Business continuity: Why organisations should plan for the worst

Targeted attacks by skilled and persistent cyber criminals are now a business reality, so organisations need to have an effective business continuity plan in place to ensure their survival.

Growing concern about cyber attacks

In September 2017 the European Commission reported that 80% of European organisations suffered at least one cyber security incident and the economic impact of cyber crime has risen five-fold over the past four years.

Traditional security measures such as firewalls and antivirus software are proving inadequate in the evolving threat landscape. In 2018, organisations are looking at ‘when’ they will be attacked, not ‘if’.

The importance of business continuity

Business continuity is an increasingly important function as even minor interruptions, such as loss of electricity, can have significant consequences.

It defines a form of risk management that deals with the risk of business activities or processes being interrupted by external factors.

Business continuity management (BCM) involves planning for any potential disaster by identifying potential threats and analysing their impact on your organisation’s day-to-day operations.

Understanding what threats could affect your organisation and which of those could present a risk to its survival is critical.

Why organisations should plan for the worst

Robert Clark, editor of January’s book of the month, In Hindsight – A compendium of Business Continuity case studies, said, “I still find myself amazed at the degree of naivety that exists in both the public and private sectors and the excuses for not embracing business continuity.”

Clark highlighted that five companies featured in his book’s case studies ceased trading after being hit by catastrophes that they were unprepared for.

Potential business continuity disasters range in levels of severity and include:

  • Fuel crisis;
  • Communications failure;
  • Industrial action; and
  • Loss of business facilities because of fire, flooding, theft or vandalism.

An effective business continuity plan (BCP) should clearly define an action plan that would come into effect if disaster strikes and will ensure that your organisation can provide a minimum acceptable level of service.

Organisations should plan for the worst and create a BCP to:

  • Minimise disruption to themselves and customers;
  • Preserve corporate reputation; and
  • Reduce loss of revenue.

Learn from previous business continuity disasters

In Hindsight: A compendium of Business Continuity case studies, is an essential guide for anyone working in business continuity planning or disaster recovery.

Exploring real-life disasters from the past 30 years, including the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic ash cloud and the Madrid bombing, this book reveals the themes that contributed to each and demonstrates the potentially devastating results for organisations that have not planned for the worst.

Learn how you can avoid making similar mistakes, reduce risks and enable faster recovery when things do go wrong with this essential guide.

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