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No one wants to think about bad things happening, but they do — so it’s vital that you and your business are prepared. At the moment of a disaster, you need to be able to carry on with minimal interruption. Your company’s business continuity plan should include the best way to handle any anticipated or unforeseen catastrophe that might strike your business and keep you from functioning. How would you respond if a fire, flood, a cyberattack or other distressing event were to occur? Having a concrete and well-thought-out plan can ensure minimal panic and a speedy recovery for you and your employees.
Business continuity planning isn’t a magic bullet to ensure everything always goes as planned. It’s a tool you can use when things go wrong, giving you a solid foundation of strategic plans and preparedness to resist any unexpected storms that may arise. And eventually, at least one thing will surface — even the best companies experience a crisis, but those that are best-prepared aren’t fazed by it — they know exactly what needs to be done.
Read: How Backups and Disaster Recovery protect SMEs
This is why businesses should be writing their plans for how they’ll respond during unexpected events occurring within their organisations. By undertaking careful planning and exercising these plans repeatedly, we can learn to anticipate problems before they occur and make the best out of a bad situation when they do happen.
Don’t take any chances with business continuity; don’t wait until it’s too late! This article will cover the basics of what you need to get started with your business continuity plan.
A Business Continuity Plan covers much more than technology despite mainly being discussed between managed services providers. Most people immediately associate business continuity with Backups and Disaster Recovery, which are, in fact, crucial components of your BCP – but don’t represent all of it!
Read on to learn what you need to begin crafting your business continuity plan.
A Business Impact Analysis (BIA) is one of the first steps your company should consider. A Business Impact Analysis is a review of all Business-Critical Operations, risk assessing them in the event of a worst-case scenario.
A Business Impact Analysis should be implemented by the Management Structure within an organisation and should include senior management and representatives from all business departments.
The easiest way to assess the risk to your business is to identify critical functions and supporting assets in your organisation. Once a company has identified its business-critical assets, the next step is to ensure their availability and continued ability to run. Learn how to understand and calculate your organisational risks.
It’s up to your people to bring your business back into action! A Business Continuity Coordinator should be nominated to lead this effort, and all employees should be trained or at least made aware of the Business Continuity Process. It is the responsibility of senior management within the organisation to ensure the training and education of all employees are complete.
Read: Navigating backups and training in unprecedented times
What happens in the event of an emergency? What procedures should your staff follow? In the event of your organisation having to close due to an emergency, there should be procedures and guidelines available to all staff to let them know what to do. That way, if something goes wrong, your company can act as one unified body without hesitation or confusion.
Documentation such as an Incident Response Plan, Business Continuity Plan and a Continuity of Operations Plan is what people will be searching for at this time.
Your employees should know where these documents are located, whether on a local file server or hosted in the Cloud. We call this a disaster recovery war chest.
Lastly, you need to make sure your technology infrastructure is prepared to allow people to operate in case of a disaster. This means having a plan in case your data and your devices are compromised!
We recommend having backups on-site and on the Cloud to safeguard your data. That should cover you if anything happens to your server or if you are hit by a ransomware attack. When considering backup and recovery solutions, think about your desired Recovery Time Objective and Recovery Point Objective – RTO and RPO – which will determine how fast you can recover and how much data you can afford to lose. Remember to test these backups and check if they are functioning correctly and within your objectives!
Read: Backup Strategies to Prevent Data Loss
Having your data available is pointless if your staff can’t access it. Will people be able to work from their homes? Does every employee have access to a laptop or home PC? If so, does each computer comply with the company’s network access policy? And finally, does the device have a VPN set up to gain access to business applications and data remotely?
It is also highly advisable to move critical files to cloud-based storage, such as Egnyte or SharePoint. This will allow access to these files from anywhere and on any device without the need for complex VPNs.
Having a robust Business Continuity Plan in place will allow you to be prepared for every major risk factor that could potentially affect your organisation. A Business Continuity Plan should be able to address situations like fire, floods, physical invasions and the vast number of Cyber Security risks – which could be just as disastrous for a company.
One of any such disasters could cause anything from financial damage to a vital failure leading to business closure.
Now that you know the importance of these procedures, you can prepare your plan and avoid the incoming damage posed by external threats. It’s always recommended to have a specialist by your side when developing your strategy to ensure you’re not missing any critical details. Plus, this expertise will save you time and effort in defining the best recovery solutions.
Count on us to help you build your Business Continuity Plan! We help our clients define their backup and recovery objectives. We monitor backups in real-time to identify issues and review client backup reports daily. Issues are escalated and remediated by our certified support engineers. We will certify that everything is working for when you need them the most. Book a Call today to speak to our team and learn all the ways we can support your business infrastructure.
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