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.
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.