As the contemporary environment for doing business evolves, tearing down frontiers and connecting people through the latest technological developments, new opportunities constantly appear; but so do new challenges and, up until now, unknown dangers. And in a world where time is money and speed is valued tremendously, companies have to stay ahead of the game by preparing proactive plans for keeping afloat in case of a disaster: today, having a business continuity plan is almost as bit as essential as having a business.
IT Vulnerabilities Could Have Devastating Effects on Business Continuity
One of the key areas you need to implement a detailed BCP is IT management and infrastructure. All companies nowadays maintain some online presence and manage personal data from users, vendors, or their own employees. Your IT infrastructure is also home to your communications and sensitive information about your enterprise’s know-how, your upcoming business strategy and plans, your product formula or services approach: in essence, all that makes your company a contender in the market.
The more data you process, the more devastating the consequences of a data breach: in September and then in December 2016, Yahoo announced two past data breaches that had compromised over 3 billion user accounts, including names, birthdates, and email credentials. The company’s reputation took a big hit right in the middle of negotiations to be bought out by Verizon, which ultimately saw its final price drop over £250 million.
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In 2014, JPMorgan Chase, one of the most powerful banks worldwide, suffered a hacker attack that affected 76 million households – over half of the US population – and seven million small businesses, making the hackers roughly £75 million richer. Even though the bank spends almost £200 million on cybersecurity annually – which means that even if you have the proper protection in place, you always need to account for the unforeseen.
Proactive is Good, but Disaster Recovery Is Necessary: the Cornerstone of Efficient BCP
Danish shipping giant Maersk has revealed that during the infamous NoPetya malware attack – which affected the company for two weeks and cost it roughly £200 million – the company’s employees were forced to communicate via WhatsApp on their private phones and communicate through Twitter and Post-It notes to keep the company going. That is not exactly a stellar approach – and the Danish enterprise has disclosed that in the hopes of raising awareness about the vulnerabilities that contemporary dependence on technology entails.
Implementing a comprehensive that focuses on disaster recovery is key to avoiding a bad experience like Maersk. Recently, disaster recovery, which aims at ensuring full business continuity by supporting time-sensitive business processes and functions, has been treated as increasingly important in enterprise computing budgets, often rising to 20-25% of the total IT computing expenses.
A good business continuity plan only works if everybody is in on it: employee training and clear assignment of roles are essential for a successful implementation of BCP. As always, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.