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Definition: contingency plan

A plan involving suitable backups, immediate actions and longer term measures for responding to computer emergencies such as attacks or accidental disasters. Contingency plans are part of business continuity planning.

The process of developing such a plan involves convening a team representing all sectors of the organization, identifying critical resources and functions and establishing a plan for recovery based on how long the enterprise can function without specific functions. The plan must be documented and tested until it works effectively. Also called a "disaster plan," a contingency plan must be updated periodically. See business continuity, disaster recovery and backup types.