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Business Continuity

The Complete Business Continuity Plan – Step 2: Identify What You Need To Cover

In our previous blog we touched upon the importance of having a robust business continuity plan in place, regardless of how big or small your business may be. In this blog we will start to go through the essentials: what you need to look at to ensure your DR plan will protect your business. With more and more businesses becoming victims to online cyber attacks, malware and other viruses there’s never been a better time to start your planB. Whether you’re just looking for another office to work from in the event of not being able to use your own, or you require a robust backup solution to protect your data, the following checklist will help you focus on some of your critical business areas.

  • Let’s start with the team, your A-Team – Business continuity is certainly the type of project that warrants its own team. Build your team with hierarchy in mind so each member knows their roles and which recovery tasks they’re responsible for. Ideally, this team will address all of your BC plans from preparation to execution.
  • Draw up the plan – One of the most important components of a business continuity plan is actually mapping out a strategy. Use this opportunity to identify key processes and people that keep the business running. Make a list of all the disruptions that could potentially hinder your operations. Pinpoint the functions that are most critical to everyday business processes, and formulate practical recovery strategies for each possible disaster scenario.
  • Conduct business impact analysis – Once you’ve identified all the potential threats to your daily operations, it’s time to analyze the impact of those threats. Depending on your set-up and geographical location, you may need to think of an extensive list. This can include: flood, fire, hurricane and depending on your geographical location even earthquakes, tsunami and volcanoes. These will be natural disasters that may hit once in a lifetime, however there are others which have a higher probability of happening. Statistics show that it’s very likely to experience downtime due to: power outage, hardware or system failure, data corruption, cyber attacks or even accidental or malicious data deletion by employees. A flood may cause water damage that requires replacement of servers and other equipment, while a fire could result in a situation where you’re forced to close down. Your business continuity team and management personnel should understand all the problematic scenarios that may accompany a disaster, and how those situations could affect the organization as a whole. Have you thought about what you would do if you fell victim to even one of the more common occurrences? You should identify a disaster situation budget. This means at any given time, you should know how much downtime could cost your business. Do you know how much money you may lose if you could not operate as normal for an hour, a day or even longer?
  • Educate and train – Another consideration is training and testing. Just because your staff are proficient at IT and cyber security this doesn’t  mean they can always handle business continuity. Train the team on the objectives, requirements, and key components of your planB, then create a training program that helps them develop the skills needed to execute that strategy.
  • Isolate sensitive info – Some data is so important that losing it could put your entire business in jeopardy. You should keep financial records, login credentials, and other mission-critical information somewhere that allows for quick and convenient access during recovery. You want to prioritize the data that is most vital to the continuity of your business.
  • Backup important data – A good backup plan entails creating copies of anything that can’t be replaced. For any business with the medical, legal or finance sectors, that may include document files, employee and customer records, business emails, and even select data stored on mobile devices. If a disaster happens today, an effective backup strategy can make sure you’re back in business tomorrow – or on the same day.

It may appear like a lot of work to create a workable planB that will not cost you the earth to implement and at the same time cost you your business if it fails to deliver what you require. You need to have a balance but like all things, if it’s worth doing it’s worth doing properly. Netcetera has been helping businesses like yours with a variety of business continuity solutions for over 21 years with many of our existing clients taking full advantage of what is available from our Server Management and Managed Backup solutions including all our industry leading security solutions to.

In our next blog we will look at how you can protect your data, designate a suitable recovery site, carry out testing of your plan and what communication strategy you may need to have in place. At the end of our blog series you will have the opportunity to download our comprehensive new ebook, free for you to build your disaster recovery plan from.

If you would like to find out more about any of Netcetera’s Managed Services or planB, simply click on the below button and we’ll be ready to offer you assistance and any free advice you might require to make your business disaster proof.

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