Businesses face risks from all areas. These risks range from environmental threats to cyber threats that can compromise a business’s IT resources. All these threats can only result in one thing: disruption of services. At times, businesses have no control over some of these devastating threats. However, they can decide how their companies should react in such incidents. Businesses with a business continuity plan checklist are in an excellent position to resume operations after an incident.
Discover how you can best prepare your business:
Business continuity is the ability of organisations to resume normal operations after an incident. A Business Continuity Plan Checklist is the process of developing preventive and recovery strategies to deal with potential threats facing an organisation. Implementation of such strategies ensures business continuity after an incident.
We have provided an example Business Continuity Plan Checklist to help prepare your organisation:
Developing and implementing a Business Continuity Plan Checklist is an extensive process that requires a team of dedicated experts. Teams should be created with hierarchy in mind. This means having an overall lead manager, other subordinate heads, and staff members. Each member or group should be assigned specific roles and responsibilities.
The development of a Business Continuity Plan Checklist starts with mapping out a plan that outlines desirable objectives and goals. Planning also includes identifying key processes and people who will be in charge of them. Before creating a BCP, an organisation should first come up with a list of threats that can disrupt its operations. This list will be used to strategise preventive and recovery measures to contain the disruption.
BIA analysis is another key process in a Business Continuity Plan Checklist development. A BIA analysis helps to determine the cost of business disruptions. These costs include financial, operational, or even legal costs that affect an organisation in case of an incident.
Business Continuity Plans encompass many fields, including financial and disaster management. Therefore, development and execution of a Business Continuity Plan Checklist requires more than IT and cybersecurity skills. As a result, businesses should implement a comprehensive training program from different departments. The training program should equip the BCP team with all the required skills.
Every organisation owns sensitive information critical to its operations. Such data, if compromised, can bring devastating harm to the organisation. This sensitive data can include financial, PII, and Sensitive PII. Therefore, the critical data should be isolated, and their recovery made convenient and easy. Protective marking can help here to label data.
Some data an organisation owns will be irreplaceable. Therefore, every backup and recovery plan should prioritise these types of data. Among such data is financial information that is generated from financial transactions. It is therefore important that businesses develop a robust data backup and recovery plan that can easily be implemented in case of an incident.
Even in a digital era, some data is still contained in hard copies. Examples of this data includes contract and tax documents. This data is as important as those stored digitally. Therefore, a good BCP should include a strategy to protect the hard copy. A strategy can include digitising the hard copies to preserve their originality and make them easily recoverable.
Some disaster incidents can completely damage an organisation’s primary data center. For example, a raging fire can totally render data storage devices unrecoverable. Therefore, an organisation should build secondary data centers equipped with all the required resources. The BCP should also stipulate the person responsible for the secondary recovery site.
Communication within business organisations is essential, especially during a disaster. Outside stakeholders such as investors need to be aware of what is happening. A comprehensive BCP must have a communication plan that can help coordinate responses to incidents. For example, an organisation should have a communication plan to address all public concerns. The communication plan should also indicate the people responsible and their specific duties.
All business programs and processes must always be tested to ensure their effectiveness, and BCPs are no exception. Testing plans for BCPs include running drills and simulations to test the level of preparedness in case of a crisis. This also allows BCP teams to identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities within their plans. Testing results can then be used to strengthen the plan.
If you are looking to build a business continuity plan for your organisation and would benefit from expert cybersecurity advice, our experienced staff are always on hand to discuss further. Contact us today to find out more.