BIA & Risk Analysis



The first step in a robust contingency planning process is to consider the potential impacts of each type of event or disaster. This is fundamental - how can you properly plan for a disaster or problem if you have little idea of the likely impacts on your business or organization of the different events?

Business impact analysis is essentially a means of systematically assessing the potential impacts resulting from various events or incidents. Commonly, impacts resulting from all types of incident (eg: breach of confidentiality or loss of data integrity) are simultaneously considered, but this need not be the case when only considering disaster recovery. However, there are certainly many advantages to undertaking a comprehensive and wider focused exercise.

The business impact analysis ('BIA') is intended to help you understand the degree of potential loss which could occur. This will cover not just direct financial loss, but many other issues, such as loss of reputation, loss of customer confidence, regulatory effects, and so on.


Having determined the impacts, it is now equally important to consider the magnitude of the risks which could result in these impacts. Again, this is a critical activity - it will determine which scenarios are most likely to occur and which should attract most attention during the planning process.

Fortunately, a method has emerged to simplify these tasks. The COBRA methodology and tool was launched in the early nineties, and has since evolved into a fully comprehensive solution for all these needs.

The web sites below provide significant detail on business impact analysis, risk analysis methodology and indeed the above product: 

An Introduction to Business Impact Analysis & Risk Analysis

This site outlines the theory in reasonable detail

risk analysis, risk assessment, disaster recovery, contingency planning, business continuityPractical Risk Analysis

This site describes the benefits of employing a risk analysis method, and introduces the method itself

COBRA & Risk Analysis

This site describes a specific approach and tool




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