Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery


The LifeOmic Contingency Plan establishes procedures to recover LifeOmic following a disruption resulting from a disaster. This Disaster Recovery Policy is maintained by the LifeOmic Security Officer and Privacy Officer.

HIPAA: This LifeOmic Contingency Plan has been developed as required under the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-130, Management of Federal Information Resources, Appendix III, November 2000, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Final Security Rule, Section §164.308(a)(7), which requires the establishment and implementation of procedures for responding to events that damage systems containing electronic protected health information.

NIST: This LifeOmic Contingency Plan is created under the legislative requirements set forth in the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) of 2002 and the guidelines established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-34, titled “Contingency Planning Guide for Information Technology Systems” dated June 2002.

Policy Statements

LifeOmic policy requires that:

(a) A plan and process for business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR), including the backup and recovery of systems and data, must be defined and documented.

(b) BCDR shall be simulated and tested at least once a year. Metrics shall be measured and identified recovery enhancements shall be filed to improve the BCDR process.

(c) Security controls and requirements must be maintained during all BCDR activities.

Controls and Procedures

BCDR Objectives and Roles


The following objectives have been established for this plan:

  1. Maximize the effectiveness of contingency operations through an established plan that consists of the following phases:

    • Notification/Activation phase to detect and assess damage and to activate the plan;
    • Recovery phase to restore temporary IT operations and recover damage done to the original system;
    • Reconstitution phase to restore IT system processing capabilities to normal operations.
  2. Identify the activities, resources, and procedures needed to carry out LifeOmic processing requirements during prolonged interruptions to normal operations.

  3. Identify and define the impact of interruptions to LifeOmic systems.

  4. Assign responsibilities to designated personnel and provide guidance for recovering LifeOmic during prolonged periods of interruption to normal operations.

  5. Ensure coordination with other LifeOmic staff who will participate in the contingency planning strategies.

  6. Ensure coordination with external points of contact and vendors who will participate in the contingency planning strategies.

Example of the types of disasters that would initiate this plan are natural disaster, political disturbances, man made disaster, external human threats, and internal malicious activities.

LifeOmic defined two categories of systems from a disaster recovery perspective.

  1. Critical Systems. These systems host production application servers/services and database servers/services or are required for functioning of systems that host production applications and data. These systems, if unavailable, affect the integrity of data and must be restored, or have a process begun to restore them, immediately upon becoming unavailable.
  2. Non-critical Systems. These are all systems not considered critical by definition above. These systems, while they may affect the performance and overall security of critical systems, do not prevent Critical systems from functioning and being accessed appropriately. These systems are restored at a lower priority than critical systems.

Line of Succession

The following order of succession to ensure that decision-making authority for the LifeOmic Contingency Plan is uninterrupted. The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is responsible for ensuring the safety of personnel and the execution of procedures documented within this LifeOmic Contingency Plan. The Director of Engineering is responsible for the recovery of LifeOmic technical environments. If the CISO or Director of Engineering is unable to function as the overall authority or chooses to delegate this responsibility to a successor, the CEO shall function as that authority or choose an alternative delegate. To provide contact initiation should the contingency plan need to be initiated, please use the contact list below.

  • Jesse Kinser, CISO:
  • Chris Hemp, VP of Engineering:
  • Don Brown, CEO:

Response Teams and Responsibilities

The following teams have been developed and trained to respond to a contingency event affecting LifeOmic infrastructure and systems.

  1. IT is responsible for recovery of the LifeOmic hosted environment, network devices, and all servers. The team includes personnel responsible for the daily IT operations and maintenance. The team leader is the IT Manager who reports to the COO.

  2. HR & Facilities is responsible for ensuring the physical safety of all LifeOmic personnel and environmental safety at each LifeOmic physical location. The team members also include site leads at each LifeOmic work site. The team leader is the Facilities Manager who reports to the COO.

  3. DevOps is responsible for assuring all applications, web services, platform and their supporting infrastructure in the Cloud. The team is also responsible for testing re-deployments and assessing damage to the environment. The team leader is the Director of Engineering.

  4. Security is responsible for assessing and responding to all cybersecurity related incidents according to LifeOmic Incident Response policy and procedures. The security team shall assist the above teams in recovery as needed in non-cybersecurity events. The team leader is the Security Officer.

Members of above teams must maintain local copies of the contact information of the BCDR succession team. Additionally, the team leads must maintain a local copy of this policy in the event Internet access is not available during a disaster scenario.

All executive leadership shall be informed of any and all contingency events. Current members of LifeOmic leadership team include the Security Officer, Privacy Officer, Director of Engineering, COO.

General Disaster Recovery Procedures

Notification and Activation Phase

This phase addresses the initial actions taken to detect and assess damage inflicted by a disruption to LifeOmic. Based on the assessment of the Event, sometimes according to the LifeOmic Incident Response Policy, the Contingency Plan may be activated by either the CISO or Head of Engineering. The Contingency Plan may also be activated by the Security Officer in the event of a cyber disaster.

The notification sequence is listed below:

  • The first responder is to notify the COO. All known information must be relayed to the COO.

  • The CISO is to contact the Response Teams and inform them of the event. The COO or delegate is responsible to begin assessment procedures.

  • The CISO is to notify team members and direct them to complete the assessment procedures outlined below to determine the extent of damage and estimated recovery time. If damage assessment cannot be performed locally because of unsafe conditions, the CISO is to following the steps below.

    • Damage Assessment Procedures:
    • The CISO is to logically assess damage, gain insight into whether the infrastructure is salvageable, and begin to formulate a plan for recovery.
    • Alternate Assessment Procedures:
    • Upon notification, the CISO is to follow the procedures for damage assessment with the Response Teams.
  • The LifeOmic Contingency Plan is to be activated if one or more of the following criteria are met:

    • LifeOmic will be unavailable for more than 48 hours.
    • On-premise hosting facility or cloud infrastructure service is damaged and will be unavailable for more than 24 hours.
    • Other criteria, as appropriate and as defined by LifeOmic.
  • If the plan is to be activated, the CISO is to notify and inform team members of the details of the event and if relocation is required.

  • Upon notification from the CISO, group leaders and managers are to notify their respective teams. Team members are to be informed of all applicable information and prepared to respond and relocate if necessary.

  • The CISO is to notify the hosting facility partners that a contingency event has been declared and to ship the necessary materials (as determined by damage assessment) to the alternate site.

  • The CISO is to notify remaining personnel and executive leadership on the general status of the incident.

  • Notification can be message, email, or phone.

Recovery Phase

This section provides procedures for recovering LifeOmic infrastructure and operations at an alternate site, whereas other efforts are directed to repair damage to the original system and capabilities.

Procedures are outlined per team required. Each procedure should be executed in the sequence it is presented to maintain efficient operations.

Recovery Goal: The goal is to rebuild LifeOmic infrastructure to a production state.

The tasks outlines below are not sequential and some can be run in parallel.

  1. Contact Partners and Customers affected to begin initial communication - DevOps
  2. Assess damage to the environment - DevOps
  3. Create a new production environment using new environment bootstrap automation - DevOps
  4. Ensure secure access to the new environment - Security
  5. Begin code deployment and data replication using pre-established automation - DevOps
  6. Test new environment and applications using pre-written tests - DevOps
  7. Test logging, security, and alerting functionality - DevOps and Security
  8. Assure systems and applications are appropriately patched and up to date - DevOps
  9. Update DNS and other necessary records to point to new environment - DevOps
  10. Update Partners and Customers affected through established channels - DevOps

For detailed recovery instructions, please consult the “Backup and Recovery” wiki entry.

Reconstitution Phase

This section discusses activities necessary for restoring full LifeOmic operations at the original or new site. The goal is to restore full operations within 24 hours of a disaster or outage. If necessary, when the hosted data center at the original or new site has been restored, LifeOmic operations at the alternate site may be transitioned back. The goal is to provide a seamless transition of operations from the alternate site to the computer center.

  1. Original or New Site Restoration

    • Repeat steps 5-9 in the Recovery Phase at the original or new site / environment.
    • Restoration of Original site is unnecessary for cloud environments, except when required for forensic purpose.
  2. Plan Deactivation

    • If the LifeOmic environment is moved back to the original site from the alternative site, all hardware used at the alternate site should be handled and disposed of according to the LifeOmic Media Disposal Policy.

Testing and Maintenance

The CISO and/or Director of Engineering shall establish criteria for validation/testing of a Contingency Plan, an annual test schedule, and ensure implementation of the test. This process will also serve as training for personnel involved in the plan’s execution. At a minimum the Contingency Plan shall be tested annually (within 365 days). The types of validation/testing exercises include tabletop and technical testing. Contingency Plans for all application systems must be tested at a minimum using the tabletop testing process. However, if the application system Contingency Plan is included in the technical testing of their respective support systems that technical test will satisfy the annual requirement.

Tabletop Testing

Tabletop Testing is conducted in accordance with the CMS Risk Management Handbook, Volume 2. The primary objective of the tabletop test is to ensure designated personnel are knowledgeable and capable of performing the notification/activation requirements and procedures as outlined in the CP, in a timely manner. The exercises include, but are not limited to:

  • Testing to validate the ability to respond to a crisis in a coordinated, timely, and effective manner, by simulating the occurrence of a specific crisis.

Simulation and/or Technical Testing

The primary objective of the technical test is to ensure the communication processes and data storage and recovery processes can function at an alternate site to perform the functions and capabilities of the system within the designated requirements. Technical testing shall include, but is not limited to:

  • Process from backup system at the alternate site;
  • Restore system using backups; and
  • Switch compute and storage resources to alternate processing site.

Work Site Recovery

In the event a LifeOmic facility is not functioning due to a disaster, employees will work from home or locate to a secondary site with Internet access, until the physical recovery of the facility impacted is complete. The recovery shall be performed by the facility management firm under contract with LifeOmic, and coordinated by the Facility Manager and/or the Site Lead.

LifeOmic’s software development organization has the ability to work from any location with Internet access and does not require an office provided Internet connection.

Application Service Event Recovery

LifeOmic will develop a status page to provide real time update and inform our customers of the status of each service. The status page is updated with details about an event that may cause service interruption / downtime.

A follow up root-cause analysis details (RCA) will be available to customers upon request after the event has transpired for further details to cause and remediation plan for the future. Event Service Level

Short (hours)

  • Experience a short delay in service.
  • LifeOmic will monitor the event and determine course of action. Escalation may be required.

Moderate (days)

  • Experience a modest delay in service where processes in flight may need to be restarted.
  • LifeOmic will monitor the event and determine course of action. Escalation may be required.
  • LifeOmic will notify customers of delay in service and provide updates on LifeOmic’s status page.

Long (a week or more)

  • Experience a delay in service and processes in flight may need to be restarted.
  • LifeOmic will monitor the event and determine course of action. Escalation may be required.
  • LifeOmic will notify customers of delay in service and provide updates on LifeOmic’s status page.

Production Environments and Data Recovery

Production data is to be synchronized across multiple S3 buckets in AWS. Additionally, it is backed up to AWS Glacier for long term storage and recovery. In an event that requires data to be recovered, it will be retrieved from Glacier.

LifeOmic assumes that in the worst-case scenario, that one of the production environments suffers a complete data loss, the account will be reconstructed from code, and the data restored from Glacier that is hosted within a different AWS account and geolocation.

Recovery of production Environments and data should follow the procedures listed above and in Data Management - Backup and Recovery