By Lauren Groff:
Business continuity planning is being widely embraced as an essential component of business strategy. With a continuity plan, you’ll ensure your organization will be able to deal with and recover from any potential threat that could arise. Despite widespread adoption, however, too many businesses consider a BCP a once-and-done affair. However, to ensure the greatest resilience in your organization, regular testing of your plan will ensure it’s up to scratch.
Testing your plan often reveals gaps and flaws that would otherwise be unforeseen – business threats are dynamic, and your BCP needs to be adaptable to ensure your business survives.
How Often Should You Test?
Once you acknowledge the need for testing your BCP, the questions of how and when arise. The unique position of every organization, and the threats to their position, means that there’s no right or wrong time to test your BCP. A larger organization with more at stake – as well as more variables affecting performance – will need to test more often than a smaller organization. What’s key, however, is that your BCP is tested. Without assessing the performance of your BCP in test conditions, you’ll never know if your organization has the resilience it badly needs.
1) Data Loss or Data Breach
No company can operate without its data. Yet data is inherently vulnerable, and often an avenue of attack. Testing your BCP for the eventuality of a data breach will ensure your business has a proactive response to a loss, whether that’s caused by an external attack or internal error.
In the event of a data breach, regaining possession of your data is critical. Your BCP will outline how your data has been backed up. But does your business continuity plan facilitate the restoration of your data, and determine who is responsible for implementing this procedure?
2) Power Loss
Power outages happen for a variety of reasons and are more and more common as adverse weather becomes the norm. Utility companies can take several days to restore power in worst case scenarios. An absence of power causes huge knock-on effects on business operations and this is one essential scenario for your BCP to perform against.
Logistical strategy in response to power outage should be outlined in your BCP and a hierarchy of relief should be established to ensure that the departments that need a quick response get the help they need. Make sure you know if your BCP is equipped to respond to this scenario.
3) Network Outage
A network outage often follows from a power outage, but the network can drop without power disappearing, with no indication of how long it may last. Any business continuity plan needs to be prepared for the unique elements of this scenario.
Testing your BCP under these conditions will ensure that the network is restored without delay. In 2021 more employees than ever before are working from home and ensuring your BCP hasn’t become outdated can prevent dramatic losses of productivity when the network fails.
4) Physical Events
Fire, hurricanes, or tsunamis – we never expect a natural disaster to land on our doorstep, until it does. Whilst all organizations will have regular fire drills in place, ensuring your BCP is ready for any extreme act of nature will build great resilience into your business.
Beyond acts of nature, situations such as bomb threats and civil unrest may need to be taken into account in a BCP. Whilst some scenarios will unfold in unforeseen ways, planning a BCP that’s flexible in the face of disaster is vital to success.
5) Emergency Comms
Communication is essential to your ability to operate your business, and whilst comms may fail during natural disaster or power outage, communication is so important it deserves its own place within your BCP testing procedure.
Preparing non-traditional methods of staying in contact with your team such as emergency notification software will allow you to keep in touch no matter what happens. This is likely to be the groundwork for any action plan contained within your BCP and its performance should be tested regularly.
Business continuity plans are vital to the resilience of your organization in the face of disaster. As challenging circumstances emerge, the corporations that have assembled and tested their responses will be ready to thrive. Make sure you’re on the winning side.
About the Author: Lauren Groff has been Emergency Management Coordinator for 4 years and is the lead tech writer at Essay writing services reviews and Best assignment writing services AU. She’s passionate about protecting organizations from the influx of variables the world throws at them. You can read more of her work at Best essay writing services.