Business Continuity Planning
August 9, 2017 - The state of business continuity is continually evolving, but is your business's plan also evolving? Have you updated it to consider things like ransomware attacks? Have you included sufficient detail on contingency planning? And what plans have you made about service providers? Are you even focusing on the right things in your planning? Perhaps it's time to take a new look at your plan and consider some of the new dangers we face in the digital era as well as some new approaches to planning.
As technology extends the boundaries of your business into new digital frontiers, there are ever more ways for things to go belly up. Your business potentially hinges on many different servers and digital service providers. Depending on the nature of your business, you also depend on physical supply chains, couriers, and any number of other businesses and service providers which keep your company running.
Just as the Titanic wasn't prepared for an emergency situation, many businesses don't make the necessary preparations to survive a ransomware attack. While you might have escaped a major ransomware attack up to this point, statistics indicate it's not a matter of if you'll be attacked, but a matter of when. The recent WannaCry global ransomware attack only serves to emphasize this point.
An event that disrupts your business, no matter how limited or broad in scope, can undermine your ability to remain competitive---and maybe even to survive. But while disaster recovery planning for your facilities and technology is critical to your business continuity, you also need to fully consider the impact of a disruption on your most valuable asset: your employees.
Many government IT managers today are being tasked with developing and testing business continuity plans for payroll, email, financial and other key administrative systems. In 20 years of developing such continuity plans, we've seen areas that many IT managers overlook or underestimate, and which end up adding insult to injury when disaster finally occurs.
Successful companies are made up of key employees and strong leaders, so it's important to keep business continuity on top of mind to ensure your legacy continues to live after your exit. Furthermore, business continuity planning is vital to the owner's company and family. Life insurance can help mitigate these risks by serving as a funding tool for your plan. Consider these steps to ensure your business continuity.
The primary focus from the early days of business continuity has been seen as an emphasis on mitigating disasters and implementing appropriate emergency response to incidents from identified risks. The approach has predominantly adopted a reactionary response towards business recovery, or continuity, after a perceived event has occurred. This, by nature, has emphasized 'what could go wrong', as compared to 'what needs to be achieved'. In essence, the focus has been on mitigating identified causes of disruption and risks to ensure that the enterprise can continue in business.
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