Business Continuity Planning

Business continuity and disaster recovery planning has become a priority in many businesses, but there are many in which it has not. How does it rate in your organization? Do you have a plan? Do you test it, update it, and educate your employees about it? Whatever the status of your plan, you will find helpful information in this week's articles.

Good business continuity plans will keep your company up and running through interruptions of any kind. (Item #1)   Having a strong continuity plan in place means that a natural disaster doesn't have to be a complete catastrophe for your business. (Item #2)   FEMA's ReadyBusiness pages offer much helpful information about what you need to do to stay in business after a disruption. (Item #3)  

AT&T research finds business continuity planning more common, and takes into account more issues including supplier readiness. (Item #4)   The next incident is always the one you have not thought of! (Item #5)   The first step to determining where your disaster recovery center should be is to map the probable threats to your company. (Item #6)  

As always, we look forward to hearing your comments & insights regarding business continuity. If you have a topic you'd like us to cover, email me at [email protected].

Bob Mellinger, President
Attainium Corp

1. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning: The Basics

Disaster recovery and business continuity planning are processes that help organizations prepare for disruptive events-whether those events might include a hurricane or simply a power outage caused by a backhoe in the parking lot. The CSO's involvement in this process can range from overseeing the plan, to providing input and support, to putting the plan into action during an emergency. This primer (compiled from articles on CSOonline) explains the basic concepts of business continuity planning and also directs you to more resources on the topic

2. How to Build a Business Continuity Plan

For a small business in particular, picking up the pieces and starting to serve customers again can be especially difficult after a major disruption. An estimated 25 percent of businesses never reopen their doors following a major disaster, according to the Institute for Business & Home Safety.

3. Plan to stay in business

Business continuity planning must account for all hazards (both man-made and natural disasters). You should plan in advance to manage any emergency situation. Assess the situation, use common sense and available resources to take care of yourself, your co-workers and your business's recovery.

4. Study: Business continuity planning still on the upswing

Business continuity planning is a top priority in most IT organizations around the country. That's according to a new study from AT&T, in which 83 percent of respondents stated that they have a business continuity plan in place, up 14 percent in the past five years. The research, which has been conducted annually for the past nine years, surveyed 530 information technology executives in five U.S. metropolitan/regional areas at companies with revenues of more than $10 million.

5. A business continuity plan for all seasons

We cannot prepare for all incidents, so it is important to have a robust incident management process in place which can deal with any incident which comes along. Nassim Taleb makes the case in his book 'The Black Swan' for not planning for black swans. He argues that "most of the really big events in our world are rare and unpredictable, and thus trying to extract generalizable stories to explain them may be emotionally satisfying, but it's practically useless." How can we plan for something we don't know about or have a probability for?

6. Disaster Recovery Planning - How Far is Far Enough?

No doubt about it, losing bits bites. Even the loss of a tiny amount of information can prove to be a company's undoing. Lose a lot of them and you can be in a world of trouble from lawsuits to financial ruin. A big part of disaster recovery, then, is copying the bits and storing them somewhere else other than the main data center. But where should one squirrel that second data center where it will be both safe and readily accessible? In other words, how far away is far enough? It is, by all accounts, a tricky question.

Quote of the Week:

A business disaster can be a nightmare. A solid business continuity management program can make it all just a bad dream.
-- Jim Christensen

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Attainium Corp
15110 Gaffney Circle
Gainesville, VA 20155