How Can Continuity Planning Help Your Business?
The events of the last year have taught us that businesses must prepare for what they can see coming, and plan for anything they can’t.
Keeping your business operating through any situation is the primary goal of business continuity. During the pandemic, the government’s ‘work from home’ instruction sent many businesses into a tailspin. Most didn’t have the technology, capacity or capability to make the instant shift to remote working. Many had to improvise systems so they could continue operating or alter their current business model to compensate. This lack of preparedness and rapid changes to systems raised a number of issues across the business landscape from loss of revenue, to staff uncertainty, and restricted growth.
Why is business continuity planning so important?
Serious events can keep business owners and managers awake at night, but many have not implemented an effective disaster recovery plan or robustly tested their processes. Disaster recovery is about keeping businesses operational, or as close to normal as possible should any threat or disaster occur. Effective business continuity planning will help reassure clients, suppliers and stakeholders that sound systems are in place along the whole chain.
Government organisations such as the National Cyber Security Center and regional organisations such as the Cyber Resilience Center for Greater Manchester have been working hard to raise the profile and importance of business continuity and cyber security with SMEs. They promote greater business security control to prevent or minimise the impact of a business-critical cyber threat event, if it should ever happen.
The pandemic demonstrated that many companies didn’t have a business continuity plan in place. Unfortunately, the rapid pivot to remote working has been exploited by cybercriminals. According to the NCSC, Ransomware cases tripled in 2020 compared to 2019, and the amount paid to criminals by victims of ransomware has increased by 300%.
How to manage risk
No business can plan for every potential risk but they can be avoided by taking a broad approach to scenario planning. It’s important to understand that risk exposure can only be assessed by understanding areas where mitigating actions have not been put in place.
Key considerations for business continuity planning
- Ensure there is buy-in from top management, so senior leadership takes business continuity planning seriously
- Have a clear understanding of your organisation’s critical systems
- Recognise potential threats to the organisation and the effect they may have
- Identify how the identified threats may be mitigated and take steps to mitigate threats where possible
- Perform scenario-based assessments, and recovery planning exercises to carefully consider what you would do in the event of a disruption. This will test if the right mitigating actions are in place
- Regularly review threats and the scenario-based assessment
Start planning now
The events of the pandemic have been a wake-up call for businesses. They have served as a shocking reminder of the importance of business continuity planning.
If business continuity planning is on your agenda, take a few minutes to complete our Resilience Audit to help identify areas your business should focus on.
Thinc’s Managed Service team offers the very best in disaster recovery solutions to growing SMEs across the UK through best in class:
- IT Consultancy
- System Design and Implementation
- Vulnerability Assessments
Threats to the operation of your business have never been so many and varied. A comprehensive and robust business continuity response is now essential to the running of any company. Using tools like our Resilience Audit is a vital first step in ensuring you are protected, safe, and able to work through any event that the world may throw at your business.
There is no better time to prepare for the unknown than right now.
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Are you looking for help and advice to improve your business continuity planning? Speak to our business advisory team to understand how having the right IT infrastructure in place can help you.Speak to us
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