No one wants to spend too much time thinking about worst-case scenarios. After all, you'd probably rather consider all the ways your business could grow and thrive. Unfortunately, the truth is that preparing for the worst is sometimes the best thing you can do for your company--and that's where a business continuity plan comes in.
Business Continuity Plans, Defined
A business continuity plan is your company's roadmap or survival guide for unexpected cyber security problems. It's a way to make sure that, even if you do end up in a worst-case scenario, you don't have to rely on guesswork to get through to the other side.
For example, say a cyber security breach has forced you to put your systems on lockdown. Instead of scrambling to find alternatives or sending panicked messages to customers, a business continuity plan helps you know exactly what to do and in what order. Here are just a few things your plan might include:
Communication: When an outage occurs, you need to tell your teams what's happening and why (so they don't panic). A business continuity plan can establish a communication tree to help spread the word.
Organization: It's easy to feel overwhelmed in the face of a significant cyber security threat, but a business continuity plan helps organize your thoughts and actions. You can use it as a guide to help keep everyone on track.
Prioritization: Another important part of a business continuity plan is the prioritization of business systems. You need to know what should come online first and what can wait if necessary.
What Makes a Business Continuity Plan Work?
So, now you know what a business continuity plan is--but what needs to happen behind the scenes before this plan can provide any benefits? Here are just a few key elements:
Data backups are the first step in any good IT disaster plan, and this is no exception. You have all kinds of options for these backups, but one of the best is off-site cloud backup, which is separate from your internal systems and thus wouldn't be impacted by a large-scale breach.
You probably don't have the time or resources to watch your IT environment 24/7. A good business continuity plan should help you out by creating an alert system so the right people are automatically notified in case of suspicious activity.
Let's face it: Tech can be frustrating, especially in the middle of a cyber security attack. That's why any good business continuity plan should outline support options from your IT partner or provider, who will always have your back.
In conclusion, a business continuity plan is a great way to help your company navigate the uncertainties of cyber security. It's also your roadmap through worst-case scenarios--a valuable tool to have in your IT arsenal.
Need help creating a business continuity plan? Worried about cyber security? Contact us today to get started!