Over the last few years, companies across all industries have been subjected to a crucible of challenges that tested the mettle of their business continuity strategy approaches. Although many organizations successfully overcame these threats to business continuity, others found that their risk management strategies were lacking.
Between the increase in security breaches, ongoing supply chain delays, and stringent COVID compliance measures, organizations turned to their continuity of operations plans for guidance. Unfortunately, many of these action plans fell far short of expectations.
Here are several common expectations that businesses have when they are thrust into the midst of crises:
Expectation 1: Everyone knows how to respond
One of the worst assumptions you can make is believing that your entire staff knows what to do during a major disruptive event. Unless your company regularly reviews and provides training on how to deploy your continuity of operations plan, the majority of your staff will not know how to respond when disaster strikes. Even if you train, practice, and review this information, there will be a few staff members who falter.
In light of this fact, you must not only implement a comprehensive continuity of operations plan, but you also need to deploy a digital system of “checks and balances” to guard against user error.
You should also implement a centralized communication system that will allow you to send out reminders during a critical incident, which brings us to expectation #2.
Expectation 2: Communicating with employees is a low-priority concern
Whether your business is preparing for a natural disaster, scrambling to mitigate the impacts of a data breach, or rapidly transitioning to remote work, communication is essential. However, many companies have become far too dependent on network-based communication channels such as email. What happens if a power outage, DDoS attack, or other incident prevents you from using your business email accounts?
To overcome this issue, we recommend implementing a centralized communication solution that allows you to send out alerts across multiple mediums simultaneously. With a versatile system, you can communicate with your staff via text, mobile applications, automated phone calls, and even their personal email addresses.
You can use this tool to keep them apprised of the incident and also to expedite the return to normal business operations.
Expectation 3: Our onsite data backups are adequate
How would your business fare if your essential data was corrupted due to a cyberattack? What if your office building was flooded due to a broken pipe or set ablaze from an electrical issue? Are you confident that your data backup processes are sufficient to allow you to resume normal operations quickly?
Without a viable data backup solution in place, it will be nearly impossible to rebound from a large-scale loss of data. If you are still reliant upon onsite servers, you may want to consider upgrading to a cloud-based solution, which provides several advantages.
Expectation 4: Our CRM’s built-in security is enough
If your company's digital footprint is built around solutions like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics, then you may assume that these providers will ensure that your data is protected. While cloud service providers are responsible for securing the infrastructure, you must also do your part in the shared responsibility model by protecting the data that you store within these applications.
With that in mind, we suggest strengthening your security posture by taking a proactive approach. This means implementing a dynamic solution that reduces the risk of security breaches, protects your most sensitive data, and actively identifies new risks as they emerge.
How to create a better business continuity strategy
By enacting a plan focused on both the key elements of backup and recovery, as well as SaaS security posture management, you will be well positioned to maintain business continuity when the unexpected occurs.