A Well-developed Business Continuity Plan is Crucial for Maintaining Continuous Operations

People often use the terms “business continuity” and “disaster recovery” interchangeably. This should not be so business continuity ensures that operations continue if a disaster occurs, while disaster recovery ensures that data access and IT infrastructure are restored following a disaster. When a company is hit by a natural disaster, disaster recovery keeps business continuity, speeds up the recovery process, and decreases damage.

Goals of Business Continuity Planning

Business Continuity ensures proper identification of critical organizational assets. It identifies the company’s primary technology and services. It identifies the company’s primary stakeholders. It lays out carefully defined recovery plans. Business Continuity provides alternative operating options A business continuity plan reduces the impact of an interruption on the company and its consumers.

Why is it Important?

  1. Business continuity ensures employees, assets, and stakeholders are all protected.
  2. It guarantees that the company adheres to regulatory requirements.
  3. It maintains the reputation of the company and its customers.
  4. It ensures the availability of critical services.
  5. It provides contractors and customers with security measures.

Three Key Areas of Business Continuity Planning

Resilience: The importance of resilience in business continuity management stems from the fact that it allows businesses to adapt quickly and efficiently to disruptions. An organization’s ability to adapt swiftly and effectively reduces the impact of interruptions on its customers, employees, and assets.

Recovery: Recovery in business continuity management is the activities and procedures employed if an organization encounter an interruption or incident. Depending on the size and type of organization, recovery can take various forms. The four types of recovery are Tactical, operational methodology, strategic, and complete business continuity management. Every type of recovery in business continuity management can have its own set of goals and tactics for getting back to normal as soon as possible.

Contingency: An alternative to a system failure that is either structural or procedural. It gives a fail-safe procedure to use if a disaster or catastrophe happens.

Business Continuity Management

Business Continuity Management is a management strategy that assists firms in forecasting, dealing with, and recovering from disasters.

Stages to an Effective Business Continuity Management Implementation

1. Planning Stage: The initial element of planning is threat assessment, which entails obtaining information on likely disruptions and their consequences. The company can acquire information through customer feedback, surveys, and data monitoring. It also entails performing a business impact analysis and developing business continuity strategies. Then finally, the company defines its business continuity strategy.

2. Development Stage: Businesses must first identify their business Continuity Requirements to plan for the development phase of BCM. These specifications will define the vital aspects of the company that must be maintained for critical operations to continue. The next step is for firms to create a Disaster Recovery Plan, which will describe how to recover from a disruption. Additionally, firms should construct a Succession Planning Process to allow a smooth transfer to a new disaster recovery plan if the present one fails. After that, there is a need to make a disaster communication strategy and assess the service chain’s availability.

3. Maintenance Stage: The maintenance stage of BCM is concerned with maintaining the organization’s operational continuity by ensuring that important business processes and systems remain operational. Training and awareness implementations, testing, and simulation exercises are priorities at this stage. The next step is to devise a change management strategy for change adoption in the organization. In addition to that is to create reporting metrics, and then determine how audit and evaluation will be conducted to ensure that the baseline requirements are met.

Components of Business Continuity Management

1. Identification of key Stakeholders: The essential stakeholders in business continuity management should have a comprehensive awareness of the business continuity plan’s objectives and the potential impact on their company. They should understand the roles and duties of all stakeholders in the BCP and be able to spot any potential problems early on. For the business continuity plan to be successful, the BCP team must communicate effectively with all stakeholders.

2. Risk Assessment: Companies must first understand the types of risks that can affect their operations to assess the risk of potential incidents. Financial, organizational, technological, and environmental hazards are the risks that might impair a company’s operations. Companies often evaluate the impact of each category of risk in diverse ways, depending on the severity of the risk and the potential impact on the company’s operations.

3. Business Continuity Operations: Business continuity operations are a collection of pre-planned activities that protect a company’s vital business information and procedures in the case of a disaster. It is a critical component of company recovery and continuity strategy. Business Continuity Operation’s goal is to ensure that businesses can continue to operate normally during turbulence, whether resulting from natural disasters or unexpected events like hacking attacks.

4. Disaster Recovery Plan: The goal of disaster recovery is to minimize the incident’s impact while maintaining high customer expectations when a company is afflicted by a natural disaster. It also ensures business continuity and accelerates the recovery process, thereby lowering losses.

5. Mitigation Plan: Mitigation planning is known as the process of identifying, planning, and executing strategies to mitigate the effects of a disaster. It is an important part of business continuity planning and entails several phases, including risk evaluation, risk management, and the execution of business continuity exercises.

6. Communication Plan: In the case of a crisis, a communication plan is a written document that describes an organisation’s communication strategy. The purpose of a business continuity plan is to provide relevant and complete information to all stakeholders so that stakeholders may make educated decisions. An effective communication plan should incorporate the following critical elements. Information, coordination, and engagement communication are all forms of communication. The coordination of measures required to assure the business’s continuity is known as coordination communication. Employees are engaged in the continuity planning process through communication that improves team spirit and promotes a sense of accountability.

Finally, business continuity planning is an integral part of every organization’s service continuity. There are different reasons for service interruption. Cyberattacks and natural disasters are two of the most usual challenges that can severely disrupt a business. The more reason a business continuity plan (BCP) is critical for getting services back in operation as quickly as possible.

Interested in information security governance, risk and compliance? Enrol in MCSI’s MGRC - Certified GRC Expert.