COVID-19 Business Continuity Planning – here are our Top 10 tips

COVID-19 Business Continuity Planning - here are our Top 10 tips

COVID-19 forced many organisations to implement their contingency and emergency plans, yet some did not have time to fully implement them. Many lessons have been learnt, and quickly too.  Here are our top ten considerations.

Business continuity planning is the process of creating an action plan to minimise the impacts of interruptions to your business. A robust business continuity plan (BCP), in conjunction with business processes and insurance, will help make your company more resilient against any type of incident or disasters such as a flood, fire and more recently, a global pandemic.

Each organisation will be different, and one size definitely does not fit all, at TenIntelligence we recommend 10 specific considerations when creating, implementing and maintaining a business continuity plan.

Risk Assessment

Identify the threats your business may face and what measures are in place or need to be put in place to protect your business, building and its assets. Understand the potential scale and impact of an incident from short-term power and IT outages and major incidents. Retrospectively, what has your organisation achieved well in its assessment during this pandemic, and benchmark what you learnt.

Business Impact Analysis

Identify your critical business functions and the parts of your company that are most vulnerable in the event of business interruption. How would they be impacted by an emergency? How long is it likely to take to get the business back up and running? What is the potential for damage to your reputation?

Command & Control

Establish a leadership team responsible for controlling all incident related activities and developing the business continuity plan.

Create & Implement a Business Continuity Policy (BCP)

Your BCP should contain all the procedures and details necessary to continue business operations during or after an emergency. All employees should be briefed on the BCP and trained on emergency evacuation, business recovery and restoration procedures.

Communication

A solid communication plan and supporting system is crucial for reporting emergencies, warning personnel of any danger, keeping families and off-duty employees informed about events happening at your facility, coordinating response actions and keeping in contact with customers and suppliers.

Your people

Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all your staff is your first priority. Evacuation, accountability, shelter and preparedness plans during a business interruption are key.

Protect your assets

Organising a system for protecting facilities, equipment and vital records is essential to restoring operations once an emergency has occurred. Intruder alarms, CCTV, fire alarms, and IT systems all need to be recorded, monitored and maintained.

Stakeholder & Community

Your relationship with stakeholders, emergency services and the local community will influence your ability to protect personnel and property as well as return to normal operations.

Recovery & Restoration

Business recovery and restoration goes right to a facility’s bottom line – keeping your business operational. Your plan should ultimately cover all the steps need to restore and resume your business as quickly as possible.

Test, Monitor & Maintain

Review and update your plan regularly to consider new and emerging threats, new technology, operational and personnel changes. Regular training, from walk-through drills to full-scale mock disaster exercises, will help you stay one step ahead of potential issues.

Richard Bell | Board Advisor

For further information, visit www.tenintel.com/cyber-security, where you can find out how we support clients with data protection and digital forensics support.

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