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Hot site

Hot site

Hot site definition

A hot site is an off-premises location where an organization can resume normal operations during a commercial disaster. All the equipment needed for the work to resume is available at a hot site, including phones, backup data, and computers. Hot sites provide a backup system for companies in case of extenuating circumstances or disaster and are an important part of a company’s business continuity and disaster recovery strategy (BCDR).

A hot site can also be defined as an off-site data-processing facility equipped with software and hardware. This facility may not have actual office space for employees to continue working.

How hot sites work

  • Hot sites that contain office space are typically located outside of business premises, in a location employees can access.
  • Hot sites are operated by a specialist company, not the businesses that use them.
  • When a disaster occurs, those responsible for business continuity (BC) management communicate the next steps to the relevant company employees.
  • The employees required to move to the hot site are instructed to do so.
  • The process varies by business and depends on the disaster type.

Examples of business disasters

A business disaster is any event that interrupts a business’ normal operations. When a business disaster occurs, the business becomes unable to perform the most critical functions for a period of time. Examples of business disasters include:

  • Cyberattacks.
  • Natural disasters (e.g., flooding, wildfires).
  • Power outages.
  • Hardware failure.
  • Military invasion.
  • Disease outbreaks.
  • Infrastructure breakdowns (e.g., communication networks).

Further reading

Ultimate digital security