In today’s business scenario, businesses cannot stop for a second. A failure of a system can lead to a complete shutdown of the business, and at a time when you need to be active 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, it is imperative to develop strategies to react to disaster scenarios and need for data recovery. Business disruptions can arise at any time, due to natural disasters such as earthquakes, inclement weather or floods, terrorist attacks, equipment failures and cyber attacks. Business continuity is the guarantee that the impact of a disaster will be controlled.
The statistics are overwhelming!
25% of companies do not reopen after a disaster, and only 35% of small and medium-sized companies are betting on a disaster recovery plan, the latter being the ones that can most easily achieve success after an unexpected incident. In the absence of a loss of data can be irrecoverable, severely affecting team productivity and the company’s reputation. In addition, the loss of sensitive information may result in contractual fines and penalties for legal non-compliance, such as those imposed by the GDPR.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery: Essential Concepts
These two concepts are closely related and support the ability of an organization to remain operational after an adverse event. The goal of these practices is to reduce risk and enable the organization to continue with its business as normally as possible after unexpected events. As cyber threats increase and downtime tolerance decreases, the trend is to combine business continuity and disaster recovery in a single term: BCDR. This is a booming market as business continuity and disaster recovery plans are an organization’s first line of defense against unusual events. The more rigorous a plan of this type, the greater the likelihood of an organization rapidly resuming its normal operations, within an acceptable time frame for the business. The adoption of these plans by companies provides a competitive advantage in that it confers a greater level of trust to all stakeholders (customers, employees, shareholders, etc.), and it is so important that many organizations begin to require them as part of supplier selection and contracting processes. Without these plans, organizations risk fines and penalties, loss of customers, lawsuits and irrecoverable damages in their image, and may ultimately lead to their bankruptcy.
What are the key features of a successful business continuity and disaster recovery plan?
- List of updated contacts – internal and external – so that the activation of the plan can be executed in a simple and fast way;
- Documented procedures that include the lines of action to respond to specific situations (for example, evacuation plans, server recovery and recovery of communication services);
- Regular exercises to test the smooth operation of the plan using emergency response team members – most organizations forget the importance of these tests – an untested recovery plan does not pass a plan of good intentions
- Advance agreements with organizations to provide support services such as space for temporarily displaced employees and rapid replacement of damaged equipment;
- Agreements with financial institutions to obtain liquidity in order to ensure business continuity and payments;
- Administrative management support.
What are the business areas and processes that companies should consider when developing a plan?
All areas of the business are important for the development of a business continuity and disaster recovery plan. All department heads must contribute to this plan, indicating what their department does, what their intervention in the critical processes of the company, on which the normal operations depend (what technologies, applications and systems are necessary to carry out the daily tasks ), where the most important data is stored, and the maximum time of data loss and stoppage that the department can take. This information is then used to identify the most critical business processes and to set the base requirements for your business. Another important factor relates to risk assessment, which examines internal and external situations that may threaten the operation of the business. This assessment also identifies identified vulnerabilities that, if left untreated, can become real threats.