Business Continuity Planning is a term popularized over the last two decades and has evolved from planning in the event that there is an earthquake to planning in the event that there is an earth-shattering e-virus. How is the evolution of threats facing business today relevant to your business? How much downtime can you afford on your network? Moreover, how should we be thinking about planning for these threats to our business systems and critical data, and what steps should we be taking to protect ourselves? As my father once told, “Preparation and planning prevent poor performance (I took the liberty of editing the explicative).
What is Business Continuity Planning? Business continuity planning is the process whereby businesses ensure the maintenance or recovery of operations, including services to customers, when confronted with adverse events such as natural disasters, technological failures, human error, malicious code, viruses and/or cyber terrorism. The objectives of a business continuity plan (BCP) are to minimize financial loss to the company; continue to serve customers and mitigate the negative effects disruptions can have on a business’ strategic plans, reputation, operations, market position, and ability to remain in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. In order to ensure that your business remains healthy through difficult and unforeseen interruption, it is of paramount importance to have robust business continuance plan BCP.
In the past, documents, critical data, and information systems were largely stored and managed on paper and therefore the threat of a natural disaster, civil unrest, or accidental fire were the greatest problems facing the secure storage of and accessibility to the systems and data vital to a business. The idea of remote pirates entering your facility through sockets in your walls and tampering with, even interacting with information systems was an idea limited to talking computers in Sci-Fi films. Yet the threat of a cyber crime attacker became a reality in due time. From the “I Love You” virus to the “Slammer” attack, threats are quite apparently evolving from angry students torching documents on campus in the 60’s to cyber-hackers un-leashing worms and viruses that could compromise event the most sophisticated networks. In the past, Barney Fife with a flashlight and a walkie-talkie may have sufficed for some businesses, but today security where to buy digibyte is an integral part of business, information, and accounting systems.
Today, companies increasingly depend on computer-supported information processing and telecommunications. The increasing dependency on computers and telecommunications for operational support poses the risk that a lengthy loss of these capabilities could seriously affect the overall performance of the company. Information technology and automated information systems are vital elements in most business processes. IT systems are vulnerable to a variety of disruptions, ranging from mild (e.g., short-term power outage, disk drive failure) to severe (e.g., equipment destruction, fire) from a variety of sources such as natural disasters to terrorists actions, viruses, mal-ware, spy-ware and ad-ware.
Because these IT resources are so essential to an organization’s success, it is critical that the services provided by network systems are able to operate effectively without excessive interruption. Downtime impairs productivity: Employees individual production can be drastically affected, when multiplied by the number of hours out, times the burdened hourly rate; it can equal a huge loss for the small business and enterprise alike. Not to mention direct revenue loss, compensatory payments, lost future revenue, billing losses, investment revenue losses leading to impaired financial performance, revenue recognition, affected cash flow, lost discounts, payment guarantees, credit rating, and even your company’s stock price.