8 January 2019

5 steps to business continuity

The current state of business development is characterized by distressing living conditions. The number of cyber attacks and threats caused by external and internal factors is growing. And this, in turn, negatively affects the viability of the company, respectively, the functionality of all its business processes and the work of the organization in whole. Recently, more and more companies have realized the need of comprehensive protection of their resources. There is an increasing demand for strengthening the reliability of technologies that provide the functionality of the most important business processes, the need to ensure the full functionality of the company, as well as to minimize the risks of losing important information. In a word – it all comes down to the resolving of one single issue – the issue of business continuity.

In the developed countries, organizations have long been implementing various technologies to provide business continuity in crisis situations as well as due to the unforeseen circumstances. The growth rate of such companies is 25% per year, which means that the issue of information security is more relevant in the field of modern business. Therefore, today we have prepared for you 5 important elements that will help your business build a reliable system of its continuity.

Stage 1 –  Risk assessment

By risk assessment, we mean to define the events that may lead to the loss or disruption of an enterprise. This option helps to identify threats and risks that may occur in your company, the sources and consequences of their negative impact, identify the vulnerabilities of the company and its systems, as well as define the main factors that cause these risks. So, there are 3 main tasks that should be taken into account: risk identification (determining potential risks that may threaten your company), risk analysis (the process of analyzing information about potential risks) and comparative risk assessment (it aims to determine the type of risk and its significance).

Stage 2 – Enterprise Analysis

This stage involves gathering the necessary information to prioritize the services and products intended for the company’s customers. Based on the data collected, you can answer the following questions: “Which business tasks are №1 priority for you?”, “What products and services are created as a result of achieving these business goals?”, “What should be considered when achieving important business goals?”, “How long does it take to perform these tasks?”, “What is the acceptable level of risk for you?”. The received answers will help you in the next step to choose the right strategy for ensuring the continuity of your company.

Stage 3 – Strategy Development

After careful analysis of your basic resource services, you need to develop a clear strategy for solving technical and organizational problems. Your business continuity strategy should consider the following key points as the safety and security of employees, providing them with work spaces, technical equipment, necessary materials, as well as building relationships with customers, business partners and other parties. Each of these items must have its own strategy for achieving the goals indicated in the second stage.

Stage 4 – Plan development and implementation

Business Continuity Management Plans are divided into the following three main parts:

  1.   Emergency response – provides a clear action plan, which must be followed in case of an incident.
  2.   Incident Management – defines methods aimed at reducing or eliminating situations that may lead to suspension of IT services.
  3.   Business recovery – provides a plan of action to be followed in order to bring the organization back to operation.

Stage 5 – Plan Testing & Maintenance

Testing of plans is carried out in order to verify the viability of plans in those or other critical situations that a company may encounter, as well as to verify technical support and obtain the necessary knowledge and skills. After testing, you should write a report, that has to include scenarios and test results, as well as some pieces of advice to improve business continuity plans.

Today business continuity management is considered to be the most relevant approach that is dynamically developing among modern companies. This is not surprising, because this system, based on mentioned 5 stages, will provide companies with the advance preparation and development of the course of action to ensure the full functioning of their infrastructure. And remember that ensuring business continuity mainly involves a comprehensive approach to the issue where the effectiveness and viability of your company depends on every part of the business (staff, security service, information technology).