Cyber crime puts a new light on business continuity planning

A business continuity plan is a blueprint of actions put in place to prevent any kind of damages and to maintain productivity in the event of a disaster. While creating a business continuity plan, companies need to identify all possible disasters and plan for employees to overcome all such situations in order to bring the business back on track.  Major examples of disasters could include fire, cybersecurity attacks, utility failures, intentional sabotage or man-made disasters and accidents.

A business continuity plan (BCP) can be divided into six basic steps:

  • Identify your objectives and goals: Like any project, the first step is to figure out the objective and goal that your organization hopes to achieve with a BCP. Plan out the level of detail, departments to be covered, expected outcomes and ensure the budget is set.
  • Select your team: Select task-oriented teams in each department that will work closely with the command and control teams. Ensure you record their contact details, any backup contacts and the exact responsibilities of each team member.
  • Conduct a business impact analysis: Any disaster will impact businesses to an extent and a business impact analysis can provide a better idea of what to expect. Identify key business areas and business function so as to focus more resources on them and avoid major financial losses. Also, identify pain points or company-wide discrepancies that can be improved over a period to run the business smoothly.
  • Create a plan to maintain operations: The main goal of a BCP is to have the ability to continue to do business as normally as possible after a disaster. Three main strategies can help an organization to overcome from a disaster. They are a prevention strategy, a response strategy and a recovery strategy. Ensure that each step is planned out thoroughly.
  • Develop testing and training curriculum: Provide periodic training to BCP response teams and key business employees by conducting drills and simulative test procedures.
  • Determine ongoing program maintenance: Preparing a BCP one time won’t be enough. A periodical update is much needed to cover new key business areas and new disasters associated with it. It is also advisable to get advice from a consultant so that they can help identify any pain points you can’t.

A well-developed business continuity plan is imperative for any business, large or small. It should be thorough, practiced often and always top of mind. You’ll be thankful you prepared when an emergency strikes!

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Source:  By: Gaetano DiNardi, Nextiva