A staggering 41% of businesses fail after a major disaster. And only 29% are back up within two years.
For most, bankruptcy and reorganization result within one year.
When you think of a major disaster, a Tsunami or earthquake may come to mind. These do impact businesses in a profound way.
But today, for businesses large and small a new threat exists.
This threat attacks without warning and can completely stop business operations for days, months. Or, as the data suggests, it can shutter them up forever.
But through business continuity management, organizations can continue to operate. They can quickly bounce back from these disasters.
Let's explore how it works.
Using Business Continuity Management
Cyber Threats On The Rise
We'll not soon forget how the ransomware Wannacry infected over 200 thousand computers across over 150 countries in May 2017.
It impacted major banks, international transporters, warehouses and our own NHS. It locked down computers. It held valuable business data for ransom. It completely halted business operations until the ransoms were paid.
And the longer businesses waited to pay, the higher the ransom would go.
Seemingly helpless, businesses paid the ransoms to regain access to their data.
Prevalence of Cyberattacks
Wannacry was not a single event. Cyber attacks like these are sweeping systems, attacking businesses large and small.
Nearly 500 thousand were impacted in 2016.
Businesses today must have their data to function. For this reason, these attacks have proved themselves very profitable.
They increase significantly year over year.
Protecting yourself is more than just installing a virus protector or firewall. These attackers pride themselves in exploiting the vulnerabilities in these types of systems.
Business continuity management requires the development and implementation of a comprehensive set of solutions. You must both prevent attacks and:
- Retain critical business functions during an attack
- Quickly regain full capacity soon after
- Protect sensitive data like national insurance numbers and financial information
- Mitigate risks
- Reduce potential losses
Cost To Businesses
Even if the business doesn't shut down, attacks like these can cost businesses millions.
Cybercrime cost businesses worldwide around $340 billion in 2016.
This cost comes in the form of:
- Actual monetary losses
- Lost reputation & customers
- Lost days of operation
- Cost of remediation
- Regulatory fines
- Legal costs
- Public relations
- Credit monitoring for those impacted
ISO Standards For Business Continuity Management
ISO (international standards of operation) certifications are sought after certifications for businesses like yours. A business must undergo audits and prove its compliance with ISO to obtain this seal.
ISO/IEC 27031:2011 recognizes the importance of business continuity management. It certifies companies in their ability to continue functioning during and immediately after a disaster.
It requires that IT infrastructures be in place to support the continuance of business operations.
It sets forth international and consistent standards. It paints the picture of what comprehensive business continuity management looks like.
What Does Being Pro Business Continuity Management Look Like?
A business continuity management plan isn't just a set of haphazardly implemented solutions. It's not just a virus scanner over here, training over there, and some data backups on the side.
It's composed of fully integrated solutions that work together. These allow smooth operations in the event of both natural disasters and virtual ones.
It Has the Right People In Place
It's managed from the top down. But everyone knows their part.
A business will have many systems and professionals implementing continuity solutions. But one leader should oversee everything. This person should be experienced in every aspect of business continuity.
Delegation of responsibility should be clearly laid out. Everyone knows their role and how their role interrelates to those of others.
It Involves the Right Technologies
Here are just a few of the solutions that go into business continuity management.
Firewalled cloud-based data backup solutions keep your data safe from these attacks. It's all backed up regularly and automatically. You're always up-to-date and ready in the event of a disruption.
But what's the point of backing everything up if you can't access it? Additional technologies can allow employees to access data remotely from an alternate location.
Remote desktop technology can be put in place so that no actual data is stored on devices themselves.
If a device becomes comprised, it can simply be removed from the network, temporarily replaced and then cleaned for future usage.
Automated behind the scenes continuity testing is a must. You can't afford to find out during an event that something isn't working. A comprehensive system includes an automated disaster recovery service assurance systems.
In addition, management includes putting security technologies in place to prevent attacks in the first place.
It Focuses On Procedure
How often is software updated? How do you ensure that it gets updated? How will employees be contacted in the event of a disaster? Who and what will need to happen to continue business operations?
All of these questions and more go into developing procedural business continuity plans.
It's A Company-Wide Initiative
Business continuity doesn't end in the IT department. It's a company-wide initiative that involves:
Key Individuals Developing A Strategy
A business continuity team should be in place. This will involve various department leaders. IT management familiar with the technologies in place will also be present.
This group will work together put a written plan in place so that everyone knows what to do in the event of an attack.
Employees throughout the organization must be involved.
Provide education on things like:
- Not opening attachments from people you don't know
- How friendly cyber thieves are when trying to access your systems
- How to create strong passwords and change them regularly
- What the potential threats are
- What they can do to help keep company data safe
Be Safe With a Business Continuity Plan
Businesses today face new and very real risks to the continuity of business operations. These disruption risks give no prior warning and bring an organization as large as NHS to its knees in an instant.
This can cost companies large and small millions.
But with business continuity management, you can prevent attacks. And you can continue operations during and after an attack. You can rest assured that your critical business data is safe and accessible in the case of an event.
To learn more about how we can help you with business continuity, contact us today.