What is business continuity?
Business Continuity represents a company’s preparations to withstand a disaster that could threaten its operations. These events can include natural disasters, data loss, cyber and ransomware attacks, and the loss of valuable equipment and personnel. A simple definition is that a company’s data resiliency supports its business continuity in the event of a data loss event or cybersecurity breach.
Why do I need a business continuity plan?
Business continuity ties together several aspects involved in maintaining readiness and securing the company against disasters, threats and common wear and tear. It encompasses several supporting principles that are positive developments for any organization to pursue. Thinking about business continuity in the present mitigates risk and makes the company and its assets more productive in the long run. Companies that value their business continuity are more competitive and better positioned to achieve their goals.
What is included in a business continuity plan?
Business continuity involves three mutually reinforcing principles:
Resiliency: Resiliency represents a company’s ability to operate for extended periods without incurring significant interruptions in their business operations. Some examples of resiliency include investing in higher quality and more durable equipment, training employees on cybersecurity techniques, investing in cyber resiliency services for essential digital files, and setting up alternative working arrangements in the event of a natural disaster.
Recovery: Recovery represents the company’s ability to return to normal operations in the event of an interruption in business. For example, having a comprehensive disaster recovery plan with functional data backups promotes recovery from data loss, computer failure and cyber attacks. Having processes and infrastructure in place that allows employees to work from home when the office is damaged promotes recovery from natural disasters and equipment failures.
Contingency: Contingency represents the company’s flexibility in responding to crisis and returning to normal operations. Contingency plans come into place when there is a disruption large enough to render other aspects of business continuity infeasible. For example, following the 3-2-1 backup rule so you are never relying on only one backup source for your data recovery, and in the event that you lose one source of backup data you have more options to recover it.
Best Practices for business continuity
Business continuity should start as a broad plan that encompasses multiple aspects of your business operations. Pull back and look at your company comprehensively, note every aspect of your business and what kind of interruptions you might experience, and then look deep into each aspect, uncovering as many different solutions as possible to those scenarios.
Once you have laid down the groundwork you can focus on the most efficient solutions for your immediate needs and your recovery expectations. Work on your resilience and recovery, and never rely on any one single asset as a cure-all.
Remember, having a data resilience solution is better than having none. Prioritize which aspects of your business are the most valuable, and ensure they remain protected when laying out immediate plans.
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