Are you looking to build a more resilient organisation? We’ve got you covered! Our six-step guide will help you enhance your business continuity and security measures, ensuring continuity and sustainable expansion in the face of potential risks and disruptions.
Businesses continuity managers (or whoever it is in your organisation that manages this area) are faced with an increasing number of potential risks that they must predict, mitigate, and analyse. These risks can range from extreme weather events and cyber attacks to geopolitical conflicts and supply chain disruption.
Simultaneously, business continuity managers must demonstrate the efficacy of their actions and productivity to internal stakeholders. The confluence of these responsibilities contributes to an increasingly unstable, intricate, and stressful risk environment. Therefore, business resilience is not just an aspiration but a crucial competence that all organisations must possess to guarantee continuity and sustainable expansion.
Before we get started, it is crucial to acknowledge that the risk culture within a business is the first hurdle to building a more resilient organisation. Business leaders need to understand that resilience is not just a specific function within the business, but rather a reflection of how risk is perceived throughout the entire organisation, especially amongst c-suite.
To uphold a healthy risk culture, it is important that business continuity and security teams prioritise organisational alignment. This involves communicating to executives the importance of resilience through threat assessments, cost evaluations and other relevant documentation, and gaining their support to promote resilience throughout the organisation.
Here are some ways to build a more resilient organisation:
1. Promote a shared sense of responsibility
Everyone should be aware of their role in safeguarding the organisation from risks. This involves ensuring that every member of the organisation understands how they can help protect the business from potential risks and disruptions. By promoting a culture of shared responsibility, employees become more aware of their actions and then potential impacts this could have upon the business. This can lead to improved collaboration and a more comprehensive understanding of the organisation’s overall risk posture, ultimately building a more resilient organisation.
2. Follow the 3-2-1 golden backup strategy
This is a widely recognised approach to data backup that involves creating three copies of important data, storing the copies on two different types of media, and keeping one copy in an immutable or air-gapped state, off-net
This approach can help ensure data resilience and recovery in the event of a disaster or cyber incident.
3. Regularly review and update your incident response management and business continuity plans
It is important to periodically review and update your incident response management and business continuity plans to ensure they remain effective and relevant. This includes reviewing and updating any communication elements that may be impacted in the event of a technology orcyber incident. Regular reviews and updates can help to enhance preparedness, minimise the impact of incidents, and enable swift recovery.
4. Have a separate incident response plan
Do you have a reliable partner who can aid in the response and recovery of a cyber incident in case of a worst-case scenario? Having a cyber incident response plan is crucial in effectively responding to and recovering from a cyber incident.
A comprehensive cyber incident recovery plan typically consists of various critical elements, such as identifying and reporting the incident, containing and eliminating it, assessing the damage and restoring normalcy, and analysing and improving post-incident strategies. Additionally, the plan outlines specific measures to be taken when addressing different types of cyber incidents, depending on their severity and consequences.
5. Review the availability of and access to your standby provisions
Review the accessibility and adequacy of contingency plans, such as standby provisions, to guarantee continuous operations during emergencies or disruptions. This may require examining alternative workspaces for essential personnel, verifying the cleanliness and security of backup infrastructure and networks, and identifying other pertinent measures to mitigate the effects of incidents or disasters.
6. You are only as good as your last test!
It is crucial to conduct tests and rehearsals of your business continuity planning (BCP), crisis management, and cyber incident response plans. This includes assessing tolerance levels across important business services and planning and testing for worst-case scenarios, not just plausible ones.
Having excellent plans in place is insufficient if they have never been tested. Testing is a highly effective way of ensuring that everyone within the organisation comprehends their role and responsibilities in the event of an incident.
Bear in mind that it is preferable to identify any shortcomings or missing critical data during an exercise rather than during an actual incident when you are reliant on it.
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The more adept an organisation is at mitigating risk, the more robust it becomes. By adequately preparing for, detecting, anticipating, and adapting to the ever-changing risk landscape, a business can position itself to withstand almost any potential disruption.
However, to attain this level of resilience, organisations must broaden their focus beyond their immediate risk landscape and prioritise long-term sustainability. While surmounting present-day obstacles is an arduous task, having the foresight to prepare for future ones simultaneously is a competitive edge in its own right.