A week without water – the importance of business continuity


A burst water main in the north-east of Ireland last week highlighted the importance of a solid business continuity plan. The burst pipe in Drogheda, County Louth, left at least 30,000 homes and businesses without water for six days.

Hotels, factories, restaurants and communal office buildings were affected. Some had to close their doors as they couldn’t guarantee a water supply, with priority being given to the local hospital.

Given that this is the second such outage to occur in the north-east of Ireland in the past 12 months and there will be no reimbursements from Irish Water for local businesses, maybe it is time for Irish businesses to invest in a business continuity and disaster recovery plan.

ISO 22301 is the international standard that sets out the requirements all organisations should follow for a robust and successful business continuity management system (BCMS).

The average age of Ireland’s water network is between 65 and 85 years, compared with 36 years in other European countries. With more than 63,000km of old piping in Ireland at risk, and 10% of this classed as extremely high risk, it is not so much a question of whether this will happen again but when and where will this happen next?

As we move further into this digital age, it is also worth noting that business downtime and vulnerabilities can be exploited by sophisticated hacks as well as a sudden lack of supply of raw materials. The recent ransomware cyber-attacks that have been dominating the news highlighted this, such as when Renault had to stop production in its UK facilities. This underlines the need to build security controls into your business continuity plans.

ISO 27001, the international information security standard, describes best practice for an information security management system (ISMS), and combined with ISO 22301 will leave your organisation in an extremely positive position should you encounter unexpected and unplanned downtime. Download our free ISO 27001 fact sheet to discover the benefits of achieving certification.

ISO 22301 – A Pocket Guide – get your copy today >>

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