Making sure that your company’s critical business functions can continue despite serious incidents or disasters, and that areas that have been affected can recover as quickly as possible are now important responsibilities for organisations, and they have the weight of the law behind them.
Legal Responsibilities and Obligations
Huge Risks in the Business Environment
In this digital and online age where many threats and weaknesses for companies can be e.g. cyber attacks, areas of IT infrastructure and poor online and data security, disasters can happen quickly and can have far reaching, costly affects. For example company servers could suffer a fault or be put out of action by a cyber attack which could result in the website being offline and business systems used by your company, suppliers and other stakeholders could be unavailable. The results of not having sufficient plans in place can be:
Protecting Critical Business Functions
It is a fact of life in business that ‘disasters’ can and do happen on a regular basis. As part of your company’s risk management, IT governance, information security and compliance you will need to make sure that plans are in place to ensure that your organization's critical business functions can continue in the event of serious incidents or disasters. 80% of organisations with a well thought out, up to date and well implemented Business Continuity Plan are likely to survive a major business discontinuity.
Planning for Business Continuity
This involves focusing on 3 key areas:
Resilience. Maximising resilience involves planning for and regularly reviewing how the critical business functions and infrastructure are set up and organised in such a way as to not be affected by disruptions where possible. This is about making efforts to be prepared.
Recovery. This involves planning for how the business could make the fastest and best possible recovery after failures in functions (critical and less critical). This is where a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) comes in. This could involve e.g. having sufficient back up systems in place. Paying attention to this recovery area could minimise different types of damage and further threats to the business, and could even save the business itself.
Contingency. This is what your organisation plans to do if the resilience and recovery plans are not adequate or don’t cover an event, problem or disaster.
How a Business Continuity Plan Can Benefit You
Planning for Business Continuity should give you documented instructions and guidelines to enable the critical parts of your business to carry on unaffected or with a little interference as possible in the face of a multitude of different predicted circumstances. This could be anything from key staff not being able to get in to work at important times to major IT disasters. Having a clear Business Continuity Plan in place can therefore help you in terms of:
Business Continuity Standards
Being able to demonstrate to stakeholders that your business is acting responsibly, is compliant and following best practice, and is well prepared to face disruptive incidents in a recognised and realistic way can bring many business benefits. Standards that can be followed in this area include:
How a Disaster Recovery Plan Can Benefit You
Having a good, comprehensive, up to date Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) can benefit your organisation in the following ways:
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