With the abundance of potential threats awaiting every company, creating a business continuity plan (BCP) is an absolute must. An efficient BCP will allow you to predict potential risks and create a scheme that will help your company bounce back in the event of a disaster.
In a nutshell, a business continuity plan is going to save your butt, reputation, and money. Creating an effective BCP should include everything from determining risks, picking a reliable business continuity software, and testing whether everything works properly.
With so many things that demand consideration, it’s understandable that some of them are more important than others. And what should be the main components of every business continuity plan? You’ll find the answer in the article below.
Every potential threat
The first thing that your business continuity plan needs is a list of all the potential threats awaiting your company and their possible impact on your operations. Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter whether they’re minor or too unlikely to happen. You need to name them all.
Your list should definitely include:
- Floods, including broken pipes
- Acts of terrorism
- Cyber Attacks
- Malware and viruses
- Power outages
- Biological threats
As you probably suspect, the examples mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. When creating a continuity plan, the right idea is to group the threats into categories. It will enhance the efficiency of your actions and make your BCP more readable.
Data is your most valuable asset, and you should implement whatever means necessary to protect it. That’s why your data recovery should be a top priority when creating a continuity plan.
First of all, you need to determine what type of backup source you’re going to use. When it comes to that, you have three main options to choose from. You can backup your data using the cloud, special software, and external hard drive. To maximize your security, it’s best to store your data in several places.
Secondly, you have to decide how regularly you’re going to perform backups. The answer to that is relatively straightforward – as often as you can, preferably every day.
Communication and preparation
Communication is crucial if you want your BCP to work correctly when it has to. Every employee should know it. Otherwise, they won’t be able to perform when the time comes.
But sharing your plan is not the only vital thing. You also need to make sure your BCP is readable and easy to understand. What’s more, you should perform regular training to ensure your employees know what to do.
Preparation also means that you prepare the defense mechanism to prevent anything from happening. Besides training, it also includes investing in a reliable firewall, using VPN, buying insurance, and ensuring your office meets all the safety regulations.
If you want your business to fully recover in the event of a disaster, you need to know your assets, both cyber and physical. Get all the necessary details, like models of your company’s computers, phones, pieces of furniture, documents, even the number of pens you have in the office.
In case of possible theft or fire, it’s also good to take pictures of your office premises. When it comes to cyber data, we’ve already discussed what you have to do above.
Keep in mind that you will be in big trouble without knowledge about your assets when something terrible happens to your business. That’s why you should include it in your BCP.
Testing results and updates
As soon as you create your plan, you must test it. Only doing that will prove whether your BCP is efficient or not. Many managers forget to do that, only to realize that their plan doesn’t work as it should.
Through testing, you’ll be able to determine what you need to improve and change. And don’t forget to implement the results in your final plan.
What’s more, since the number of threats is constantly changing, you need to make sure you keep up with them. Updating your plan is a must if you want to ensure it’s effective. Do that as often as possible, and add improvements to your existing plan.
The bottom line
Creating an efficient business continuity plan is extremely crucial for every company. Still, many managers underestimate it, believing that nothing bad can happen to them. It’s quite illogical considering the number of potential threats awaiting.
When creating a BCP, there are many things you need to take into account. As you can see, some of them are more significant than others, so implementing them is crucial if you want your plan to work as it should.
Also, don’t forget to test your plan as soon as you create it and improve it as regularly as possible. Doing that will ensure your company will work without any significant disruptions, ensuring you build trust and reputation among clients.