The pandemic might be serving as the latest reminder that no organization is secure without a business continuity plan, but sadly this is nowhere close to being the only nor the last reminder the world will see.
With every new business disruption comes the worst-case scenario for any business — closure. The pandemic of 2020 has forced most businesses to move online, which has resulted in more than 97,966 businesses permanently closing, and this is expected to get much worse.
So, how do you ensure that your business remains up and running at all times? The good news is that an effective business continuity plan can help you ensure minimum property damage, employee and customer trust impact, and lost revenue. Learn more as we dive into what business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) is and how you can create a BCDR plan.
Business Continuity Defined
Business continuity is the capability of any organization to ensure operations and core business functions are not critically affected by a disaster or unpredicted event that may result in the downtime of crucial systems.
What Is a Business Continuity Plan (BCP)?
A business continuity plan (BCP) is an outline of how a business will behave and continue to function during a disruption or attack. It is more extensive than a disaster recovery plan and consists of ambiguities for business processes, infrastructure, personnel, partners, and everyone and everything that might get compromised.
What Is the Purpose of a Business Continuity Plan?
A BCP generally contains a checklist that has data backups, supplies and equipment, and backup site locations. It also identifies plan administrators and includes their contact information, key staff members, and backup site providers for crucial times. A BCP gives detailed information flow on how operations are to be retained and kept functioning for short-term and long-term disruptions.
Amongst all the components of a BCP, disaster recovery is the key one that strategizes for addressing IT disruptions to servers, personal computers, and networks. BCP should focus on how to reinforce office productivity and enterprise software so as to meet crucial business requirements. Manual process methods should be stated in the plan, so that critical operations can continue until the systems are restored.
3 Crucial Elements of a Business Continuity Plan
An ideal business continuity plan should primarily have:
1. High availability
The business should have access to major and critical applications irrespective of the local breakdown. These breakdowns could be in the business processes, in the physical facilities, or in the IT infrastructure.
2. Uninterrupted operations
The plan should ensure the capability to keep critical business processes and IT processes running during a downtime, both planned and unplanned, is met.
3. Disaster recovery
Ensure the path to utilize and/or recover data from a data center at a different location if a disaster disrupts the primary site or brings it down temporarily.
A business continuity plan (BCP) should also focus on:
- Having clear and concrete strategies to ensure smooth functioning of daily business processes with uninterrupted operations.
- Ensuring productivity during unprecedented times by managing the structure, communications, skills, and responsibilities of employees of the organization effectively.
- Ensuring the availability of necessary software to enable critical business operations along with the method to provide availability of dependencies.
- All the objects related to systems, network, and industry-specific technology necessary to ensure continuous operations and backup for data and applications.
What Is Business Continuity Management (BCM)?
BCM is an extensive management process that determines all the probable threats to an organization and impacts that those threats might have on business operations. It helps organizations construct a framework for building resilience and enabling an effective response that safeguards its important stakeholders, brand, prestige, and value creating activities.
According to ISO 22301, a BCM system highlights the importance of:
- Understanding business continuity and readiness needs, as well as the necessity for establishing a business continuity management policy and objectives.
- Implementing and operating controls and measures for managing an organization’s overall continuity risks.
- Monitoring and reviewing the performance and effectiveness of the BCM system.
- Consistent improvement based on objective measurements.
Learn More: Get Trained and Certified in Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
The BCDR program provides professionals with a strong understanding of modern business continuity and disaster recovery methods, including conducting effective business impact analysis, assessing risks, developing policies and procedures, and implementing a plan. To learn more about EC-Council’s BCDR course, click here