Business continuity planning is an integral part of any crisis management and recovery strategy. A continuity plan denotes how an organization responds to and copes with threats and emergencies. It documents key procedures to ensure that mission-critical processes continue running despite disruption in routine and operations due to a disaster. In other words, a business continuity plan defines business resilience in the face of adversity.
A disaster may come in the form of a cyberattack, natural disaster, human error, insider threat, power blackout, IT failure, or internal management breakdown.
The importance of business continuity
A well-drafted business continuity plan should keep an organization going even when it is severely crippled. A high level of business resilience and tolerance is a vital trait in an erratic business environment. Yet, a majority of entrepreneurs recklessly downplay the importance of putting measures in place to anticipate, mitigate, and recover from disruptions. The shocking reality is that 68 percent of small businesses do not have a disaster management strategy.
Here are 10 reasons why every business — regardless of its size, location, model, and support structure — needs a proactive continuity plan:
- Eliminate or at least minimize downtime
- Guarantee resources and data availability
- Protect business assets
- Minimize delays and losses by enhancing business agility
- Stay connected to customers and staff
- Continue fulfilling the core business objectives
- Get ahead of competitors
- Safeguard the brand’s reputation
- Pave a clear track to full recovery
- Have peace of mind and reassurance of uninterrupted business output
The role of cybersecurity in business continuity strategies
There is no denying that information is a vital business asset along with all the digital infrastructures that enable organizations to collect, manipulate, and utilize valuable enterprise data. Unfortunately, this also makes corporate data and IT systems prime targets for cybercriminals. Cybercrime is the fastest-growing form of criminal activity today, and also the most devastating threat to businesses across the globe.
Business continuity management and cybersecurity are intertwined and codependent. Protecting business data and IT systems play a crucial role in developing business resilience against a multitude of harmful threats.
Cybersecurity strategies focus on preventing and responding to both internal and external threats to data and IT infrastructure by analyzing and minimizing risks. Comprehensive risk management also prepares the organization for the worst-case scenario following a successful attack by invoking contingencies and prompt recovery measures.
While BCP is mostly concerned with business-critical operations such as revenue generation, cybersecurity ensures that the technical tools empowering those processes are readily available at all times. Generally, both recovery strategies overlap each other, and in some cases, it is right to say that cybersecurity is a major facet of the larger continuity plan.
Aligning cybersecurity with business continuity
There are many benefits to integrating IT security response with the existing business continuity protocols, instead of having the two as separate disaster response mechanisms. Merging both models results in a more holistic and effective business resilience structure. It also prevents the execution of redundant or contradictive response procedures, improving coordination efficiency, and speed during a high-stakes crisis.
Disaster recovery is one of the main pillars of cybersecurity. By utilizing quick restoration measures and redundancies such as data and system backups, the business can revert to acceptable IT performance without missing a beat. And by following continuity guidelines, order, leadership, collaboration, and communications can be restored with the reestablished IT infrastructure. This is only one example of a scenario demonstrating that cybersecurity and business continuity are two sides of the same coin.
Business continuity and cybersecurity strategies are all about anticipating and managing risks to mold business resilience that genuinely holds up in crises. Separating the two or pushing for one response model over the other results in weak continuity cohesion.
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If you’re looking to enhance your cybersecurity and create a solid foundation for your business continuity plan, contact us today here at GB Tech