No matter how successful a business is, there are always unknown threats around the corner. Things like natural disasters, cyberattacks, and system failures can occur at any time, and may result in massive data losses, extended periods of downtime, and reputational damage.
That’s why every organization should prepare for the worst-case scenario by building a robust and regularly updated business continuity plan.
What is business continuity planning?
Business continuity planning (BCP) is a comprehensive strategy to ensure that a company’s assets are adequately protected and that their systems are able to get up and running again quickly following a disaster. BCP involves defining all the risks facing a company’s operations, such as natural disasters, accidental data loss, and cyberthreats.
Naturally, a key component of BCP is backup and disaster recovery, but that’s not all. A BCP should also determine the impact of various risks across the organization, implement all of the necessary safeguards to minimize the chances of an incident happening, and determine the acceptable level of risk.
1. Prepare for unknown (and costly) threats
While BCP isn’t all about technology, the enormous reliance modern businesses have on their IT environments usually means it’s the most important element. However, given the constant change in the world of technology, new threats appear practically every day.
Businesses must prepare for these new and unknown threats by taking a proactive approach and preparing for the possibility, no matter how unlikely, that they might suddenly lose all their crucial systems and data. BCP ultimately saves money by reducing risk and keeping disruption to a minimum in the event of data loss or any other threat.
2. Achieve alignment between IT and business
BCP shouldn’t get in the way of your regular business operations, but rather be there to keep them safe and ensure you can get back up and running again after an incident as quickly as possible. For this, it’s necessary to prioritize your BCP measures according to the operations that are most important to your company. This means defining recovery objectives that align with the importance of a given operation.
For example, you might be able to survive for a few days if you lose access to archived data, but losing access to your financial systems or customer relationship management database databases could spell disaster. By achieving alignment between BCP and business goals, you can assume an acceptable level of risk and reduce the costs associated with any disruption.
3. Reduce the risk of compliance failures
While government-mandated regulations don’t normally refer to BCP, many do require you to maintain certain records for a minimum time period. For example, HIPAA requires healthcare providers to maintain patient health records for at least seven years. If you lose them for any reason, you could end up facing litigation or substantial fines.
However, backup and disaster recovery planning will minimize the chances of that happening. That’s why BCP should be closely connected to your wider digital strategy, as well as play a central role with your compliance and security processes.
4. Simplify business and technology management
A comprehensive plan offers bullet-proof protection for your business. But not only does BCP greatly reduce the economic fallout of an incident, it’s also critical for the smooth operation of your business. It provides peace of mind to you and your employees while also establishing a consensus over what constitutes best practices.
BCP is a unified and documented process for keeping data safe, reducing the risk of disruption, and minimizing the chances of a recurring data breach. It also helps build a culture of accountability in which staff know immediately what they need to do to protect your company assets, instead of wasting valuable time and money on potentially risky activities.
Kortek Solutions is ready to help you bolster your defenses in the face of man-made or natural disasters with tailor-made business continuity planning. Call now to schedule a consultation.