The recent spate of natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes) have shown once again the need for readiness and resiliency for operational and business continuity.
It’s essential to plan thoroughly to protect yourself from the impact of potential crises – from fire, flood or theft to IT system failure, restricted access to premises or illness of key staff.
This planning is very important for small businesses since they often lack the resources to cope easily in a crisis.
Failure to plan could be disastrous. At best you risk losing customers while you’re getting your business back on its feet. At worst your business may never recover and may ultimately cease trading.
As part of the planning process you should:
- identify potential crises that might affect you
- determine how you intend to minimise the risks of these disasters occurring
- set out how you’ll react if a disaster occurs in a business continuity plan
- test the plan regularly
For example, if you’re reliant on computer information, you should put a back-up system in place so you have a copy of key data in the event of a system failure.
Benefits of a business continuity plan
A carefully thought-out business continuity plan will make coping in a crisis easier and enable you to minimise disruption to the business and its customers.
It will also prove to customers, insurers and investors that your business is robust enough to cope with anything that might be thrown at you – possibly giving you the edge over your competitors.
CRISIS THAT COULD AFFECT YOUR BUSINESS
Depending on your business’ specific circumstances, there are many possible events that might constitute a crisis:
- Natural disasters – for example, flooding caused by burst water pipes or heavy rain, or wind damage following storms.
- Theft or vandalism – theft of computer equipment, for instance, could prove devastating. Similarly, vandalism of machinery or vehicles could not only be costly but also pose health and safety risks.
- Fire – few other situations have such potential to physically destroy a business.
- Power – loss of power could have serious consequences. What would you do if you couldn’t use IT or telecoms systems or operate other key machinery or equipment?
- IT system failure – computer viruses, attacks by hackers or system failures could affect employees’ ability to work effectively.
- Restricted access to premises – how would your business function if you couldn’t access your workplace – for example, due to a gas leak?
- Loss or illness of key staff – if any of your staff is central to the running of your business, consider how you would cope if they were to leave or be incapacitated by illness.
- Outbreak of disease or infection – depending on your type of business an outbreak of an infectious disease among your staff, in your premises or among livestock could present serious health and safety risks.
- Terrorist attack – consider the risks to your employees and your business operations if there is a terrorist strike, either where your business is based or in locations to which you and your employees travel. Also consider whether an attack may have a longer-term effect on your particular market or sector.
- Crisis affecting suppliers – how would you source alternative supplies?
- Crisis affecting customers – will insurance or customer guarantees offset a client’s inability to take your goods or services?
- Crisis affecting your business’ reputation – how would you cope, for example, in the event of a product recall?
Though some of these scenarios may seem unlikely, it’s prudent to give them consideration.
By Matt VanVoorhis
Knowing the Disaster Recovery terminology is important, but equally important is knowing what sorts of situations you could be faced with. At Innovative Solutions we don’t expect our clients to be disaster recovery experts, but having a baseline understanding of the terms used when preparing and executing a disaster recovery plan can make for a much easier process.
By asking about a few different scenarios in disaster recovery, executives can keep IT on their toes, and deliver better service to their end customers.
Internet Crash – It’s a common misconception that putting your systems in the cloud eliminates the need for a disaster recovery plan. While you may not have to back systems up on a regular basis, you DO need to protect yourself from losing access to the internet. If your company is dependent on Salesforce, Email, or any application that lives in the cloud, you’ll…
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Welcome in Class!
In today’s post, I’d like to give a little background into the importance of Ecommerce and connectivity in business continuity, and how in the grand scheme of things, it can keep a business from going under. The quick definition of business continuity, is the ability to mitigate or prevent disruption to the availability of services in an organization, public or private. In today’s business environment, the necessity of being up 24/7/365 is imperative. Connectivity is all too evident, not just for business function, as this class teaches, but something else; data backup. For this to be done effectively it must be done sychronously to when the data is being written; or close to it. No tapes, if possible, although many are still using them (argh!). Connectivity is just the first step to getting the business back up after the disaster, just to recover the data, the brain…
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Originally posted November 2, 2012
We at TAC, with our own headquarters here in the Northeast US, hope that those affected by “Superstorm” Sandy are well and unhurt. While the damage to property is still being assessed, and cleanup is bound to take some time, one must be thankful that it wasn’t even worse. We hope that the journey back to “normal” is swift for you and yours.
This recent severe weather in the Northeast has knocked out significant infrastructure that enterprises rely on for the operation of their businesses. Sites hosted by some service providers disappeared from the internet; servers and data-centers that are still up and running have had their connections to the internet severed. Because of this, many companies have been affected, and even those that have not, are taking a long hard look at their business continuity and disaster recovery plans.
I spoke with a…
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This year’s top 10 threats to business continuity according British Standards Insritute. Technology-related threats continue to provide the greatest concern for organizations, according to a new report published by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), in association with the British Standards Institution (BSI).
1. Unplanned IT and telecom outages
2. Cyber attack
3. Data breach
4. Adverse weather
5. Interruption to utility supply
7. Security incident
8. Health & Safety incident
9. Act of terrorism
10. New laws or regulations
Great article Tim , comprehensive exercising and testing should be conducted to identify any gaps / lessons learned that need to be addressed.
Back in October I wrote a post about ICS training not being enough for EOC personnel. You can give it a read to see my reasons, which essentially boil down to the specific role of the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) in the incident management structure and the unique processes which take place in an EOC both not being addressed in ICS (Incident Command System) training.
As I continue to work in various jurisdictions to enhance their preparedness, I am expanding my thoughts on ICS training not being enough – this time for all of preparedness. In meeting with jurisdictions and discussing their current state of preparedness, many believe they are well prepared to respond to any incident simply because their personnel have received ICS training. Why am I concerned by this?
Folks, in the grand scheme of things, ICS training alone does not teach you to do very much except…
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By Matt VanVoorhis
As every industry continues to evolve digitally, business operations are increasingly more reliant on technology. With this shift comes exposure to disaster than can severely impair your operations. In this new landscape there is a critical need for business leaders and CXO’s to understand the implications of their IT decisions, but few are armed with the acumen to navigate this landscape successfully. That’s okay — there are partners out there to help you do just that.
To arm you to manage the basics in conversation and begin taking an informed approach, here is a quick cheat sheet on 5 Key Terms in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery.
Business Continuity Plan – The big kahuna of all your backup, and disaster recovery plans. This document (and it should be written in a formal document), outlines how your business will keep critical systems running in the event of certain…
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