The trick to a sustainable enterprise is not only optimizing market opportunities but remaining intact with a business continuity plan in case of attacks and disasters.
Unprecedented attacks are a common scenario in modern-age enterprises. Today, businesses are at risk of unending threats and incident attacks: phishing attempts, hacking, ransomware, DDOS attacks, data theft, invoice fraud – and many more.
Evidence shows that 60% of small businesses that suffer a cyberattack are likely to close shop within a year. What’s surprising is that the average incident attack on US small and medium-sized businesses would cost $200,000. In addition, 45% of all targeted attacks are aimed at small enterprises, and only 14% of these SMEs can protect themselves.
Most business owners assume that their insurance policies will cover cyber liabilities. Business insurance is a whole different policy from cyber liability. The magic words you should be looking for are “managed services.” Managed service providers (MSPs) offer cybersecurity solutions remotely by working closely with client enterprises to bridge emerging cybersecurity gaps.
The concept of business continuity emerged primarily following emerging incident attacks. Incident attacks stalled business operations due to disrupted service delivery and lost or hijacked data. Business continuity concerns the ability of organizations to operate and remain stable after an incident or an attack.
Business continuity planning recognizes that incidents happen regularly. The goal of business continuity is to reinforce an organization’s preparedness during and after an attack. Business continuity looks at mitigation measures that can be used to sustain business operations.
Continuity planning helps you prepare upfront the procedures and processes you will use during an incident: fire, storm, floods, theft, physical or cyberattack. Planning helps you craft a recovery infrastructure that will keep operations on despite threats.
So, how does business continuity matter, and how can you improve yours?
Why Business Continuity Matters:
1 Saves Lives
Business continuity saves your life. Business continuity saves hundreds of employees who depend on your enterprise for livelihood and career development. So, business continuity planning is a special way to show empathy to the people you work with. Employers who adopt business continuity plans reinforce their commitment to protecting jobs and ensuring career development. Therefore, if you’re looking for a sustainable business model, business continuity planning is an essential element of ensuring you get there.
2 Customer Confidence
Business continuity guarantees the availability of products and services, anytime and all the time. So, customer needs are met on an ‘on-demand’ basis without delays or failures. For instance, an IT vendor may guarantee consistent services only if he has a business continuity plan BCP in place. If a disaster affects his infrastructure, it may affect hundreds (maybe thousands) of other clients and businesses. So, business continuity is a critical component of building and sustaining customer confidence.
3 Disaster Response
The covid-19 pandemic has shown that even the most protected and agile enterprises can fall. A disaster recovery plan proves substantial in responding to emerging disasters. Proactively creating recovery plans and training your employees on the best practices will ensure timely recovery. In addition, when you’ve identified critical issues upfront, you’re prepared to execute your solution during a crisis effectively.
4 Business Liabilities
What’s evident in the face of rising cyber threats is that insurance isn’t a solution. While an organization may secure health, vehicle, equipment, and property insurance, this insurance may not cover the loss of employees and customers during disasters. So, a lot goes into disaster recovery planning than simply reinstalling the infrastructure. Intangible factors like customer trust, loyalty, and brand positioning are critical for long-term business sustainability.
5 Business Investment
Business continuity matters because it’s a long-term investment. Although a business continuity plan BCP may harbor fixed costs like training, equipment, and wages, it’ll get your company up and running during an incident. A business continuity plan protects critical operations, preventing operational breakdowns and ensuring sustained productivity.
How to Improve Yours:
- Regular Reviews. The first step to improving your continuity planning and management is to conduct regular plan reviews. Reviews must be conducted quarterly or after significant business developments. It’s not necessary to review all areas of the BCP. However, ensure that you proactively review and constantly update different areas of your IT.
- Address Generic Threats. A common observation is that business continuity plans fall when they address specific issues. When problems don’t unfold as earlier documented, the BCP will fail to address its goals. Instead of focusing on particular topics or addressing specific threats or issues, focus on more generic issues: unavailability of IT systems, power outages, and usability issues.
- Apply a Holistic Approach. Apply a holistic approach by addressing how threats affect all business areas instead of specific parts. While threats and incidents target particular processes or functions, incidents leave deep-seated implications on virtually all business areas. Apply a holistic approach by looking at how incidents affect the entire operations instead of specific business areas. Being holistic and comprehensive in disaster recovery limits incidents.
- Plan Accessibility. Ensure that all disaster recovery plans are available and accessible. A BCP is useless if it’s inaccessible in case of an emergency. Storing a disaster recovery plan in a computer that has been infected by malware beats the reason for having one. So, focus more on centralizing and decentralizing your business recovery efforts to ensure you’re forever protected and ready in case of an incident.
- Regular Plan Testing. Test your business continuity plans regularly to ensure they address emerging and recurring problems. Test your business continuity plans to know where to improve. By testing these plans, you’ll realize that a continuity plan stored in a cabinet or office desk is not functional when the building catches fire. Or that your continuity plan is not effective when an incident strikes when one of your key employees is on vacation. Ensure your continuity plans are accessible, updated, and functional through regular testing and experimentations.
There’s no time to waste. Each day we hear about another data breach. Now is the time to craft a thorough and flexible plan for handling them.
If you’re wondering about the best way to maximize uptime for servers, desktops, and other essential systems, contact Edafio Technology Partners to guide you as you craft your continuity plan.