.



Recovery Point Capability (RPC)

The point in time to which data was restored and/or systems were recovered (at the designated recovery/alternate location) after an outage or during a disaster recovery exercise.



Recovery Point Objective (RPO)

The point in time to which data is restored and/or systems are recovered after an outage.  

The point to which information used by an activity must be restored to enable the activity to operate on resumption.



Recovery Services Agreement / Contract

A contract with an external organization guaranteeing the provision of specified equipment, facilities, or services, usually within a specified time period, in the event of a business interruption.



Recovery Site

A designated site for the recovery of business unit, technology, or other operations, which are critical to the enterprise.



Recovery Strategy

See Business Continuity Strategy.



Recovery Teams

A structured group of teams ready to take control of the recovery operations if a disaster should occur.



Recovery Time Achieved

See also: Recovery Time Capability



Recovery Time Capability (RTC)


The demonstrated amount of time in which systems, applications and/or functions have been recovered, during an exercise or actual event, at the designated recovery/alternate location (physical or virtual). 



Recovery Time Objective (RTO)

The period of time within which systems, applications, or functions must be recovered after an outage.  RTO includes the time required for:  assessment, execution and verification

The period of time following an incident within which a product or service or an activity must be resumed, or resources must be recovered.



Recovery Timeline

The sequence of recovery activities, or critical path, which must be followed to resume an acceptable level of operation following a business interruption.




In human resource terms, redundancy can be used to mean the provision of delegates or alternates for key employees or Incident/Crisis Management Team members.




Similar to Legislative or Statutory but usually rules imposed by a regulator rather than through direct government legislation.




A continuity and recovery strategy where resources are copied to a dormant site, only being brought into live operations after an incident.




A need or expectation that is stated, generally implied or obligatory.



Residual Risk

The level of risk remaining after all cost-effective actions have been taken to lessen the impact, probability and consequences of a specific risk or group of risks, subject to an organization's risk appetite.




The process and procedures required to maintain or recover critical services such as “remote access” or “end-user support” during a business interruption.




The ability of an organization to absorb the impact of a business interruption, and continue to provide a minimum acceptable level of service.




All assets, people, skills, information, technology (including plant and equipment), premises, and supplies and information (whether electronic or not) that an organization has to have available to use, when needed, in order to operate and meet its objective.




The reaction to an incident or emergency to assess the damage or impact and to ascertain the level of containment and control activity required.



Rest Centre

A building taken over by the Local Authority for the temporary accommodation of evacuees




The procedure or procedures that return applications and data to a known start point.




Process of planning for and/or implementing procedures for the repair of hardware, relocation of the primary site and its contents, and returning to normal operations at the permanent operational location.




The process of planning for and/or implementing the restarting of defined business processes and operations following a disaster.




Potential for exposure to loss which can be determined by using either qualitative or quantitative measures.

Combination of the probability of an event and its consequence



Risk Acceptance

A management decision to take no action to mitigate the impact of a particular risk.



Risk Analysis

The quantification of threats to an organization and the probability of them being realized.



Risk Appetite

Total amount of risk that an organization is prepared to accept, tolerate, or be exposed to at any point in time.



Risk Assessment

Overall process of risk identification, risk analysis, and risk evaluation.



Risk Assessment / Analysis

Process of identifying the risks to an organization, assessing the critical functions necessary for an organization to continue business operations, defining the controls in place to reduce organization exposure and evaluating the cost for such controls.



Risk Avoidance

An informed decision to not become involved in or to withdraw from a risk situation.



Risk Categories

Risks of similar types are grouped together under key headings, otherwise known as ‘risk categories’.



Risk Classification

The categorisation of risk, normally focusing on likely impact to the organization or likelihood of occurrence.



Risk Concentration

The risks associated with having Mission Critical Activities and/or their dependencies, systemic processes and people located either in the same building or close geographical proximity (zone), that are not reproduced elsewhere i.e. a single point of failure.



Risk Controls

All methods of reducing the frequency and/or severity of losses including exposure avoidance, loss prevention, loss reduction, segregation of exposure units and non-insurance transfer of risk



Risk Criteria

Terms of reference against which the significance of a risk is evaluated.



Risk Management (RM)

The culture, processes and structures that are put in place to effectively manage potential negative events. As it is not possible or desirable to eliminate all risk, the objective is to reduce risks to an acceptable level.

Coordinated activities to direct and control an organization with regard to risk.



Risk Mitigation

Implementation of measures to deter specific threats to the continuity of business operations, and/or respond to any occurrence of such threats in a timely and appropriate manner.  Activities taken to reduce the severity or consequences of an emergency.



Risk Profiling

The identification and prioritization of threats in a Risk Analysis methodology.



Risk Ranking

The ordinal or cardinal rank prioritisation of the risks in various alternatives, projects or units



Risk Reduction

A selective application of appropriate techniques and management principles to reduce either probability of an occurrence or its impact, or both.



Risk Register

All risks of an organization, listed, ranked and categorized so that appropriate treatments can be assigned to them.



Risk Source

Element which alone or in combination has the intrinsic potential to give rise to risk.



Risk Transfer

A common technique used by Risk Managers to address or mitigate potential exposures of the organization. A series of techniques describing the various means of addressing risk through insurance and similar products.

Refers to the shifting of the burden of loss to another party through legislation, contract, insurance or other means. It can also refer to the shifting of a physical risk or part thereof elsewhere.



Risk Treatment

Selection and implementation of measures to modify risk.



Roll Call

The process of identifying that all employees, visitors and contractors have been safely evacuated and accounted for following an evacuation of a building or site.



Safe Separation Distance

An adequate geographical spread between the original and duplicate resources, the various suppliers, the replica operations or the base site and its recovery site.



Salvage & Restoration

The act of conducting a coordinated assessment to determine the appropriate actions to be performed on impacted assets.




A pre-defined set of Business Continuity events and conditions that describe, for planning purposes, an interruption, disruption, or loss related to some aspect(s) of an organization’s business operations to support conducting a BIA, developing a continuity strategy, and developing continuity and exercise plans.



Security Review

A periodic review of policies, procedures, and operational practices maintained by an organization to ensure that they are followed and effective.




The pre-planned assumption of risk in which a decision is made to bear loses that could result from a Business Continuity event rather than purchasing insurance to cover those potential losses.



Service Continuity

The process and procedures required to maintain or recover critical services such as “remote access” or “end-user support” during a business interruption.



Service Continuity Planning

A process used to mitigate, develop, and document procedures that enable an organization to recover critical services after a business interruption.



Service Level Agreement (SLA)

A formal agreement between a service provider (whether internal or external) and their client (whether internal or external), which covers the nature, quality, availability, scope and response of the service provider. The SLA should cover day-to-day situations and disaster situations, as the need for the service may vary in a disaster.

An agreement between a service provider and a customer defining the scope, quality and timeliness of service delivery.



Service Level Management (SLM)

The process of defining, agreeing, documenting and managing the levels of any type of services provided by service providers whether internal or external that are required and cost justified.



Simulation Exercise

One method of exercising teams in which participants perform some or all of the actions they would take in the event of plan activation.



Single Point of Failure (SPOF)

A unique pathway or source of a service, activity, and/or process. Typically, there is no alternative and a loss of that element could lead to a failure of a critical function.

Unique (single) source or pathway of a service, activity and/or process; typically there is no alternative, and loss of that element could lead to total failure of a mission critical activity and/or dependency.



Situational Analysis

The process of evaluating the severity and consequences of an incident and communicating the results.



Social Engineering

Non-technical or low-technology means used to attack or penetrate a system by tricking or subverting operators or users.




Individual or group having an interest in the performance or success of an organization e.g., customers, partners, employees, shareholders, owners, the local community, first responders, government, and regulators.



Stand Down

Formal notification that the response to a Business Continuity event is no longer required or has been concluded.

A formal announcement that alert status is over and the plan will not be invoked any further.



Standalone Test

A test conducted on a specific component of a plan in isolation from other components to validate component functionality, typically under simulated operating conditions.




A continuity and recovery strategy where a facility is available to be made operational as required.



Structured Walkthrough

Types of exercise in which team members physically implement the business continuity plans and verbally review each step to assess its effectiveness, identify enhancements, constraints and deficiencies.




A continuity and recovery strategy where third parties are used to produce a product or service, provide process infrastructure and undertake activities.



Succession Plan

A predetermined plan for ensuring the continuity of authority, decision-making, and communication in the event that key members of executive management unexpectedly become incapacitated.



Supply Chain

The complete logistical process (life cycle) of a product or service including: raw materials, transportation, manufacturing, distribution, through end-of-life.

The linked processes that begins with the acquisition of raw material and extends through the delivery of products or services to the end user across the modes of transport.



Supply Chain Resilience Analysis

A proactive analysis of vulnerabilities affecting the logistical process of a product or service to establish risk thresholds.



Syndicated Subscription Service

Work space shared by a limited number of organizations, configured for general occupation (not for a particular organization).



Syndication Ratio

Number of times that a work area is sold by the third party providers at a resource recovery location.




Set of related technology components that work together to support a business process or provide a service.



System Recovery

The procedures for rebuilding a computer system and network to the condition where it is ready to accept data and applications, and facilitate network communications.



System Restore

The procedures necessary to return a system to an operable state using all available data including data captured by alternate means during the outage.



System Risk

Potential difficulties, such as failure of one participant or part of a process, system, industry or market to meet its obligations, that could cause other participants to not meet their obligations; this could cause liquidity and other problems, thereby threatening stability of the whole process, system, industry or market.



Table Top Exercise

One method of exercising plans in which participants review and discuss the actions they would take without actually performing the actions.

Technique for rehearsing emergency teams in which participants review and discuss the actions they would take according to their plans, but do not perform any of these actions; can be conducted with a single team, or multiple teams, typically under the guidance of exercise facilitators.



Task List

Defined mandatory and discretionary tasks allocated to teams and/or individual roles within a Business Continuity Plan



Technical Practices

The Analysis, Design, Implementation and Validation stages of the BCM Lifecycle.



Technical Recovery Team

A group responsible for:  relocation and recovery of technology systems, data, applications and/or supporting infrastructure components at an alternate site following a technology disruption; and subsequent resumption and restoration of those operations at an appropriate site.




A pass/fail evaluation of infrastructure (example-computers, cabling, devices, hardware) and\or physical plant infrastructure (example-building systems, generators, utilities) to demonstrate the anticipated operation of the components and system.

An exercise whose aim is to obtain an expected, measurable pass/fail outcome.



Test Plan

See Exercise Plan.




A combination of the risk, the consequence of that risk, and the likelihood that the negative event will take place.

A potential cause of an unwanted incident, which may result in harm to individuals, a system or organization, the environment, or the community.



Threat Analysis

The process of evaluating threats to identify unacceptable concentrations of risk to activities and single points of failure.



Top Management

Person or group of people who directs and controls an organization at the highest level.



Trauma Counseling

The provisioning of counseling assistance by trained individuals to employees, customers and others who have suffered mental or physical injury as the result of an event.



Trauma Management

The process of helping employees deal with trauma in a systematic way following an event by proving trained counselors, support systems, and coping strategies with the objective of restoring employees psychological well-being.




An event that causes a system to initiate a response.



Unexpected Loss

The worst-case financial loss or impact that a business could incur due to a particular loss event or risk. The unexpected loss is calculated as the expected loss plus the potential adverse volatility in this value.



Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

A backup electrical power supply that provides continuous power to critical equipment in the event that commercial power is lost.

A battery powered backup power supply use to provide short-term temporary power in the event of failure of mains supply.



Urgent Activity

A term used to cover activities in support of Product and Services which needs to be done within a short timescale.




The Technical Practice within the BCM Lifecycle that confirms that the Business Continuity Management (BCM) programme meets the objectives set in the Business Continuity (BC) Policy and that the organization’s Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is fit for purpose.



Validation Script

A set of procedures within the Business Continuity Plan to validate the proper function of a system or process before returning it to production operation.




Confirmation, through the provision of evidence, that specified requirements have been fulfilled.



Virtual Battle Box

An electronic form of a storage location held on the internet, intranet or cloud so that data and information are immediately available post incident and accessible by the Incident/Crisis Management Team.



Virtual Command Centre

A means of operating when it is physically impossible for members of the Incident Management Team to move to a Command Centre. A virtual command centre working using telephony and internet solutions including a Virtual Battle Box can be established.




An unauthorised programme that inserts itself into a computer system and then propagates itself to other computers via networks or disks. When activated, it interferes with the operation of the computer systems.



Vital Materials

Any materials that are essential for recovery from a disaster or major incident.



Vital Records

Records essential to the continued functioning or reconstitution of an organization during and after an emergency and also those records essential to protecting the legal and financial rights of that organization and of the individuals directly affected by its activities.




The degree to which a person, asset, process, information, infrastructure or other resources are exposed to the actions or effects of a risk, event or other occurrence.



Warm Site

An alternate processing site which is equipped with some hardware, and communications interfaces, electrical and environmental conditioning which is only capable of providing backup after additional provisioning, software or customization is performed.

A designated standby site equipped and serviced to a level which will allow the organization to resume essential operations before their non-availability threatens business viability.



Wide Area Disaster

A catastrophic event that impacts a large geographic area and requires emergency services and civil authorities to take control.



Work Area Facility

A pre-designated space provided with desks, telephones, PCs, etc. ready for occupation by business recovery teams at short notice.



Work Area Recovery (WAR)

The component of recovery and continuity which deals specifically with the relocation of a key function or department in the event of a disaster, including multiple elements, e.g.:  personnel, essential records, equipment supplies, work space, communication facilities, work station computer processing capability, fax, copy machines, mail services. Office recovery environment complete with necessary office infrastructure (desk, telephone, workstation, hardware, communications).

Restoration of office activities at an alternative location which provides desks, telephony, office systems and networking capability.



Work Area Recovery Planning

The business continuity planning process of identifying the needs and preparing procedures and personnel for use at the work area facility.



Workaround Procedures

Alternative procedures that may be used by a functional unit(s) to enable it to continue to perform its critical functions during temporary unavailability of specific application systems, electronic or hard copy data, voice or data communication systems, specialized equipment, office facilities, personnel, or external services.