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INFOGRAPHIC: Disaster Recovery vs Business Continuity: The Complete Comparison

Disaster recovery vs business continuity, how do they differ? We’ve produced an in-depth guide of risk and benefits across 7 key elements for both services.

See the full infographic here.

Head to Head: Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Comparison

Business Continuity

Disaster Recovery


Business continuity is a long-term plan which outlines how your organisation should act during and after a disruption or disaster. Disaster recovery is a strategy which reduces the impact of a disaster and facilitates the  recovery of critical IT systems. Disaster recovery as a service can also be outsourced to a third party provider to ensure greater results.

Business Aspects

There are 3 main types of risk:

  1. Risks that can be avoided completely;
  2. Any risks that you can not avoid but can mitigate to a greater or lesser degree;
  3. Risks that cannot be avoided or even mitigated, and need to be dealt with as and when they happen.

Business continuity  is more strategic and looks at sorting and prioritising risks, and preemptively avoiding or reducing risks.

Disaster recovery focuses on restoring IT systems so organisations can return to full functionality. 

Disaster recovery plans usually include a ‘playbook’ of procedures that should be  initiated under specific circumstances.

Disaster recovery  leans itself towards  risks that can be mitigated (e.g. DDoS attacks, or nation-state attacks) and unavoidable threats  (e.g. flooding or fire).

Risk Factor #1

Cyber Security

In our modern world, the prevalence of cyberattacks is undeniable. Hundreds of organisations experience data breaches on a daily basis, and the consequences range from financial losses all the way up to legal action and reputational damages. Therefore, robust cyber security solutions are no longer an option, they are simply a necessity.

Theft of data

The increasing prevalence of remote working has also increased the amount of sensitive data being accessed from employee’s personal devices. This adds an additional layer of vulnerability, as staff may “accidentally” share or compromise this information.

Risk Factor #2

Physical security

If you don’t know what’s in your security system, you won’t be able to protect it. From video surveillance to fire alarms, make note of every aspect of your physical security to ensure you can enhance the overall safety of your premises. 


The most common culprit behind massive data loss often stems from malicious attachments or  viruses embedded in emails  In this scenario, data backups are crucial because they ensure any lost or compromised information is restorable.

Risk Factor #3

Economic and financial risks

675,000 businesses have fallen victim to fake invoice fraud in the UK*. Businesses need to fortify their security stance by putting t in place policies, tools and systems that enable business continuity.

Malware and ransomware

Malware affects systems, backups and storage. It’s an increasingly common issue in which malicious actors hold sensitive data or critical systems hostage and organizations are confronted with the ethical dilemma of paying the ransom. Many cyber insurance companies will cover this cost; however, putting money into the pockets of criminals may encourage future attacks.

Risk Factor #4


Business continuity plans don’t always prioritise compliance and risk systems; however, industry regulators are now fining companies for non-compliance regardless of any other disruptions organisations may be facing.


A post-incident report will expose the root cause, impacted areas, and the extent of the damage. This comprehensive analysis will ensure no lingering  vulnerabilities are putting your organisation at risk.

Risk Factor #5

Unsecured networks

Unsecured networks are those that  lack any sort of protection, leaving data unencrypted and information vulnerable to potential hacking.   The main goal is to ensure the network and data is restored as rapidly as possible.

Natural disasters and pandemics

From fires and floods to unforeseen events like the COVID pandemic, all types of natural disasters should be accounted for in your disaster recovery plans. Whether you rely on remote desktops or cloud backups, it’s crucial that your recovery plan remains up-to-date, regularly practiced, and subjected to routine testing.

Risk Factor #6

Accidental deletion of data

It happens to the best of us. One wrong click of a button and all your data disappears. Thankfully, most cloud storage systems automatically back up data and allow for a seamless reversal to previous reiterations.


Documenting business continuity during the recovery process can help organisations manage customer expectations and sentiments, which, in turn, helps preserve reputation during hacking incidents.

Risk Factor #7

Human error

Your employees are your first line of defence against the threat of malicious hackers; however, many companies fail to train their staff correctly. Since human error accounts for almost half (47%) of all major IT mistakes, investing in ample training opportunities is of the essence.

Learn more about our Business Continuity vs Disaster Recovery series

Follow the link below to see what a comprehensive  disaster recovery and business continuity plan should look like. You’ll also discover more of our insights on digital transformation, and expert guidance on the key platforms your business relies on:

To learn more about cloud services and how they can  support, enhance, and protect your IT infrastructure, simply take a look at our case studies or contact us  on 0330 202 0220 to request a free demonstration.

Our full infographic comparing business continuity and disaster recovery (below) is available to download here:

Download the infographic.

Infographic: A Comparison of Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery