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Posted by Alfie McDonald on September 6th 2022
Did you know 1 in 5 businesses suffer a disruption each year? Worse, 80% of businesses affected by disasters are forced to close within a month.
If you want to protect your business from damage, implementing policies and procedures for managing and responding to incidents is crucial. So, where do you start? We’ll show you. Get acquainted with business continuity testing and how to implement an effective plan in your company, below.
What is business continuity?
Business continuity planning means implementing procedures so your organisation can continue to operate as close to normal as possible during and after a disaster. These disasters could range from floods or fires to cyber-attacks and network errors.
The purpose of a business continuity plan is to document procedures for responding to incidents. This includes how you’ll manage and contain incidents, and continue operations while services are disrupted. For instance, if a cyber-attack disrupts your network and forces operations offline, you must consider how you’ll continue providing your services.
It’s also important to remember that a business continuity plan shouldn’t be confused with disaster recovery. Although related, disaster recovery is IT-specific and focuses on your systems, unlike business continuity which considers all areas of your company. Regardless, you should plan for both as part of your wider business objectives.
What does business continuity testing include?
A business continuity strategy can be divided into two areas—planning and management.
Business continuity management
You should consider a business continuity plan as a work in progress. Although it’s essential to have a set plan, you must regularly review, test, and update it.
Implementing a business continuity plan is as much about communicating responsibilities, running practice drills, and evaluating procedures, as it is about action plans in crisis. As such, you should arrange for ongoing business continuity management, reviewing and updating policies following a real or practice incident, and when new threats emerge.
What does business continuity testing guard against?
When assessing business continuity risk, you should think about all possible disasters. Doing so ensures you’re prepared, whether a simple network error, data breach, or fire. Some common disasters include:
Why is business continuity management critical?
Would you know what to do if a hacker accessed your network? What about if your business premises were set on fire? How would you respond? That’s why having a business continuity plan is essential. Should anything go wrong, you’ll already have an action plan for the ‘what if’ incidents, reducing unplanned downtime and subsequent financial and business risks.
Asides from mitigating disruptions business continuity plans have many other benefits:
Start your business continuity planning
At BCN, we can guide your business through continuity planning from start to finish. Our industry-accredited team will work with you to assess potential threats and impacts, with a fully personalised, effective business continuity plan. Our three-step approach includes: