Written by: Jay H.
Uncontrollable events like fires, floods, earthquakes, or cyberattacks could hit your organization and severely disrupt operations. If disaster struck your business, would you know what to do? Fortunately, having a business continuity plan (BCP) in place can help your business recover quickly in case of an emergency. Here’s what you need to know about BCPs.
What Is A Business Continuity Plan?
A business continuity plan is a document that sets out exactly what your business will do in the event of an emergency. It includes contingencies for all aspects of your business, including business processes, assets, human resources, business partners, and more.
A BCP is more comprehensive than a disaster recovery plan (DRP). A DRP focuses on restoring IT infrastructures after an emergency. In fact, a DRP is just one element of a BCP since a BCP encompasses the entire organization.
Why A BCP Is Important
Without a BCP in place, you won’t have any plans set in place in the event of a disaster. For example, if cybercriminals breach your network, what immediate actions will you take? A BCP details these contingencies and lets you effectively handle any incident that may occur. In fact, being able to quickly and effectively respond to emergencies can positively impact your organization’s reputation and, of course, save money by efficiently restoring operations.
How To Make An Effective BCP
If your business does not have a BCP in place, you need to create one. To make an effective BCP, you need to take several steps, including:
- Assess your risks. The first step in formulating a BCP is determining what risks to prioritize. Identify any potential threats to your operations, including geographical, industry risks, and other issues you may encounter. Next, uncover your most critical functions and determine the acceptable downtime for each. Then, categorize the risks based on the impact on operations and likeliness of occurrence.
- Determine your recovery operations. Once you’ve determined the risks to your organization, identify how you will restore your business to minimal operation levels. This may include having employees work from home, performing data backups, or relocating to a different facility.
- Document the plan. Now it’s time to create the plan. Make copies of the BCP and determine where it will be available and who should have it. Also include the contact information for emergency responders, your IT provider, and other key personnel.
- Test and train. You won’t know that your plan works until you try it. Using a controlled testing strategy can determine any gaps or issues with your plan and help you make a concrete strategy. Indeed, you should test your plan a couple of times every year and solicit feedback from staff members.
As you can see, a business continuity plan is a vital part of any organization’s strategy. If you’re thinking about starting your BCP but don’t know where to start, contact us today.
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